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Author Topic: Graham does it again: Why not to start a startup  (Read 3787 times)

urlwolf

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Graham does it again: Why not to start a startup
« on: April 02, 2007, 04:31:06 AM »
http://paulgraham.com/notnot.html

As always, some amazing bits here:
Quote
To almost everyone except criminals, it seems an axiom that if you need money, you should get a job. Actually this tradition is not much more than a hundred years old. Before that, the default way to make a living was by farming. It's a bad plan to treat something only a hundred years old as an axiom. By historical standards, that's something that's changing pretty rapidly.

We may be seeing another such change right now. I've read a lot of economic history, and I understand the startup world pretty well, and it now seems to me fairly likely that we're seeing the beginning of a change like the one from farming to manufacturing.

(...)

That's ultimately what drives us to work on Y Combinator. We want to make money, if only so we don't have to stop doing it, but that's not the main goal. There have only been a handful of these great economic shifts in human history. It would be an amazing hack to make one happen faster.


This hacker mentality is really impressive. Hackers can take the role of contemporary 'greek tragedy heros' if one thinks of them that way. They make things out of thin air, like magicians and gods. And they are even morally outstanding, since they do it not for money but for some internal motivation of improving their lives and those of the people around them.

mouser

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Re: Graham does it again: Why not to start a startup
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2007, 04:39:00 AM »
I'm not a business person, I don't have the apptitude for it, but my real fear about these things, which is completely absent in paul's article, is the role that having well-positioned contacts/friends plays, and the importance of being chummy with heavily networked people.

It is my sincere fear that if you looked at the startups that "succeed", you might find less of a correlation with the quality of the product, than with the quality of the networked connections the founders have established.  It's a hugely scary idea, and i could be wrong, but it's what keeps me depressed about this business.  :(

Regardless, Paul Graham is one of the best writers about this stuff on the planet, and always worth reading.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2007, 04:45:52 AM by mouser »

Nighted

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Re: Graham does it again: Why not to start a startup
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2007, 03:54:36 PM »
Actually, a lot of "criminals" are farmers! ;)
I`m a firm believer in the philosophy of a ruling class, especially since I rule.

pro3carp3

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Re: Graham does it again: Why not to start a startup
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2007, 07:56:51 AM »
Farming IS a job.
LGC

mouser

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Re: Graham does it again: Why not to start a startup
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2007, 01:05:26 PM »
Not only is Farming a job, but Farming may have been the original Start Up.

urlwolf

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Re: Graham does it again: Why not to start a startup
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2007, 01:54:18 PM »
I'm not a business person, I don't have the apptitude for it, but my real fear about these things, which is completely absent in paul's article, is the role that having well-positioned contacts/friends plays, and the importance of being chummy with heavily networked people.

You should try "never eat Alone", by Keith Ferrazzi. Maybe it's not that diffiicult to do that kind of networking, and you could benefit a lot from very little effort in that direction.

Mind you, not that I do it, but... I agree with Ferrazzi in the value of contacts.

exold

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Re: Graham does it again: Why not to start a startup
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2007, 02:03:28 PM »
Also Dale Carnegie's classic, <a href="http://www.amazon.co...89&creative=9325">How to Win Friends & Influence People</a><img src="http://www.assoc-ama...mp;l=ur2&amp;o=1" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />. I was a skeptic for a long time, but it's a great book. If nothing else, you can use what you learn from it to recognize what other people are doing.
---
David A. P.
Ars Arboris -- Art of the Tree.

steeladept

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Re: Graham does it again: Why not to start a startup
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2007, 11:27:25 AM »
I'm not a business person, I don't have the apptitude for it, but my real fear about these things, which is completely absent in paul's article, is the role that having well-positioned contacts/friends plays, and the importance of being chummy with heavily networked people.

I guess you can say I AM a businessman (sort of anyway), and my experiences are that the contacts are not so much needed as useful.  It is kind of like most things in this world.  You can do it with very little issue on your own, but it is MUCH easier with the network.  People naturally gravitate toward certain people:  1) People that have similar interests, 2) People that have similar goals, & 3) People they know.  Frequently it is a combination of all three.  That natural gravitation is what makes networks work and why they make business much easier.

Note, I left one thing out that will motivate people to do business with you; and that is why the network is not absolutely necessary.  That one last thing is you have something they need (or perceive to need).  With competition, it is difficult to provide that perception when their network of friends, relative, etc. do not know or agree with it; hence the networking making things easier.  However, this is why you can make it work without the network.

Oh yeah, and by providing the goods or services your business provides, you are building a network whether you want to or not :Thmbsup:

Enough on that.... back to starting to read the article. (I suppose I should have done that before commenting  :-[)