Category: On Startups

Seth Godin: Better than it needs to be

Seth Godin: Why not? Why not make it more generous, more fair, more insightful than it needs to be? Why not deliver the service with more flair, more care and more urgency? Why not do it because you can, not because you have to…

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10 weeks of YC Startup School Founder Track

We just spent the last 10 weeks taking part in the Y Combinator Startup School Founder Track online course (aka SUS17), the end of which saw Y Combinator hosting the world’s largest startup demo day ever. Here are some stats: 13,321 startups from 141 countries applied to Startup School 2,820 were selected 1,584 graduated 797 presented online at demo day The experience was very positive, we came away with lessons from some of the better known people in the startup world and made contacts with several people all over. What did the Startup School Founder Track consist of? Startup School

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Invent the Future

One of the pioneers of personal computing, Alan Kay thought of laptops and graphical interfaces years before they were realized. At XeroxPARC, Apple, HP and Disney, he has developed tools for improving the mind. Alan gave this lecture as part of Startup School at Stamford and his lecture was great so I wanted to share parts 1 and 2 here.

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How to Boss

Cameron Moll: Years ago as a high school student I was driving to school and Bruce Springsteen came on the radio. Except he wasn’t singing. He was answering questions from a local radio host. At some point in the interview, Springsteen shared an uncanny observation about parents, paraphrased as best as I can I recall: The best way I know how to honor your parents is to take all their good attributes and incorporate them into who you are, and leave behind all the bad ones. That observation has stuck with me for more than 20 years. No one knows

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Unlock honest feedback with this one word

Claire Lew: A few years ago, a CEO told me how she was struggling to get honest feedback from her board. No one seemed willing to be critical or give her pointers on things she could improve. After every board meeting, she would turn to them and ask directly: “What feedback does anyone have for me?” She’d hear crickets. Every single time. Good advice for getting feedback. Source: https://m.signalvnoise.com/unlock-honest-feedback-with-this-one-word-dcaf3839e7ee#.dxw8pq56x

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Seth Godin: Drawing a line in the sand

Seth Godin: There are two real problems with this attitude: First, drawing lines. Problems aren’t linear, people don’t fit into boxes. Lines are not nuanced, flexible or particularly well-informed. A line is a shortcut, a lazy way to deal with a problem you don’t care enough about to truly understand. Most of all, drawing a line invites the other person to cross it. Second, the sand. Sand? Really? If you’re going to draw a line, if you’re truly willing to go to battle, you can do better than sand. That saying has always bugged me too, and we never draw

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Launch mode vs iterate mode

Paul Adams: We had a really successful launch, with hundreds of customers now using it in production, but we don’t yet have a successful product. We must obsessively work to understand how our customers are using the product, what is working well, what needs to be improved. We need to talk to many prospective customers or customers on trial and understand what they need us to change for them to adopt the product. Launching a product, and iterating a product, are two very different things and they require the team to think and operate in very different ways. We have

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Get the most out of your research with storytelling

The job of research is to distill complex problems so that your team understand the what, the why, and the how of the problem at hand. Yet when presenting complex-yet-eye-opening data to colleagues, a tidy 10-page report can fail to elicit the right reaction. That’s because when it comes to sharing research with your colleagues, presentation matters. The right presentation can transform something that sits on your colleague’s desk collecting dust into insights your team can really empathize with. And one of the best ways to present strategic, complex, controversial, or high-volume data is to use storytelling. We use storytelling

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The Y Combinator Startup Playbook

We spend a lot of time advising startups. Though one-on-one advice will always be crucial, we thought it might help us scale Y Combinator if we could distill the most generalizable parts of this advice into a sort of playbook we could give YC and YC Fellowship companies. Then we thought we should just give it to everyone. This is meant for people new to the world of startups. Most of this will not be new to people who have read a lot of what YC partners have written—the goal is to get it into one place. Whether you like

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Ash Maurya on the GOLEAN Framework for Growth

Ash Maurya: GOLEAN? No this isn’t some blatant battlecry for going lean. It’s a mnemonic for a growth framework I created for my last book: Scaling Lean — one that draws heavily on lean startup principles and systems thinking: Goal  Observe and Orient  Leverage  Experiment  Analyze  Next Action Ash has an interesting take on the usual Build-Measure-Learn loop which is actually pretty close to how we do everything here at Flybase. Source: https://blog.leanstack.com/the-golean-framework-for-growth-72440c612f20?inf_contact_key=af05e86355dbe285dc73849ab6d536f8560b65f50f2c52065e2bffb5f8e8e4a4#.jerioc3p9

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