It’s important to discover new and helpful posts but also to re-read startup classics such as, ‘Do things that don’t scale‘ by Paul Graham. The passage that resonates with us is, “The question to ask about an early stage startup is not “is this company taking over the world?” but “how big could this company get if the founders did the right things?” And the right things often seem both laborious and inconsequential at the time. Microsoft can’t have seemed very impressive when it was just a couple guys in Albuquerque writing Basic interpreters for a market of a few thousand hobbyists (as they were then called), but in retrospect that was the optimal path to dominating microcomputer software. And I know Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia didn’t feel like they were en route to the big time as they were taking “professional” photos of their first hosts’ apartments. They were just trying to survive. But in retrospect that too was the optimal path to dominating a big market.”

Another important recommendation is to talk and write to people one-to-one, and on ‘launching’ PG says, “it would be so much less work if you could get users merely by broadcasting your existence, rather than recruiting them one at a time”. Most of the time there just aren’t the shortcuts and magic wands founders are looking for, so spend more time doing the things that don’t scale and that will get you in the right direction.

*Extra points if you guess the picture without looking it up.


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