Startups

Build a Team that Ships

I started my first company 15 years go, and I still can’t manage. I suspect that very few people can. With AngelList, we want a team of self-managing people who ship code. Here’s what we do: Keep the team small. All doers, no talkers. Absolutely no middle managers. All BD via APIs. More
Apr 27 2012

Why You Can’t Hire

There isn’t a shortage of developers and designers. There’s a surplus of founders. The cost of starting a company has collapsed. It’s now just (minimal) salaries. For entrepreneurs, desks are free, hosting is free, marketing is online, and company setup is cheap. Raising the first $25K for product development is easy – join an incubator. More
Dec 13 2011

Y Combinator vs. Graduate School

Y Combinator* is the new Graduate School. In some ways, it’s better: – You pay to go to graduate school. YC pays you. – After school, you get a job. After YC, you create jobs. – You repeat the works of the greats in school. YC expects you to do original work. More
Feb 08 2010

Why You Need to be in Silicon Valley

For years I didn’t believe this. I thought that you could take advantage of the benefits of Boston, Seattle, NY, Austin – cheaper talent, no echo chamber, local Universities, etc.. But I give up. I found myself telling an entrepreneur why he had to be in Silicon Valley if he wanted to succeed. More
Jan 17 2010

The returns to entrepreneurship

I was at dinner the other night with a group of entrepreneurs. One told the story of a 27-year-old whiz kid whose company will likely exit for $500M – $1B – the business now being less than two years old. You can imagine the effect that this had on the brilliant, hardworking 35+ entrepreneurs in the group, who have had their share of hits, but not at that magnitude and not that quickly. More
Nov 09 2009

Users bring you traffic

Duh. But how? I only know of four viable methods: A simple core built-in feature, where by using the product, users invite / share it with others. This used to be mostly about email address import, although these days Digging, Tweeting, and of course, spreading on Facebook are very popular Users embed the product onto their own blogs / pages / sites Users create original content that gets picked up by GoogleBot, gets SEO’ed, and then brings in other users via Google search. More
Mar 10 2008

The Aging Entrepreneur

Can older people be great entrepreneurs? Marc Andreesen has a great post on this age-old question. In part I, he’s digging through the data. Some of his observations are powerful and worth summarizing: "Generally, productivity — output — rises rapidly from the start of a career to a peak and then declines gradually until retirement. More
Aug 08 2007