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On the Fast Track: Paul Graham's Top Tips for Start-ups

In addition to running Y Combinator, Graham is a prolific writer. Here, a sampling of start-up advice from his blog.
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"How to Get Startup Ideas"

"The very best startup ideas tend to have three things in common: they're something the founders themselves want, that they themselves can build, and that few others realize are worth doing."

"How Not to Die"

"Startups almost never get it right the first time. Much more commonly you launch something, and no one cares. Don't assume when this happens that you've failed…iterate."

"The Hardest Lessons for Startups to Learn"

"What you should fear, as a startup, is not the established players, but other startups you don't know exist yet. They're way more dangerous than Google because, like you, they're cornered animals."

"The 18 Mistakes That Kill Startups"

"Most successful startups end up doing something different than they originally intended. You have to be prepared to see the better idea when it arrives."

"Startup = Growth"

"If you get growth, everything else tends to fall into place. Which means you can use growth like a compass to make almost every decision you face."

"Startups in 13 Sentences"

"Go out of your way to make people happy. They'll be overwhelmed; you'll see. In the earliest stages of a startup, it pays to offer customer service on a level that wouldn't scale."

From the September 2013 issue of Inc. magazine




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