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Why (and how to) start a Startup | Sam Altman at PlatziConf Mexico

44 tips from Sam Altman around Stratups.

  • Build product users love.
  • It is more important to build a product some users love than build a product a lot of users like.
  • Build a product some users love: Vertical strategy.
  • It is easier to start companies, that some users really love than build a company that a lot of users really like.
  • It is easier to expand from a small group of users that love your product.
  • The most successful companies founded by YCombinator, a small group of users love it. And then expand from there.
  • This is your first task as a startup: build a product that some people really love.
  • The second task is to figure out how to grow.
  • The most functional strategy to grow is to build a product people really love.
  • Google, Twitter, and WhatsApp grow through word-of-mouth.
  • Word-of-Mouth is the best growth strategy,
  • The third thing you need to do is: how to build a defensible business.
  • If you build a startup where you win, you should stay as the main winner, and stay in the first place.
  • If you win, you remain the winner.
  • All startups have problems, and the problems only go bigger.
  • Startups get suicide in a more common way than being killed by others.
  • If you do not have a great team, eventually the startup could implode.
  • Hiring is the most important task for CEOs.
  • If you do not hire very well, your company does not become a great success.
  • As a CEO the most important task is growth and hiring people.
  • Recruit the best people in the world.
  • You can build the best company or the best product if you hire the best people in the world.
  • It is important to fire people quickly.
  • Hire well, and fire well.
  • Remain frugal.
  • Be as frugal as possible.
  • The best startups are very frugal.
  • Extreme frugality is very important for success.
  • The best startups are very focused and very intense.
  • The best startups are really focused on the two or three things that really matter right now and they made these things incredible intensely.
  • The speed of the best start-ups operates is incredible.
  • The best startups instead of say I am going to do it in the next week or in the next month, say, I am going to do it in the next hour or in the next four hours.
  • You can do a 5% iteration every 4 hours, that compounds very fast.
  • Very focused, on a few things, but the right things.
  • Preferably work as this, instead have big plans and never getting things done.
  • Some of the best start-ups sound like terrible ideas.
  • But you can be skeptical of something that sounds like an obvious good idea, because a lot of people could do that, and the competition could be brutal.
  • Best founders are people who understand the problem or idea very well.
  • Ignore people who tell you your idea is bad.
  • The only way to know if an idea is bad is to build it.
  • Instead of saying: we are going to be the Uber for Latin America, say; I am going to build the best product for my market even if we solve the same problem as Uber.
  • Do not constrain yourself by thinking you need to build something that exists in the US and build a version of that for Latin America.
  • Just do something better than something that already exists in the US, and maybe could be adopted in the rest of the world.
  • If you build a great product. Apply to Y Combinator.
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