Hacker News new | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

> an even bigger problem is that once you have a startup you have to hurry to come up with an idea, and because it’s already an official company the idea can’t be too crazy. You end up with plausible sounding but derivative ideas. This is the danger of pivots.

A great point, that I haven't seen in too many places. I sometimes feel like we're seeing too many people who "want to have a startup" for the supposed fame and fortune, and not enough who are truly passionate about an idea. Believing in an idea will get you through, not dreams of gold coins.

Sam, I noticed you didn't mention watching cash burn or unit economics. Is that a later section you might add? Too many founders don't realize the importance of that until it's too late (speaking from personal experience)

As a counterpoint, the founders of Thumbtack started a startup before they had an idea, picked a very "derivative idea" and still did (and are doing) pretty well. If I had to quantify the motivation of the early team, it was much more about the company being successful than everybody being super passionate about the idea. As long as you can out-execute your competitors and people want your product, it doesn't really matter what your motivation is.

Yes I'm adding something on that.

Its not even just passion that should drive a startup/business. Success it not just a matter of gaining X amount of emails and signups on your site. Its also not all about trying to think of the next thing to keep people on.

I think to really succeed at a startup is to make a product that is needed and that can be sustained throughout the years. To do so, you have to think long term.

Its ok to add the "new hotness" to your business as well, but it shouldn't be what the core business is about.

Facebook's success was not because they added photos, IM, pokes, likes, it was because there was a solid platform to find people. Sure those other features helped promote and enhance the product, but without the focus on the #1 goal (making it easier to connect the world) that platform could have easily gone by the wayside.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact