The Texarkana Gazette is the premier source for local news and sports in Texarkana and the surrounding Arklatex areas. Chief Wahoo: School essay on if trees could speak such symbolism have any place in professional sports? This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Texarkana Gazette, Inc. Want to start a startup?
This essay is derived from a talk at MIT. But how common will that be? Why not start a startup while you’re in college? In fact, why go to college at all?
Why not start a startup instead? You’d think that would be motivation enough. You probably can’t change that. Graduation changes the prevailing winds, and those make a difference. Y Combinator began as a kind of summer program. Does that mean you can’t start a startup in college? But Sam Altman is a very unusual guy.
Bill Gates must have been like when he was 19. For every idea that times out, new ones become feasible. In that case, you might ask, why not wait longer? I’d say it’s probably the mid-twenties.
And why isn’t it older? Those turn out to be questions worth examining. They’re not what you might think. The importance of stamina shouldn’t be surprising. As far as I can tell these are universal. Most startups end up doing something different than they planned.
Viaweb, but fortunately we still lived like 23 year olds. I was used to living cheaply. Even more important than living cheaply, though, is thinking cheaply. One reason the Apple II was so popular was that it was cheap. We benefitted from the same phenomenon. 300 a month, which was an order of magnitude below the norm. 300 a month seemed like a lot of money to us.
It was coming, all the same. The advantages of rootlessness are similar to those of poverty. They at least were in Boston. Evan Williams was at their age? Y Combinator was that you had to move to participate.
It couldn’t be any other way. You can tell that from indirect evidence. Miami is simply that there are more founder-type people there. Successful startups are almost never started by one person. Yeah, that is a good idea, let’s try it. And that is another area where undergrads have an edge. Viaweb was an anomaly in this respect too.
So arguably the Worm made Viaweb possible. Co-founders really should be people you already know. In Microsoft’s case, it was high school. But all other things are not quite as equal as they look.
That’s what we look for. The other place co-founders meet is at work. The most overreaching employee agreement I’ve seen so far is Amazon’s. Speaking of cool places to work, there is of course Google.
In that respect it’s a black hole. Google too much to leave. I realize this seems odd advice. Your final advantage, ignorance, may not sound very useful. But it seems to be a powerful force.