Others, however, think that change is always a good thing.
Want to start a startup? Get funded by Y Combinator. July One of the most common types of advice we give at Y Combinator is to do things that don't scale. A lot of would-be founders believe that startups either take off or don't. You build something, make it available, and if you've made a better mousetrap, people beat a path to your door as promised.
Or they don't, in which case the market must not exist. There may be a handful that just grew by themselves, but usually it takes some sort of push to get them going.
A good metaphor would be the cranks that car engines had before they got electric starters. Once the engine was going, it would keep going, but there was a separate and laborious process to get it going.
Recruit The most common unscalable thing founders have to do at the start is to recruit users manually. Nearly all startups have to.
You can't wait for users to come to you. You have to go out and get them. Stripe is one of the most successful startups we've funded, and the problem they solved was an urgent one.
If anyone could have sat back and waited for users, it was Stripe. But in fact they're famous within YC for aggressive early user acquisition. Startups building things for other startups have a big pool of potential users in the other companies we've funded, and none took better advantage of it than Stripe.
At YC we use the term "Collison installation" for the technique they invented. More diffident founders ask "Will you try our beta?
When anyone agreed to try Stripe they'd say "Right then, give me your laptop" and set them up on the spot. There are two reasons founders resist going out and recruiting users individually.
One is a combination of shyness and laziness.
They'd rather sit at home writing code than go out and talk to a bunch of strangers and probably be rejected by most of them.
But for a startup to succeed, at least one founder usually the CEO will have to spend a lot of time on sales and marketing. This can't be how the big, famous startups got started, they think.
The mistake they make is to underestimate the power of compound growth. We encourage every startup to measure their progress by weekly growth rate. After a year you'll have 14, users, and after 2 years you'll have 2 million.
You'll be doing different things when you're acquiring users a thousand at a time, and growth has to slow down eventually. But if the market exists you can usually start by recruiting users manually and then gradually switch to less manual methods. Marketplaces are so hard to get rolling that you should expect to take heroic measures at first.
In Airbnb's case, these consisted of going door to door in New York, recruiting new users and helping existing ones improve their listings. When I remember the Airbnbs during YC, I picture them with rolly bags, because when they showed up for tuesday dinners they'd always just flown back from somewhere.
Fragile Airbnb now seems like an unstoppable juggernaut, but early on it was so fragile that about 30 days of going out and engaging in person with users made the difference between success and failure.
That initial fragility was not a unique feature of Airbnb.
Almost all startups are fragile initially. And that's one of the biggest things inexperienced founders and investors and reporters and know-it-alls on forums get wrong about them. They unconsciously judge larval startups by the standards of established ones.Those three things are the main problems with our school that I think we need to fix to make our school better.
For example one thing that I really want to change about my school is getting Martin. This started with a tweet. I’m embarrassed how often that happens.
Frustrated by a sense of global mispriorities, I blurted out some snarky and mildly regrettable tweets on the lack of attention to climate change in the tech industry (Twitter being a sublime medium for the snarky and regrettable).
Climate change is the problem of our time, it’s everyone’s problem, and most of our problem. Three Things I Would Change About the World In today’s society there is so much that I want to change about the world but just don’t have the means or power to do so.
Our daily blog content exclusive to the web hits on hot topics in both religion and public life and will keep you informed and entertained all week. The University of the State of New York REGENTS HIGH SCHOOL EXAMINATION GLOBAL HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY Tuesday, August 16, — to .
Jake Tuck writes a humorous essay about quitting writing personal essays about quitting things: “No longer do I lug around the ball and chain of constantly having to dress up common life choices.