Arjun Badola

A new perspective on startups

I recently watched a lecture, ‘Before the Startup’, given by Paul Graham at Stanford university on startups. I recommend all college students who plan to build a startup during their college days to watch the video. It was a much needed video for me. It changed my perspective about things which I was doing wrong. This lecture made me understand that instead of being defensive, like I mentioned in my previous article. I should be open to new ideas and not be fixed on my own ideologies. Thus this video lead me towards ‘A New Perspective On Startups’.

Below are top three takeaways from the lecture:

Expertise in Startup

I have noticed people sometimes just start caring too much about funding and sideline their main focus from users. Paul Graham rightly said that you don’t need expertise in startup but instead in your users. Further he gave the example of Mark Zuckerberg as he never gave that much attention to mechanics of funding than the idea itself.

Startups are all consuming

Paul recommended not to start a startup when you are in your college. As startups are consuming and they are going to consume a whole lot of your time. There are certain things to enjoy only when you are in your early twenties and if you step into the startup world so early you will end up missing out something. Life is short and you only get one short of it, starting early can be a good option but not when you might get regrets later in your life.

The way to get start up ideas is not to try to think of startup ideas

This is the biggest mistake that I have made. I have, many times, made a conscious effort in trying to think of a great startup idea. Instead Paul Graham recommends that we just need to lean back and learn. Famous companies like Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Apple, etc all started as side projects and were never intended to be companies. So learn and do things that stretch you.

Watching this lecture has really cleared out some questions in my mind and has made me realized about the things, which really matter by building a new perspective on startups.