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Why Being Real Matters

There’s a great article on TechCrunch by Danny Crichton called Startups and The Big Lie.

Crichton, who is a former colleague back in my days at The Stanford Daily, has a great line about how startups “run on an alchemy of ignorance and amnesia that is incredibly important to experimentation” and that entrepreneurs essentially have to lie a lot of the time about how things are going. Continue reading…

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Take More Naps and Other Talent-Building Ideas

Five years ago, I stood in a bookstore for about an hour and read half of a wonderful book called The Talent Code by Daniel Coyne. It had come out around the same time as a few other books in a similar vein of developing expertise and 10,000 hours etc but just grabbed me and didn’t let go.

Part of it was that Coyne went out into the field and visited “talent hotspots” that developed elite performers across many disciplines: soccer stars, violin prodigies, chess champions, etc. The stories he came back with are concrete, have a human element to them, and deeply resonate with my own experience. Continue reading…

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Reference Groups and the YC Fellowship

As you may have heard, Y Combinator is going back to its roots with something called the YC Fellowship. Today is the last day to apply. [1]

It’s a equity-free grant of $12k for super-early-stage startups where founders will have an 8 week program to work on their idea. You don’t have to move to the Bay Area, a cofounder, or even a prototype but all are encouraged. It’s positioned as an experiment in reducing the barrier to entry (i.e. activation energy) for starting a startup. Continue reading…

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“Release Your Fucking Product Already” and Other Strongly Worded Startup Advice

Six weeks ago, I launched a site called Great Fucking Startup Advice.

It’s a single page site that loads a random piece of startup advice every time you click or swipe – 62 unique suggestions so far. And yes, every piece of advice has the word “fuck” in it because I still have a juvenile sense of humor and find that kind of thing funny. Most of the advice will sound familiar as it is a recycling of the many aphorisms and admonishments doled out in within the ecosystem. Continue reading…