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Startups As Chemical Reactions

Originally written in 2014, updated with a new example in 2021 (Homejoy →  Robinhood) I'm sometimes envious of people who studied subjects in college that correspond to their actual careers. Finance majors who become bankers. Computer Science majors who become software engineers. Must be nice to actually apply the knowledge you

Startups As Chemical Reactions
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Two Feelings You Need Before Starting a Startup

First published in 2013, republished in 2020 with minor tweaks I was talking to some folks about applying to Y Combinator and preparing themselves to found a startup more generally. One point that I found myself talking about, especially in terms of timing, was the two distinct emotions that

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How to Become More Adaptable

It’s no secret that adaptability has become a critical trait for knowledge workers. To stay on top of a rapidly evolving world, we must assess new situations, make intelligent decisions and implement them effectively. A 2014 research report by Barclays indicated that 60% of employers say adaptability has

How to Become More Adaptable
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Solve for the Harder Problem [Interview with Bilal Mahmood]

How ClearBrain’s CEO Used These 7 Lessons to Create a New Product CategoryBilal Mahmood is cofounder and CEO of ClearBrain, a Y Combinator backed predictive analytics company that’s used by firms like Chime Bank. He’s also a good friend of mine and someone I greatly admire for

Solve for the Harder Problem [Interview with Bilal Mahmood]
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Three Days with MaGIC

Inspired by Silicon Valley, many cities and nations around the world are trying to build startup and technology hubs – to spur innovation and economic development. In Asia, Shenzhen, Singapore, Indonesia, and Bangalore have become known as startup hubs. But another nation that’s fighting to earn a seat at the

Three Days with MaGIC
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The Minimum Viable Transaction

In 2009, an entrepreneur named Eric Ries coined at term that would move the field of product development forward. The minimum viable product (MVP) making something that could “collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort. Over time, the MVP stood for the difference between

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Eleven Compelling Startup Pitch Archetypes

Over the past few weeks, I’ve helped a handful of startups work on their YC applications and interviews. I spent much of the time brainstorming with the founders on the best way to explain their business in the most clear and compelling way possible. These founders knew a lot

Eleven Compelling Startup Pitch Archetypes