What Startups Are Really Like

I found this article yesterday and posted it to twitter — I thought it was so spot on that I wanted to add it here as well:

What Startups Are Really Like by Paul Graham

Some of my favorite quotes from (because I’ve seen these things in the startups I’ve been a part of) this were:

On Use of Time:
“Most hacker-founders would like to spend all their time programming. You won’t get to, unless you fail. Which can be transformed into: If you spend all your time programming, you will fail.” — DOH!

On Product Development:
“Now, when coding, I try to think ‘How can I write this such that if people saw my code, they’d be amazed at how little there is and how little it does?'”

On Product Development Strategy:
“It’s so important to launch fast that it may be better to think of your initial version not as a product, but as a trick for getting users to start talking to you.”

The more I work on my own products and the more I consult with businesses, the more I can see how true the open source mantra of “Release Quickly, Release Often” is in all areas of business as well.


  1. This was an excellent article. I recommend anybody serious about doing “great” things read this and commit it to memory!