paul-graham-essays

Top Must-Read Paul Graham Essays

Entrepreneur, computer scientist, and venture capitalist Paul Graham is one of the most interesting and brilliant minds to follow in the startup world. He co-founded the accelerator Y Combinator and Hacker News; he also backed up many successful startups that turned into successful tech companies (like Airbnb).

On Scalability

Actually startups take off because the founders make them take off. 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.

Source: paulgraham.com/ds.html

On Startup Ideas

The very best startup ideas tend to have three things in common: they’re something the founders themselves want, that they themselves can build, and that few others realize are worth doing. Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo, Google, and Facebook all began this way.

how-to-get-startup-ideas
Source: paulgraham.com/startupideas.html

On Doing What You Love

There’s another sense of “not everyone can do work they love” that’s all too true, however. One has to make a living, and it’s hard to get paid for doing work you love. There are two routes to that destination:

The organic route: as you become more eminent, gradually to increase the parts of your job that you like at the expense of those you don’t.

The two-job route: to work at things you don’t like to get money to work on things you do.

how-to-do-what-you-love
Source: paulgraham.com/love.html

On Ramen Profitability

Ramen profitable means a startup makes just enough to pay the founders’ living expenses. This is a different form of profitability than startups have traditionally aimed for. Traditional profitability means a big bet is finally paying off, whereas the main importance of ramen profitability is that it buys you time. 

ramen-profitable-paul-graham
Source: paulgraham.com/ramenprofitable.html

Read Next: Ramen Profitability, Profitability, Idea Generation.

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Gennaro Cuofano

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