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Want to start a startup? Get funded by Y Combinator. October I wrote this for Forbes, who asked me to write something about the qualities we look for in founders.
In print they had to cut the last item because they didn't have room. Determination This has turned out to be the most important quality in startup founders. We thought when we started Y Combinator that the most important quality would be intelligence. That's the myth in the Valley.
And certainly you don't want founders to be stupid. But as long as you're over a certain threshold of intelligence, what matters most is determination.
You're going to hit a lot of obstacles. You can't be the sort of person who gets demoralized easily. They're doing a finance startup, which means endless negotiations with big, bureaucratic companies. When you're starting a startup that depends on deals with big companies to exist, it often feels like they're trying to ignore you out of existence.
But when Bill Clerico starts calling you, you may as well do what he asks, because he is not going away. Flexibility You do not however want the sort of determination implied by phrases like "don't give up on your dreams. The best metaphor I've found for the combination of determination and flexibility you need is a running back.
He's determined to get downfield, but at any given moment he may need to go sideways or even backwards to get there. The current record holder for flexibility may be Daniel Gross of Greplin.
He applied to YC with some bad ecommerce idea.
We told him we'd fund him if he did something else. He thought for a second, and said ok. He then went through two more ideas before settling on Greplin. He'd only been working on it for a couple days when he presented to investors at Demo Day, but he got a lot of interest. He always seems to land on his feet.
Imagination Intelligence does matter a lot of course. It seems like the type that matters most is imagination. It's not so important to be able to solve predefined problems quickly as to be able to come up with surprising new ideas. In the startup world, most good ideas seem bad initially.
If they were obviously good, someone would already be doing them.
So you need the kind of intelligence that produces ideas with just the right level of craziness. Airbnb is that kind of idea.
In fact, when we funded Airbnb, we thought it was too crazy. We couldn't believe large numbers of people would want to stay in other people's places.
We funded them because we liked the founders so much. As soon as we heard they'd been supporting themselves by selling Obama and McCain branded breakfast cereal, they were in.
And it turned out the idea was on the right side of crazy after all. Naughtiness Though the most successful founders are usually good people, they tend to have a piratical gleam in their eye.
They're not Goody Two-Shoes type good. Morally, they care about getting the big questions right, but not about observing proprieties. That's why I'd use the word naughty rather than evil. They delight in breaking rulesbut not rules that matter. This quality may be redundant though; it may be implied by imagination.attheheels.com is your one-stop source for fresh ideas on a wide selection of writing topics.
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Use our essays as frames of reference for research. For examples of polished. As you read the passage below, consider how Paul Bogard uses. evidence, such as facts or examples, to support claims. reasoning to develop ideas and to connect claims and evidence. October (I wrote this for Forbes, who asked me to write something about the qualities we look for in founders.
In print they had to cut the last item because they didn't have room.). Apr 22, · Essay About Famous Person Ethics: Ethics and Person - Words Ethics in the Work Place I chose ethics in the workplace because it is a topic that is very important in my opinion, but one that gets overlooked so many times.
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