Frighteningly Ambitious Startup Ideas
March 2012 One of the more surprising things I've noticed while working on Y Combinator is how frightening the most ambitious startup ideas are. In this essay I'm going to demonstrate this phenomenon by describing some. Any one of them could make you a billionaire. That might sound like an attractive prospect, and yet when I describe these ideas you may notice you find yourself shrinking away from them. Don't worry, it's not a sign of weakness. There's a scene in Being John Malkovich where the nerdy hero encounters a very attractive, sophisticated woman. Here's the thing: If you ever got me, you wouldn't have a clue what to do with me. That's what these ideas say to us. This phenomenon is one of the most important things you can understand about startups.  You'd expect big startup ideas to be attractive, but actually they tend to repel you. 1. The best ideas are just on the right side of impossible. Microsoft : Google :: Google : Facebook. 2. Whatever you build, make it fast. 3. 4. 5.