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Frighteningly Ambitious Startup Ideas

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. [1] 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.

http://paulgraham.com/ambitious.html

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Let’s Kill The Aid Industry Long have I nursed a healthy contempt for the aid industry. As I spent much of a decade wandering around the planet, taking local public transit through poor and/or unstable nations1, I kept encountering aid workers in their flashy white branded 4x4s, and was almost invariably resoundingly unimpressed. As I’ve written elsewhere: Most development aid is actively harmful. How to Make It as a First-Time Entrepreneur Vinicius Vacanti is co-founder and CEO of Yipit. Next posts on how to acquire users for free and how to raise a Series A. Don’t miss them by subscribing via email or via twitter. If you want your start-up to become the next big thing, it’s not good enough to just build a great product. Unless you can afford to buy users, you’ll have to grow virally. The difference between getting one of your new users to convince one friend to sign up and that person getting two new friends, is huge.

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