How to Start a Startup
March 2005 (This essay is derived from a talk at the Harvard Computer Society.) You need three things to create a successful startup: to start with good people, to make something customers actually want, and to spend as little money as possible. Most startups that fail do it because they fail at one of these. A startup that does all three will probably succeed. And that's kind of exciting, when you think about it, because all three are doable. If there is one message I'd like to get across about startups, that's it. The Idea In particular, you don't need a brilliant idea to start a startup around. Google's plan, for example, was simply to create a search site that didn't suck. There are plenty of other areas that are just as backward as search was before Google. For example, dating sites currently suck far worse than search did before Google. An idea for a startup, however, is only a beginning. What matters is not ideas, but the people who have them. People What do I mean by good people?
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