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Do Things that Don't Scale

Do Things that Don't Scale
July 2013 One of the most common types of advice we give at Y Combinator is to do things that don't scale. A lot of would-be founders believe that startups either take off or don't. You build something, make it available, and if you've made a better mousetrap, people beat a path to your door as promised. Or they don't, in which case the market must not exist. [1] Actually startups take off because the founders make them take off. Recruit The most common unscalable thing founders have to do at the start is to recruit users manually. Stripe is one of the most successful startups we've funded, and the problem they solved was an urgent one. Startups building things for other startups have a big pool of potential users in the other companies we've funded, and none took better advantage of it than Stripe. There are two reasons founders resist going out and recruiting users individually. The other reason founders ignore this path is that the absolute numbers seem so small at first. Fragile Fire

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