Mike Knapp


11 Tips For First Time Founders

Y Combinator recently published a collection of advice from some of their portfolio companies — it was great, but very long.

Here is a summary of the top 11 tips, sorted by frequency:

  1. learn how to properly hire, manage and fire (and, fire fast) — it’s your core job
    (9 mentions)
  2. ensure you have a great relationship with co-founders and significant others; deeply think about — and document — how you will handle future scenarios 
    (6 mentions)
  3. define your customer very precisely & really listen to them
    (6 mentions)
  4. avoid hiring too many people (e.g. interns) or overpriced consultants 
    (5 mentions)
  5. hire and delegate to experienced people; people who are better than you 
    (4 mentions)
  6. avoid distractions; e.g. building a personal brand, meeting with the wrong investors, conferences 
    (4 mentions)
  7. find the best process for making the“right” decisions at your company
    (4 mentions)
  8. be less adversarial / learn how to take feedback well
    (4 mentions)
  9. take care of yourself physically and mentally 
    (3 mentions)
  10. address the elephant in the room; don’t be afraid to change course if what you’re doing isn’t working 
    (3 mentions)
  11. worry about money — and learn how to keep track of it 
    (2 mentions)

The full article can be found here.

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