lectures from standford office hours and ycombinator

I’ve been watching tons of lectures from Stanford Office Hours and Y Combinator talks. I’ve come across several insights that may not be immediately apparent but are worth retaining. So here’s a short list as I venture on to build new products.

It’s easier to build harder things than easier things. As you’re going to deal with financial, technological, regulatory, and operational issues, it’s easiest to deal with them by aligning and partner with best talent for that role. Talent with specialized knowledge, who have both the theoretical and practical experience or diversity of skills at the high level tend to command high salaries or build companies themselves. In fact, to your advantage, they seek them. So build the large scale problem if the next point isn’t a roadblock.

If you are tackling an audacious goal, having some form of safety is not only sane but can limit cloudy judgements. This is primarily why building something small, actionable and profitable makes a lot of sense as your V1. There are a lot more of the latter than the former, not out of choice but circumstances. They simply aren’t reflected enough in public circles.

When new technology is created, it often inspires new groups of innovators who build on its success. These innovators continue to dominate through these network effects. If you discover groups of people spending a significant time in new mediums of exchange, it is ripe for disruption. ie. Internet, App Store

Build something 20 people love vs what 100 users try out. The caveat is that audience needs to continue coming back and that is the only KPI worths striving for. Attention solves most problems. If you can’t think of what 20 people will love build it anyways, as you’ll learn capture something from that journey that can propel the next iteration. Also talk to customers the right way.

 
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