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Oct 30 / Vivi

Like happiness, startups are something that happens while you have other goals

Yesterday I attended Startup School with an amazing speaker lineup. It’s not every day that you get to hear speak Mark Zuckerberg, Marc Anderssen, Matt Mullenweg or Max Levchin in the same day, only to name a few of the amazing speakers.

The speakers had some really memorable sound bytes

  • If I were starting now, I would have stayed in Boston. Valley is a little short-term focused.” – Mark Zuckerberg
  • The biggest risk is not taking any risk. The only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” – Mark Zuckerberg
  • If you’re doing it right, you should be making errors equally on both sides of moving too slow and moving too fast.” – Mark Zuckerberg.
  • The best ideas come from people solving problems, not people trying to build startup ideas.” – Paul Graham
  • Design and user experience are the new intellectual property.” – Ron Conway
  • You need to be, or be sleeping with, someone who uses your software every day.” – Matt Mullenweg
  • I don’t mind being on the Titanic, but I want to be the one steering it.” – Matt Mullenweg
  • A classic engineering mistake and one I’ve made is confusing what is hard and what is valuable.” – Max Levchin
  • If you want to be Zuckerberg, the best you are ever going to do is 2nd place…nobody can be a better Mark Zuckerberg than Mark Zuckerberg.” – Ashton Kutcher

If you have some memorable quotes I missed, let me know. :-)

Everybody has advice, and they mostly advice you to ignore it

Almost every speaker outlined how much each of the super successful entrepreneurs had no clue what they were doing. They just cared a lot about what they were doing, and they cared so much that they just pushed through everything until they made it happen.

That seems to somewhat contrast to today’s startup culture where founders seems to be feverishly learning how to do startups, advice and good practices seem to be all around us. We’re so flooded with stories from all sides that a lot of people forget the real goal.

Like happiness, startups are something that happens while you have other goals

If you focus on being happy as a goal in itself, you never will be.

Same thing seems to apply to startups too, if you want to build a startup for the sake of building a startup it seems like more often than not you’ll fail.

Most success stories are a result of pursuing a different goal – trying to solve a real problem of the founders, trying to change the world, passion for a particular thing that should exist.

The successful company comes only a side effect, a result, a means to an end where the end goal is the problem being solved.

You can watch the talks too

The recorded talks seem to be online here. At the very least you should watch Max Levchin’s talk if you don’t have time for any other.

4 Comments

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  1. kerry / Oct 30 2011

    “If I were starting now I would do things very differently. I didn’t know anything. In Silicon Valley, you get this feeling that you have to be out here. But it’s not the only place to be. If I were starting now, I would have stayed in Boston. [Silicon Valley] is a little short-term focused and that bothers me.” -zuckerberg

    Come back to NYC! Okay or go to Boston.

    • Vivi / Oct 31 2011

      Or both! :-)

  2. Vali / Nov 4 2011

    “Just launch the damn thing already!” Max Levchin

  3. kellogs / Nov 6 2011

    >>“Design and user experience are the new intellectual property.” – Ron Conway

    Ste Jobs himself could not have mustered it better.

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