A Student’s Guide to Startups by Paul Graham


paul graham quote

IMO, there is no one in the startup world who puts his points across better than him. Here is an essay by Paul Graham on student startups.

PG addresses the issue of student startups. Should/shouldn’t one startup while he is in college? If so what are the pros and cons? What is the ideal age to startup?

According to PG, mid-twenties is the sweet spot for starting up.

1. Access to co-founders
2. Not much expenses
3. Stamina
4. Ignorance

1. Failure isn’t a big deal. So, hard to find motivation.
2. Building startups as if they were class projects.
a) Going after unreal problems.
b) Lack of intensity
3. Lack of work experience

So, PG answer to you if you want to startup is – No! Succeeding as a musician takes determination as well as talent, so this answer works out to be the right advice for everyone. The ones who are uncertain believe it and give up, and the ones who are sufficiently determined think “screw that, I’ll succeed anyway.” If you are the determined type, you better startup now.

So what now? Suppose you think you might start a startup at some point. One thing you can do while you’re still in school is to learn how startups work. Working for a startup give you a chance to understand how startups work. It gives you an oppurtunity to understand what works and what doesn’t. These could be the most important lessons, which might help you when you finally startup.



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