On founder archetypes 🔎
Younger founders should take market risk (market that are small or doesn't exist yet)
Older founders should take execution risk (market is very clear & execution, expertise, and relationships are the differentiator).
On strong ideas 💪
The best ideas sound terrible at first
But this a good thing (it means there’s less competition)
Also, the truly good ideas don’t sound like they’re worth stealing (so don’t be afraid to share your idea with others)
Top down vs bottom up 🔝
A new technology or regulation came out & I want to methodologically navigate what can be uniquely built as a result
→ Celebrate "distance traveled" on an idea rather than landing on an idea. Don't rus
Tops-down often struggle b/c they focus too high-level & long-term, not enough on what's in front of them.
Instead, find the little thing you can execute against for the next few months....that could lead to this larger thing.
I experienced this problem, & built X to solve it
... Both can work, but there's a stigma against tops-down
Double miracles 🧞 🧞♀️
Don't pursue double miracle startups (or "bank shots").
A startup miracle is the key difficult thing you need to pull off for your startup to work.
Startups should only require one miracle, not two.
If it takes more than a sentence to explain what you’re doing, it’s almost always a sign that it’s “too complicated"!
A common trope in VC is to ask whether the most important thing is the product, market, or team...
Consider two frameworks: The Peter Thiel approach + Keith Rabois approach
Thiel: Pick a niche you can monopolize and expand outwards from there
Rabois: Go “horizontal” - find trillion dollar markets + build full-stack, vertically integrated solutions.
Timing is everything ⏲️
Another framework: Look at ideas that were tried before but failed.
There was a board game called “Monopoly” which already existed int he 1900s and failed quite a few time. Guess you’ve heard of it. Times change - what else is different now?
Other "stupid" failed ideas were: social networking & games, reviews & group discount buying
Good ideas pan out eventually!
Local Maxima 〽️
"Is this idea I'm pursuing a local maxima?"
Bad local maxima: You don't have unfair domain expertise, relationships, or a special insight—or the market is anomalously bad
Good local maxima: You have a proprietary advantage in a good market—nobody can build that company like you