Notes: How to Build the Future – Jessica Livingston & Sam Altman

Just listened to this and wrote down some good info from the interview.

Focus –

Founders Are Totally Focused on Three Things: Building Their Product, Building Something People Want, and Talking to Their Users
Most Successful are Hyper Focused and don’t get…

Distracted –

Some Traps include: Talking to Big Companies to form partnerships or distribution for users, PR before nailing the Product, talking to Corp Dev people (but not interested in being acquired), VC’s (when you’re not fundraising), Events…

Knowing Your Product is a Hit –

When you have people using it, when you can measure your growth, when you are charging for your product (best thing!).

Starting Out –

Either begins as ‘lets build this product and see how it goes’ or (as in Stripes case), ‘Lets build it for ourselves and see how it goes’.
Most successful ones do have a grand vision. AirBnB during YC days said, ‘We want to be the Ebay of Space’. Founders all have a grand plan. But you can’t predict how big the idea will be (Brian Chesky didn’t nor did YC Partners).
Just start something. YC funds the company at the early stage, so basically for the founder. Lots of times they are not correct initially, and often need to readjust/pivot/evolve.

Important Traits –

#1 Determination (More than Intelligence, than Previous Success)
#2 Understanding Users, Building Great Product
#3 Don’t get Distracted
#4 Being Flexible Minded (Keep Testing and Go with Different Directions. Be open minded)
#5 Be a Good Leader (Will need to convince Employees to join, Deals with Business People, Convince why they should care about you)

Co-Founders –

It is critical to have 2 founders who know each other well.
Very hard to go at it alone as a Solo Founder.

YC Philosophy –

Always been founder focused. Money has to come after.
Founders that have been successful need to have a vision beyond just making money.

Preparation Before Becoming a Founder –

Learn to Code
Build Stuff with People (Doesn’t need to be the next Facebook, build what you want to use and solve your own problem, work with people, get used to listening to feedback, launching, talking to users)
Work at an Early Stage Startup

Advice to Female Founders –

Don’t worry about what people are saying (eg. that it’s harder for women in this industry)
Focus on your Product (eg. rather than focusing on being discriminated)

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