Stanford University is teaching a course on startups, called “How to Start a Startup”. Several universities across the world are streaming it in groups. In Stockholm, the first lecture was streamed yesterday at SUP46 (Start-Up People of Sweden). Here are some notes from the event (speakers: Sam Altman and Dustin Moskovitz).
What you need to have a successful startup
- A great idea.
- A great product, based on your great idea.
- A great team.
- A great execution.
The idea is very important:
- Competition won’t kill your startup. But if you don’t have a great idea, you won’t go far.
- You need a real problem to solve, and you need to be passionate about it.
- You need to think about market: start with a few users who really love your product; they’ll give you feedback. Then expand. The first users will spread the word and you’ll end up with a lot of users. But the market has to be real: you need to do something people want and care about.
- Good startups are based on good ideas that seem bad at first (see Facebook, or Google).
- Ideas comes from problems in everyday life. Find a problem, something that doesn’t work: there’s an opportunity there.
Why do you want to start a startup?
- You’ll be your own boss.
- You’ll have flexibility.
- You’ll make more money.
- You’ll have a bigger impact.
None of this is actually true.
- You’ll have a lot of bosses: employees, users, partners, etc.
- You’ll work 24/7. Being an entrepreneur is not easy.
- You can become rich by being an employee at a good company, instead.
- You can have greater impact by being an employee at a good company.
So, why do it? Because you need to. And because you’re passionate about the problem you want to solve.