How to start a startup

Posted: October 29, 2020

有件有趣的事情是去看 Youtube 和 B 站上课程类视频各个 episode 的播放量变化曲线,你会发现绝大部分的曲线都是指数型衰减的。

Lecture 2 - Team and Execution (Sam Altman)


0:28 - Question: How to ID a market that is growing quickly? 1:23 - Question: How do you deal with Burnout as a Founder? 2:23 - Team: Cofounders 5:10 - What to look for in a cofounder. 7:22 - Try not to hire. 10:18 - Get the best people. 12:02 - Mediocre engineers do not build great companies. 15:00 - 3 Things to look for when you hire people. 18:40 - Employee Equity 19:57 - How to retain employees 22:11 - Fire fast 23:23 - Question: How do you balance fire people fast and making early employees feel secure? 24:33 - Question: When should cofounders decide on the equity split? 25:28 - Question: How do you know somebody will not scale up to a role as things go on and get crippling? 26:10 - Question: What happens when your relationship with your cofounder falls apart? 27:41 - Question: If you have to choose between hiring a suboptimal employee and losing customers to a competitor, what do you do? 28:19 - Question: Cofounders not working in the same location? 29:08 - Execution 30:33 - The CEO has five jobs 31:29 - Focus 35:56 - Intensity 38:50 - Every time you talk to them, they've gotten new things done. 41:31 - Always keep momentum. 44:32 - Set an operating rhythm.Show less



  • Idea
  • Product
  • Team
  • Execution

早期不需要招人,burn out rate 会比较高,可以几个创始人来做。等产品(MVP)做出来之后再考虑扩张,之后会专门有扩张期,快速扩张。

创业公司的前 10 号员工对一家公司的命运有着决定性的因素。


  • 是否聪明?
  • 是否能 GTD?
  • 我是否愿意和他们一起渡过时间? (所以一个很好的招人方式是,和候选人一起做一个小项目)

Good communication skills.

Risk tolenrant atitude, manically determined.

Animal test, describe employee as animal. Confortable reporting to (roles reversed)

10% in 4 years to first 10 employees. Be generous about equity to employees.

You've hired the best, now keep them around!

Treat them fairly. Not micromanage, founders take responsibility but praise team for success.


Fire fast!

  • being negative, toxic


Idea alone doesn't mean anything, only executes well that adds value.

The CEO has five jobs

  • Set the vision
  • Raise money
  • Evangelize
  • Hire and manage
  • Make sure the entire company executes
    • figure out what to do
    • how to get it done
      • focus
        • what are you spending time and money on
          • say no, a lot.
          • set overarching goals. repeat them.
            • let the whole team know and understand the goal
          • communicate.
        • what are the most important 2 or 3 things needed to be done in a day
      • intensity
        • startups only success with intense
        • startups are not fit for WLB
        • strong dedication & intense work (for founders, not for employees)
        • Relentless operating rhythm
        • Obsession with Execution Quality (quality also fast)
        • Bias towards action (not just talk, but act!)

    Always keep growth and momentum.

    The competitor to be feared is one who never bothers about you at all, but goes on making his own business better all the time. —- Henry Ford.

Lecture 3 - Before the Startup (Paul Graham)


2:00 Todays topic: A list of counter-intuitive stuff you need to remember to survive as a startup

4:18 [.1] One of the biggest mistakes founders make is ignoring their intuition.

5:32 [.2] What you need to succeed in a startup is NOT expertise in a startup. You will learn as you go along instead of "playing house". i.e. Just going through the motions of forming a start up.

11:24 [.3] Founding a startup is where gaming the system stops working. There's no tricks for making a successful business.

14:30 [.4] Startups are all consuming. It will take over your life. It never gets easier.

19:54 [.5] You can't tell if you've got what it takes to start a startup.

24:37 [.6] The way to get startup ideas is NOT to think of startup ideas. Instead, take a step back and turn your mind into one that generates startup ideas unconsciously.

31:20 Q&A

31:42 "How can a non-technical founder most contribute to a startup?"

33:00 "Is there value in business school if you're interested in entrepreneurship?"

34:48 "How do you manage just a few people?"

36:24 "Are we currently in a bubble?"

39:23 "What advice do you have for female founders?"

40:37 "What would you learn in college right now?"

43:34 "When do you know to turn a side project into a startup?"

44:52 "What kind of startup should not go through an incubator?"

47:32 "How do you deal with hiring a homogenous culture?"


其实前两节课已经讲的很清楚了,创业的核心四个要素:Ideas, Products, Teams and Execution

不要可以去凑 Idea,而是让自己的思维自动地找到 idea。凑的 idea,越是凑,越是糟糕,bad but plausible.

重要的是 make products that people love,然后融资就不是问题。