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But most of those weren't truly smart, so our third test was largely a restatement of the first.
When nerds are unbearable it's usually because they're trying too hard to seem smart.
March 2005(This essay is derived from a talk at the Harvard Computer Society.)You need three things to create a successful startup: to start with good people, to make something customers actually want, and to spend as little money as possible.
Most startups that fail do it because they fail at one of these.
A lot of would-be startup founders think the key to the whole process is the initial idea, and from that point all you have to do is execute. If you go to VC firms with a brilliant idea that you'll tell them about if they sign a nondisclosure agreement, most will tell you to get lost. The market price is less than the inconvenience of signing an NDA.
Another sign of how little the initial idea is worth is the number of startups that change their plan en route.
Call the person's image to mind and imagine the sentence "so-and-so is an animal." If you laugh, they're not. That last test filters out surprisingly few people.Ideas for startups are worth something, certainly, but the trouble is, they're not transferrable.They're not something you could hand to someone else to execute.The way a startup makes money is to offer people better technology than they have now.But what people have now is often so bad that it doesn't take brilliance to do better.