Startup advice and the clarity of experience
Recently, I watched a few experienced people get up in front of an audience and talk about lessons they’ve learned building companies, investing in companies, buying companies, selling companies, and making products. About five years ago, I watched a similar group of people give the same kinds of talks, on a similar looking stage, with a similar audience. The difference is that, years later, my interpretation of the content has completely changed.
The first few times I went to startup conferences, I thought everything seemed so obvious. Listen to your users, they said. Never settle on hiring, they said. Focus on unrelenting growth, they said. Startup advice seemed so vague. But those things I remember were the wrong things to focus on. The bit of experience I now have has given me the ability to see between the lines of stereotypical advice, and to better interpret lessons that on the
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