Jan Kubr

Posts Tagged ‘jessica livingston’

Founders at Work quotes 2

In Uncategorized on February 23, 2008 at 15:11

Finally I finished reading Founders at Work. My biggest take away? It is incredibly hard to bring your startup to success. You need to work super hard for a few years and have incredible amount of perseverance and passion. And I doubt it is only the examples Jessica Livingston shows us in the book. It even discouraged me a bit to start a “real” startup.. At least without a strong co-founder or a very very good idea.

Building a startup is not about getting rich easily. If this is your main goal, you’re going to fail. You need to love what you’re doing and want to change the world. The money might come as a nice side effect. If you’re lucky.

The second thing I realized is the are million and one way to build a startup. If someone says something doesn’t work, he might actually mean, “It didn’t work for me.” It might work just fine for you though. And the other way round as well; purely replicate someone else without paying close attention to your own situation will kill you.

Brewster Kahle, WAIS Internet Archive, Alexa

“The Macintoshes were helpful because they had TCP/IP for them, where Windows didn’t. It wasn’t until Windows 95 came out 6 years later that Microsoft caught up.”

It made me think: Will Microsoft catch up again when there’s enough money in this “new web” stuff?

“We’re now in 2006, and it’s hard to believe how pathetic things are. We don’t even have books online yet. I don’t know why the world moves so slowly. Everybody says, ‘Oh, it’s moving so fast.’ And it’s like, ‘No, I don’t think so. It’s been forever.'”

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Founders at Work quotes part 1

In Uncategorized on February 1, 2008 at 22:27

I have been reading this great book Founders at Work which consists of interviews with many startup founders about their beginnings. I’ve read a little bit over a half and realized I’ve bookmarked too many quotes already. So I decided to put them up here in two parts instead of doing the traditional one “A book read” post.

Max Levchin, Paypal

Livingston: “What can big companies do to preserve a startup culture?”

Levchin: “I don’t know. Less PowerPoints. (…) As you grow larger, you need more structure and organization and meetings. My theory is that you sort of subdivide, and you make smaller units and you give them a lot of power and responsibility. You let them make it or break it. But I have no practical knowledge as to whether this works or not.”

“I think we didn’t know what we were doing. I think the hallmark of a really good entrepreneur is that you’re not really going to build one specific company. The goal – at least the way I think about entrepreneurship – is you realize one day that you can’t really work for anyone else. You have to start your own thing. It almost doesn’t matter what that thing is. We had six different business plan changes, and the the last one was PayPal.

“‘We’re trying this, this week.’ Every week you go to investors and say, ‘We’re doing this, exactly this. We’re really focused. We’re going to be huge.’ The next week you’re like, ‘That was a lie.'”

“‘We changed our business plan.’ And these guys were like, ‘What?’ They just put down $4 million to see something happen, and we said, ‘Sorry, we’re not going to do that; we’re going to do this.'”

Joe Kraus, Excite

“You never know anything. The hardest part in a startup is that you wake up one morning, and you feel great about the day, and you think, ‘We’re kicking ass.’ And then you wake up the next morning, and you think ‘We’re dead.’ And literally nothing’s changed.”

“Even up to the time when Excite was several hundred people and we were the fourth largest website in the world, it didn’t feel real. It doesn’t feel like you’re really doing something huge. On some level it feels like you’re fooling people – like, are we really doing this?

“It’s the whole sausage and sausage factory problem: when you’re outside and you only see the sausage coming out you think, ‘That’s pretty tasty.’ When you’re on the inside and you know how it’s made, it’s terrifying. (…) It’s never, ‘We set out this well-orchestrated plan, we’re executing it, it’s going exactly according to plan.'”

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