Y Combinator has a great post that starts with 3 questions:
1. What are some things that you should’ve known as a first-time founder but did not?
2. How did you learn them?
3. How did they help?
They collected responses from a bunch of founders and there is some great stuff in here.
Part of me wonders though how much it will resonate with someone who hasn’t yet dealt with the issues raised.
I see so much good advice in here, based on lessons learned the hard way across the 3 companies I have started, but part of doing a tech startup is having a certain amount of healthy delusion. Delusion about how good your idea is and your likelihood of succeeding.
This is necessary because startups are one of those endeavors where if you knew how hard it was going to be and how long it was going to take, you would never do it. People will tell you you are crazy. You will hit roadblock after roadblock. You need this delusion to persevere.
But it is also your Achilles Heel. How do you recognize good advice (on hiring for example) but ignore bad advice (on your go-to-market model say)? Here your healthy delusion can become just plain old delusion and you end up having to learn the lessons the hard way.