Paul Graham has been a source of wisdom and advice for countless entrepreneurs over the past few decades. He started Y-Combinator, the world’s most successful startup incubator/accelerators and many of the most successful starts today were born at YC – from Dropbox to AirBnB and Stripe. His writings are available for free on his website and below we’ve highlighted a few of our absolute favorites.
How to Write Usefully
What should an essay be? Many people would say persuasive. That’s what a lot of us were taught essays should be. But I think we can aim for something more ambitious: that an essay should be useful. Read More >>
How to Do What You Love
To do something well you have to like it. That idea is not exactly novel. We’ve got it down to four words: “Do what you love.” But it’s not enough just to tell people that. Doing what you love is complicated. Read More >>
Six Principles for Making New Things
Here it is: I like to find (a) simple solutions (b) to overlooked problems (c) that actually need to be solved, and (d) deliver them as informally as possible, (e) starting with a very crude version 1, then (f) iterating rapidly. Read More >>
What Happened to Yahoo
When I went to work for Yahoo after they bought our startup in 1998, it felt like the center of the world. It was supposed to be the next big thing. It was supposed to be what Google turned out to be.
What went wrong? The problems that hosed Yahoo go back a long time, practically to the beginning of the company. They were already very visible when I got there in 1998. Yahoo had two problems Google didn’t: easy money, and ambivalence about being a technology company. Read More >>
The Age of the Essay
The most obvious difference between real essays and the things one has to write in school is that real essays are not exclusively about English literature. Certainly schools should teach students how to write. But due to a series of historical accidents the teaching of writing has gotten mixed together with the study of literature. And so all over the country students are writing not about how a baseball team with a small budget might compete with the Yankees, or the role of color in fashion, or what constitutes a good dessert, but about symbolism in Dickens.
With the result that writing is made to seem boring and pointless. Who cares about symbolism in Dickens? Dickens himself would be more interested in an essay about color or baseball. Read More >>