Paul Graham of YC in this lecture of How to Start a Startup talks about why “counter intuitiveness” is championed at successful startups. Trusting intuitions gets a veto from Paul because it unfailingly leads you astray.
Progressively picking up new habits and wringing out impulses is key to building a successful startup, says Paul. Here are the list of 6 counter-intuitive points that he says, should be the epicentre of your efforts,
Your intuition is your arch nemesis except when it comes to people
“If you remember nothing more than that, when you’re about to make a mistake, you will at least pause before making it”, quips Paul. But on the contrary, he explains it’s best to be self-indulgent when it comes to understanding people.
Expertise in startup is not directly proportional to success in startups
Paul reiterates that the only thing that will keep you on top of the game is to build something that people absolutely love. The upshot – growth hacks don’t exist.
Starting a startup is when gaming the system stops working
There is no boss to trick – just users who want a product that makes their life easier. Raising funds is easier when you have a good product as opposed to a flat usage graph.
Startups are needy and all-consuming
He affirms a common founder sentiment – it never gets any easier. So, according to Paul, it’s gratuitously stupid to start a business at 20.
Startups are by nature unpredictable too
In startups, just like in the military, the swaggering recruits are no more likely to be tough than the quiet ones. There is no correlation between the attitudes of the founders when they start out to how things actually turn out.
The modus operandi to getting startup ideas is to not think about them
To get rid off those bad but plausible-sounding ideas, a. Learn about things that matter, b. Solve problems that interests you and c. Work on them with people you like and respect.
The ultimate startup arsenal is domain expertise and to fuel that genuine intellectual curiosity – just learn. [Paul Graham]