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Startup School And Survivor Bias

Startup School And Survivor Bias

Source: Jesse Fornear

Stashed in: YCombinator, Zuck!, @bhorowitz, @paulg, Weebly, startups, startup, Uber, Cognitive Bias

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Startup School 2012 was this weekend. Paul Graham inspired a thousand entrepreneurs with interviews of Zuck, Ben Horowitz, and Ron Conway, plus talks from the founders of Uber, Pinterest, Stripe, Weebly, Stack Overflow, and Github.

Jesse Fornear was there and took notes.

Here are my favorites:

Y Combinator has funded over 460 startups, the vast majority are unheard of and presumably not breakthrough successes like Airbnb or Dropbox (yet?). This number alone was one of the more interesting data points of the day. Will Dropbox and Airbnb pay for it all 10x over?

It was awe-inspiring when Stripe, Uber, and Weebly shared their stories and presented their growth trajectories. They all went through the infamous trough of sorrow before finding product-market fit in their respective markets (without pivoting?).

Startup School is an inspiring event, but let's be honest, it's mostly an exercise in survivorship bias. For every successful startup that has ran their bank account down to $100, maxed out their credit cards, had trouble fundraising, etc., dozens (hundreds?) more have done the same but ended up in the deadpool.

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