This is the third lecture given by Paul Graham. I was really looking forward to listen an speech of PG himself and I haven't been disappointed.

He will talk about some counter intuitive things about being an entrepreneur and on how to start a startup.

The first counterintuitive point is: you don't need expertise on how to create startups to create one yourself, but to deeply know your users and build a product for them. The majority of big startups have been founded by people that learn the rules during the process, not before.

A problem in learning a lot about how to create an startup is that you maybe be willing to get started forgetting the core: the idea. If you focus on how to rise capital or on Growth Hacks you are missing the point. You want to create a product that your users love. Everything else is not as important as that.

Startups are really time consuming, to a degree you cannot imagine. You have to be prepared to it, because everything will be depending on you. You lead by example, remember? You cannot show weakness or fear. You always must be there. Another thing is that it never gets easier, just that the nature of problems change.

For the reasons above, you cannot start a startup while in college because it will drain all your energies, and you cannot do the both things at the same time. What can you do while in college? Get the idea and cofounders.

Another counterintuitive point is telling if you will be able to keep up the hard job, long hours, pressure... during years. The problem is that you don't have a way of knowing it, to predict how tough and ambitious you'll become. So basically what PG is telling us is that there is no way of knowing it.

The last counterintuitive point is that the way of getting start up ideas is not to try to think of startup ideas. PG has a whole essay about this subject worth reading. As he says himself "the short version is that if you make a conscious effort to try to think of startup ideas, you will think of ideas that are not only bad but bad and plausible sounding. Meaning you and everybody else will be fooled by them. You'll waste a lot of time before realizing they're no good.". The way of getting ideas is to work on things you are interested in, no matter what if they can become a product. Get involved with technologies you really like and learn a lot about them. You'll get the necessary expertise to, first, live in the future and see future needs that are not currently fulfilled and to be the very best on one subject you love.

Final notes

This lecture is really worth watching. While its not exceptional, PG has some charisma that I cannot reproduce in this summarized version of the talk.

Unfortunately, the comments on HackerNews or Reddit about this talk are not really interesting because the lack of discussion.