Stoicism & Startup Directives | Studying Success

Stoicism & Startup Directives | Studying Success


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Stoicism is a great operating model for startups and high-stress environments.

Separate what you can control from what you can’t control.

Example: other people’s relationships.

Fear Setting

Practice fear setting quarterly.

  1. Ask “What if” and define several worst case scenarios.

  2. Determine “what can I do” to prevent those worst case scenarios.

  3. Problem solve “how can I” repair any damage that may happen.

Getting Into YCombinator

Do not be a solo founder. The road it too difficult to go it alone.

If you want investors to take you seriously most will only work with companies incorporated as a Deleware C crop.

Clerky is a tool that makes this easier.

YC takes 7% in your company for $120,000 of capital & advising.

Use YC to network & ask as many questions as possible.

YC wants startups to have at least 10% growth every week.

As a CEO ensure you give your co-founder a substantial stake in a company to keep them on board for the long haul.

As a CEO your first real test is to find talented people and sell them on why they should forgo their lucrative career to work with you on a startup.

Selling As a Startup

  • Focus on selling to the innovators. The 2.5% of people who “get it”

It’s a numbers game.

Out of 100 sales, pitches expect 98 of those people to say “no”.

Or approximately 1/50 will say “yes”.

If someone says “I would, but it needs this one more feature” consider it a no.

  • Go to conferences.

Line up meetings with attendees prior to the event & schedule 30-minute meetings with each prospect.

  • Sales are about listening to customer problems.

Don’t try to convince the customer why they should buy from you.

  • Be extremely persistent with follow-ups.

It could take 50 tries to land a large contract or sale.

However, if the sale is worth $100,000 it’s worth the effort.

YCombinator has a sales template:

Y Combinator Sales Template Agreement

  • Don’t offer free trials.

Instead, of free trails, offer a 30-day cancellation policy.

You want the default option to be to buy into the product.

Christopher Janz

Sell few customers at a large price tag.

Sell many customers at a small price tag.

And anywhere in between.