Words of Wisdom from Sam Altman

by Scott Edward Walker on September 3rd, 2018

To Our Clients & Friends:  Welcome to our series “Helping Entrepreneurs Succeed.”  Each week (or two), we share a favorite video clip of a successful entrepreneur, investor or business leader on a variety of topics.  This week, we present Sam Altman, the President of Y Combinator and co-chairman of OpenAI.

In this interesting recent presentation at Startup School 2018, Sam shares some words of wisdom with respect to how to succeed with a startup, including the following nuggets:

  • “If you can build a product that is so good people spontaneously tell their friends about it, you have done 80% of the work that you need to be a really successful startup.” (at 0:30)
  • “What you really want to do is identify a market that will grow every year and be able to ride that ‘up’ elevator.” (at 1:53)
  • “It’s easier to start a hard startup than it is to start an easy startup… How is this going to evolve into a vision that a lot of people want to help with…?” (at 4:25)
  • “The entire startup ecosystem is best set-up to support companies that have a low chance of success but are you just if they work.” (at 6:14)
  • “If you don’t have the spirit of optimism on the team, is very hard to succeed when the world continues to punch you in the face.” (at 7:40)
  • “Startups, especially in their early days, often win my moving very quickly.” (at 9:12)
  • “One of the most important jobs you have as a founder is to never lose momentum.” (at 10:20)

I hope you enjoy it.  Cheers, Scott

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