Advice


YC’s Essential Startup Advice

A lot of the advice we give startups is tactical; meant to be helpful on a day to day or week to week basis. But some advice is more fundamental. We’ve collected here what we at YC consider the most important, most transformative advice for startups. Whether common sense or counter-intuitive, the guidance below will help most startups find their path to success.

The Customization Curve

A few months ago, I was talking to a startup about how individual customers wanted them to do different things. I think about this optimization as operating along three variables: cost of customization, happiness generated, and cost to support that customization. The goal is to find a level of customization that makes as many customers as possible happy while not incurring support costs – through personnel or burn – that would kill your company.

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The Two Most Common Mistakes Growth Stage Founders Make

In this Office Hours excerpt, Ali Rowghani shares the two most common mistakes growth stage founders make. They are: 1. Not recognizing the job description changes as you grow. 2. Rushing or forcing hiring.

How to Get Started with App Store Optimization

The key challenge for organic strategies for mobile is app store optimization, commonly known as ASO. ASO is the process of optimizing elements which allow an app to have the maximum visibility for specific search terms in Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store. This post covers how to get started.

Read This Before You Build Uber for X

We still hear it all the time: “I’m building the Uber for X.” That idea – an app that lets consumers get a specific service when they need it, while giving service professionals (“pros”) immediate work – makes complete sense. It worked great for local transportation services, so why could it not be applicable across all types of industries?

Lessons From a Quarter Million Emails

Every weekend I send a newsletter, The Prepared, to a few thousand people. It focuses on engineering & manufacturing, where I’ve worked for about a decade, and over the past three and a half years it has become a core part of my career. Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way.

A Guide to Machine Learning PhDs

A machine learning learning PhD doesn’t only open up some of the highest-paying jobs around, it sets you up to have an outsized positive impact on the world. This comprehensive guide on machine learning PhDs from 80,000 Hours (YC S15) will help you get started.

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