Advice for Young Entrepreneurs

Startup advice for young entrepreneurs.

Note: I originally published this back in November of 2015 on Medium. Reposting it here on my personal blog. My writing style has changed over the years, so please be nice.

Let your curiosity grow into an obsession.

If you’re going the route of doing this crazy thing and starting a company, that’s got to be the product of some obsessive-compulsiveness around the idea.

It’s like falling in love.

Falling in love is great, but you want to think through everything. A lot of entrepreneurs are love-struck with their idea, but lack the passion to push through when the times get tough.

Spoiler: hard times are inevitable.


Become obsessed with useful things.

Artists can become obsessed with paintings they want to create, musicians with songs they want to write, and that’s wonderful.

However, as an entrepreneur, you’d better have your obsession tuned to things that are of use to people.

This is not about do-gooderism, it’s about making stuff that people need and like. This reminds me of the Y Combinator motto: make something people want.

You can tinker with ideas that are technologically interesting, or artistically interesting, but that’s not enough.


Don’t flock to watering holes; dig wells.

There are lots of watering holes out there, but if all the sheep are running toward the same one, it’s going to run out pretty fast.

Good entrepreneurs are going to say, “it doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks. Where are the sheep not going?”

If you’re a good entrepreneur, it’s like being a shepherd.

You’re finding a place that people didn’t know about and leading the herd there, instead of following everyone else.