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The Best Startup Advice You’ll Ever Receive


Brit Morin: Start something you’re genuinely passionate about.

I think the most important thing is to make sure the business you want to start is something you are *personally* passionate about, not just a big business idea. You have to fight and grind every single day, and you’ll be less likely to give up during the hard times if it’s something you deeply care about. I tell people all the time that if Brit + Co died tomorrow, I’d still be doing many of the same things. This is a business I can see myself running for the rest of my life. — Brit Morin, Founder & CEO of Brit + Co.

Jack Dorsey: Find good people to support you.

Reflect on what drives you and what you’re naturally passionate about. And find good people to support you. — Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter & Square.

Doug Menuez: Align your passion with how you make a living.

Align your passion with how you make a living. In the end it’s all about what you are willing to do to accomplish your dreams, to use your potential. Life is too short to not stop and figure out what you care about and go do that. That’s also the secret to happiness :). But it’s really hard of course and can take years to get there, if ever. — Doug Menuez, Documentary photographer/Filmmaker

Ben Casnocha: What you decide to do with your life will change over time.

When it comes to the question “What should I do with my life?,” you often hear three different common pieces of advice. Some say, “Play to your strengths.” In other words, figure out what you’re good at, and go do that. Some say, “Follow your passion.” In other words, figure out what you like to do, and build a life around that. And then others say, “Figure out what the market needs and go do that.” This is the “tiger mom” approach (i.e. There’s a nursing shortage in California? Go become a nurse.).

What’s problematic is that each of these common pieces of advice, when taken on their own, is insufficient. What if your passion is playing the violin or something else that’s awfully hard to monetize? Or what if you’re not passionate about what you’re good at? And if you just pursue a career based on what the market needs, you may not be able to do it for very long because you may not enjoy it.

Finally, the answers to any of these questions will change. Your assets change. Your aspirations change. The market changes. You always have to iterate on your plans to account for these changes. There’s no one right, permanent answer to the question. Ben Casnocha, Co-author of The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age.

Molly Graham: Listen to what your gut says. Trust it.

Wait for the moment when your gut or your heart makes itself VERY clear about hard decisions. The other thing…you should ALWAYS follow wonderful people that you want to learn from more than almost anything else in your career. I have been so lucky to get to learn from many, many amazing people. — Molly Graham, COO, Quip.

James Altucher: Think about what you were interested in as a kid.

There’s never that “one thing” you are supposed to be doing. Don’t forget—the average multi-millionaire (and this is from tax data) has seven different sources of income, at least.

But one start is to think about all of the things you were interested in from the ages of 6–18. How does that translate into the modern day today? If you loved writing, maybe self-publish a book. If you loved stocks, think about finance. If you loved computers, think about coding—and so on. I find our passions at the age of 10 tend to age gracefully with us and grow with the times, but we often forget them in law school, says. — James Altucher, Entrepreneur, Podcaster, and Bestselling Author.

Kimmy Scotti: Don’t worry so much!

I think I would have told myself ten years ago to just worry less. I was so focused on my work/company/etc. that I didn’t stop to look around and realize how fun it all was in the process. Now I am more present—at the end of a busy day, even when it’s a really, really hard one, I’m super grateful for the work I get to do. — Kimmy Scotti, General Partner at Formation 8.

Andrew Chen: Find your superpower

Learn to be T-shaped; be good at a bunch of stuff, but then have a clear superpower where you’re world class. To be world class at something, you’ll have to work on a single thing night and day for years. Spend time writing and reflecting—more than reading, and more than reading tweets. It’s good to blend your work and your hobbies; that says you enjoy your work enough to do it all the time. Don’t sell your time for a living. — Andrew Chen, Supply Growth, Uber.

Ken Norton: Write your resume 10 years from now

Jonathan Rosenberg, former SVP of Product at Google, used to ask all the product managers on his team to write their resumes in 10 years. Where do you want to be? I was skeptical until I did it. I realized pretty quickly that my resume in 10 years didn’t say “CEO.” I didn’t want to be a CEO. But I hadn’t explicitly stated that, and in many ways the PM career path defaults to the CEO career path. Knowing I wanted something different helped me be more deliberate about my career decisions and communicating my goals to others. — Ken Norton, Partner, Google Ventures.

Kathryn Minshew: “No” is often just the starting point.

The best piece of advice I ever received was that “no” is often just the starting point.

Most careers worth having involve a fair amount of determination, grit, and just general “try try again”-ing. That’s been true ten times over at The Muse, and I’m so glad I learned it early! — Kathryn Minshew, Founder & CEO, The Muse.

Jeff Atwood: Whatever you want to do, start yesterday.

Whatever you want to do, start yesterday. Start earlier. Start NOW. The sooner you start, the sooner you can reap the benefits or figure out that it isn’t going to work.

And you won’t need to wonder “what if” because you did it already. There is nothing more painful than the “what ifs” you carry around inside your head. So act on them! Now! DO IT! JUST DO IT! — Jeff Atwood, Co-founder of StackExchange and Discourse.



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Product Hunt. (2018, March 28). The best startup advice you'll ever receive. Medium. Retrieved May 26, 2022, from


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