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How to Start a Startup Week 7: Top Three Takeaways

Last week we published our Top Three Takeaways from Week 6 of Stanford’s How to Start a Startup course. If you are sitting hear wondering, “what the heck is How to Start a Startup?” see below. Otherwise, scroll down to see our top three takeaways from week 7 of How to Start a Startup. Learn lots and enjoy!

Over the next several weeks, Y Combinator President, Sam Altman, is teaching a Stanford course lecture series designed to be a one-class business course for people who want to start startups. It is “everything [they] know about how to start a startup, for free, from some of the world experts.”

The caliber of founders and startup gurus lined up to talk is impressive. Several of our Maestronauts decided they wanted to follow along and learn from the successes and challenges that are shared. So over the next several weeks we are meeting before work to watch and discuss the lectures.

1. Be flexible, be persistent.

Sounds like something your mother would say, right? When you’re a founder balancing your persistence with flexibility is a prized talent. Things aren’t always going to go your way. You’re going to have to choose between finishing this and starting that. You have to push through adversity and pivot when things don’t go your way.

2. Delegate, but remember everything is still your responsibility.

Yes, you are just one person. And, most likely, you won’t be able to do everything yourself, so delegate the work. Pass it off to one of your equally capable and intelligent employees to complete. Sounds like a relief, right? The ironic part is that things don’t necessarily get easier when you delegate work, your just role shifts. You are still responsible for all of the good and the bad.

3. You need some ammunition and some barrels

People are either ammunition or barrels. Maximize your probability of success by creating a team that has both ammunition and barrels. You need both and you want both. Your ammunition is the majority of your team, they work hard and they get things done. On the other hand, a barrel is a person who “can take an idea from conception, take it all the way to shipping and bring people with them.”Barrels are very difficult to find, when you find them treat them right. The velocity of your company improves when you have barrels, but remember you have to stock your barrels with ammunition.

Want to watch the lectures yourself? Follow along on Sam Altman’s page or subscribe to the YouTube channel!

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