This article by Paul Graham is by far the best crash course I’ve ever read on finding good investors for your start-up and what else you should do to succeed. It not only gives you good advice on how to attract “smart money” but it also has some great tips how you can combine the search for money with that other–equally, if not more, important–task: shipping your groundbreaking product or service.
The article is chock full of good advice, wit, and humor. Paul writes that with this article (quote) [Y Combinator] open-sources the kernel of what [we] tell founders about funding at Y Combinator (unquote).
Paul’s new company Y Combinator must be fun to work with! Instead of dancing around each other about anti-dilution terms, 50 page contracts, pre-money valuation, vesting and all the other things that have cost me tons of time in the past, Y Combinator seems to focus on getting you off the ground by enabling you to get the idea right (which sometimes takes a few months, twists and turns and usually means you have to adapt the idea several times). Real creativity can only exist in an environment where creativity is fostered. Money, so it seems, is just a catalyst for Y Combinator.
Also highly recommended is Paul’s book Hackers and Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age.
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