What's the best advice you've ever received?

This Week at YC

January 5th, 2024

And we're back! Happy New Year.

In the last newsletter of 2023, I asked you all to write in and let me know if you had plans to build something cool this year. The responses were awesome, ranging from fun personal projects* to wild startup ideas.

(* speaking of personal projects, I’m loving this blog post that surfaced on HN this week: "An app can be a home-cooked meal" by Robin Sloan.)

A few people responded with something along the lines of: "I’ve got startup idea x, y, and z, but don't know which one to actually build. Which one is the right one?"

Here’s the thing: the answer very much depends on the person asking. Their experiences, their insights, their knowledge. We just so happened to ask Dalton Caldwell about this a few weeks ago for a video — here’s what he had to say:

"It's a common problem: too many choices. There's lots of choices in the world and you don’t know what to focus on.

There are different algorithms you can use. One is: What's the one you can get started with most quickly? What's the one you can get a first customer with most quickly? 

A lot of ideas you can filter out just because they're kind of impossible to get started with, like 'Oh I want to build a space exploration company, but… I don't know anyone, and I don’t have any money.' That's going to be hard. [laughs] So to the extent that there are ideas that are much easier to get going with, I'd recommend that.

Even if you’re not sure you’ll stick with something, I'd just recommend forcing yourself to launch and get at least one user. Then you can say you've completed the full rep. I see too many folks start an idea and abandon it before even getting a single user, and I wouldn't really recommend that."

In other words: the right startup idea is the one you can build, get into the world quickly, and determine if it's something people want. And in the spirit of launching again and again, remember: the first version does not have to be perfect. If it truly solves a problem for someone, that person won’t care if v0.1 is rough.

- Greg

📺 The Latest

Featured content from the YC Library

Hey Pete: What's the best advice you've ever received?

As part of our ongoing Q&A series, we asked YC Group Partner Pete Koomen about the best advice anyone has given him. Here's what he had to say.

(Got a question for YC's Group Partners? Send them my way at greg+askYC@ycombinator.com.)

🌎 YC Community

Highlights and news from around YC
A look at how Certainly Health (S23) wants to make healthcare pricing more transparent
Intrinsic (W23) raises $3.1M to build tools for Trust & Safety teams 

🚀 The Launchpad

Some of the most recent YC companies and product launches 
Making chemical manufacturing faster, cheaper and environmentally friendly
Terrakotta uses an AI to conduct live technical interviews -> save engineer hours and screen more candidates asynchronously.
READ and WRITE your CRM data with SQL queries!
Find more YC companies and discover new products

🔥 Hacker News

Top posts from this week
  1. Niklaus Wirth has died (twitter.com)
    1881 points by aarroyoc | 388 comments

  2. 1D Pac-Man (abagames.github.io)
    1776 points by memalign | 220 comments

  3. Compare Google, Bing, Marginalia, Kagi, Mwmbl, and ChatGPT (danluu.com)
    942 points by 882542F3884314B | 461 comments

  4. Clicks – Physical keyboard for iPhone (www.clicks.tech)
    877 points by guyinblackshirt | 512 comments

  5. Tom Scott: After ten years, it's time to stop making videos [video] (www.youtube.com)
    831 points by Philpax | 246 comments

  6. Maestro: A Linux-compatible kernel in Rust (blog.lenot.re)
    733 points by Uriopass | 334 comments

  7. Possible Meissner effect near room temperature: copper-substituted lead apatite (arxiv.org)
    723 points by zaikunzhang | 312 comments

  8. Standard Ebooks (standardebooks.org)
    694 points by pauloxnet | 149 comments

  9. Procrastination is connected to perfectionism (solvingprocrastination.com)
    687 points by EndXA | 217 comments

  10. After 34 years, someone beat Tetris [video] (www.youtube.com)
    679 points by gslin | 182 comments
Read more on Hacker News
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