I’ve put off blogging for awhile (not because I didn’t believe in its value) but because simply put, there are a lot of people already out there blogging who are much smarter than me and reading what they write is probably a better usage of your time than reading anything I write. So to help me rationalize starting to write publicly, I decided to start curating the best of everything I read here and sharing the 10 best blog posts I’ve ever read and you should read too. In order:
1. Startup = Growth (Paul Graham)
The term “startup” seems to be way over used today without a clear definition of what is a startup. You hear people defining a startup because it’s ‘new’ or because it uses ‘technology’, but Paul Graham hits the nail on the head when stating ‘startup = growth’ and how this distinction about focusing on high growth (and growth rate as the key metric) has to be made from the beginning.
2. Team, Product, or Market (Marc Andreessen)
One of the biggest debates with startups is what is more important: the team, the product, or the market the startup is attacking. After this essay, I’ve adopted the mentality that the market is the most important thing (you can always hire better team members and a product can improve over time, but there’s no way to overcome a bad / small market). The search for large, attractive markets is one of the key investment themes of Lion Fund.
3. The Only 2 Ways to Build a $100 Million Business (Version One Ventures)
Since we’ve defined, startup = growth, this essay lays out the only two paths to building a $100 million company.
4. The Struggle (Ben Horowitz)
Every entrepreneur goes through “The Struggle” – just stash this essay away to read for when that time comes. You’ll thank me then.
5. Cultural Inflection – beware the effect of success (Phin Barnes)
The perfect example of how to keep your culture in order as you grow and scale.
6. The Start-Up Law of Comparative Advantage (Jeff Bussgang)
A really quick way to apply an Econ 101 principle (comparative advantage) to productivity and delegating tasks.
7. All Revenue is Not Created Equal: The Keys to the 10X Revenue Club (Bill Gurley)
Bill Gurley is really smart, really f’ing smart. Read this essay about creating value and why certain startups are more valuable than others (and thus are valued at a 10x revenue multiple).
8. Screw the Black Swans: Ichiro is our role model, not Barry Bonds. (Dave McClure)
This is a response to a Paul Graham essay entitled “Black Swan Farming” by Dave McClure. Dave (and 500 Startups) are among the people I respect the most and have molded Lion Fund’s investment thesis around.
9. Most Startups Should be Deer Hunters (Mark Suster)
As a disclaimer, everything Mark Suster writes is a must read. I could easily make a top ten list of essays he has written, but this is my personal favorite.
10. Never, Ever Compromise: Hiring For Culture Fit (Elad Gil)
If I had to give my two axioms about hiring, it would be this essay and @levie’s Tweet: “Hiring trick: make sure everyone you hire is someone you’d want in your company’s mafia.” (in reference to the PayPal Mafia).