1/ The first 18 months of a startup: After starting my 2nd company in 2019, I decided I would write down useful lessons I learned or re-learned along the way. Some were hard-earned & others required steady focus. A thread that I hope may help other founders starting out

2/…


One of the things that gets harder as the company grows is the speed at which the company can make decisions. At some point, it’s not possible for you & the person responsible to come to a decision. You must grapple with the spectrum of reaching consensus vs deciding yourself.


Recently a new founder asked me: “How do I approach anyone to be a mentor to me? It seems like a very overwhelming ask sometimes.”

Here’s what worked for me & this was my advice to him that I thought I’d share for others…

I find asking someone to be…


Read the application that got us to the Y Combinator interview

Y Combinator Funding Application
Summer 2009

Application deadline: 10 pm (PST) March 18, 2009.

Please try to answer each question in less than 120 words.

We look at online demos only for the most promising applications, so don’t skimp on the application because you’re relying on a good demo.

We…


Getting my first 100 customers always felt like a puzzle. The next 1000 seemed unreachable. Besides, how can you get feedback to make the product better without users? After many years, we ended up with 6,000+ paying customers. It was a grind to get there.

Here’s what I Iearned…

This…


The first 18 months of starting a company are often life or death. I must’ve made 5 different companies that each failed within 9 mo.

Each time the company failed I figured out what I could do better. Eventually, startup #6 (Mixpanel) got to $40K/mo by month 18.

Here’s what…


When I think about the process I had when starting a company for the first time, I realize how much luck was involved. I might’ve even benefited from my naiveté but I didn’t do nearly enough.

Here are the things I wish I did…

Study the history of previous successes…


In 2009, Y Combinator only gave us $15K, half our YC batch died after demo day, 11 firms told us no, 2 firms wanted to find us a CEO, 1 VC told me, point blank, we would fail, we were a week away from death but luckily raised $500K @…


I became “CEO” at 20. I dropped out of college. I had only interned somewhere previously.

Looking back, I couldn’t imagine the journey that would occur from writing code all day to scaling to 300 people. I got lucky, I screwed up a lot, & had a lot of help.

Suhail Doshi

Founder @ Mighty & Mixpanel, Pizzatarian, and Programmer

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