Amol Kapoor

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A Founder's Guide: Intro

June, 2020

In February of 2021 I made the crazy and totally unadvisable decision to leave the comfortable world of Google and start a company. Easily the best decision I've ever made. That said, if there is one thing I've learned since then, it's that startups are hard. And also weird. Just like, very different from big tech.

I recently learned that there is a startup making these, and every morning when I wake up I wonder what a day at that company looks like.

Internally, I keep a journal of sorts that I've taken to calling the Founder's Guide -- basically a place where my CEO and I can ramble about startups and how they work and how to think about them. A lot of what I write is retreading well known principles, but written in a way that makes it all click for me. I figure since I'm already writing, I could take some of the more broadly applicable pieces and make them public. That's what this series is.

Of course, I stand on the shoulders of giants. A lot of my thoughts on startups come from other folks who've done it before (e.g. Paul Graham) or people who are just way smarter than I am (e.g. Ben Thompson). And I owe a shocking amount to random commenters on Hacker News. If any of what I'm going on about seems useful, those places probably have said it better than I ever could, and I recommend giving them a read.

"We have to act like an animal that’s been cornered, acting erratically and blindly lashing out at anything around us." -- Erlich Bachman, Silicon Valley. Most of my thoughts comes from that show. I have not seen that show.