Helping Entrepreneurs Succeed: Words of Wisdom from Sam Altman

by Scott Edward Walker on February 29th, 2020

To Our Clients & Friends:  Welcome to our series “Helping Entrepreneurs Succeed.”  Every few weeks we share a favorite video clip of a successful entrepreneur, investor or business leader on a variety of topics.  This week, we present Sam Altman, the former President of Y Combinator and the CEO of OpenAI

In a recent blog post, Sam shared some words of wisdom for founders, including the following nuggets: 

  • “The most counterintuitive secret about startups is that it’s often easier to succeed with a hard startup than an easy one.”
  • “The most precious commodity in the startup ecosystem right now is talented people, and for the most part talented people want to work on something they find meaningful.”
  • “If people care about your success because you seem committed to doing something significant, it’s a background force helping you with hiring, advice, partnerships, fundraising, etc.”

And below is an old clip for non-technical founders, with the following advice: “It’s very hard…to have a company [succeed] with no technical founders; it’s not impossible, but it’s a significant headwind.”  I would also add that it’s very difficult to raise seed funds from sophisticated investors if your company is a tech startup and you have no technical founders (i.e., all the development is being outsourced).

I hope you find the foregoing helpful.  Cheers, Scott

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