Paul Graham: Fear and Startup Ideas

Paul Graham's new essay is "Frighteningly Ambitious Startup Ideas." From my reading of it, it talks about great startup ideas, fear and cynicism. The meat of the article is a series of shall we say audacious startup ideas, most of which you've had yourself and in each case you may have thought: "You'd have to be crazy to try this!".

I once read, "If you're not a little bit nervous, you're not pushing yourself enough". I like that mantra. It works for me. This essay is related to that thought:

"One of the more surprising things I've noticed while working on Y Combinator is how frightening the most ambitious startup ideas are." (from Frighteningly Ambitious Startup Ideas.)

And if you are a certain kind of person that also may translate to always being able to find the 100 reasons why something will not work.

I've often said that if I think of my proud career accomplishments so far, in each case I tried something because I didn't have any idea what I was getting myself info. Ignorance is bliss.

Paul Graham goes a step further:

"In this essay I'm going to demonstrate this phenomenon by describing some. Any one of them could make you a billionaire. That might sound like an attractive prospect, and yet when I describe these ideas you may notice you find yourself shrinking away from them.

Don't worry, it's not a sign of weakness. Arguably it's a sign of sanity. The biggest startup ideas are terrifying. And not just because they'd be a lot of work. The biggest ideas seem to threaten your identity: you wonder if you'd have enough ambition to carry them through." (from Frighteningly Ambitious Startup Ideas.)

Read the article. It will inspire you!

Posted on March 15, 2012 .