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Should you launch a start up now? Paul Graham thinks so

Image via WikipediaWriter Paul Graham just put out a fantastic essay called, "Why to Start a Start Up in a Bad Economy"  It's really a brilliant piece and is a must read for anyone considering or currently involved with a start up company. 

Graham makes many excellent points, but here are a couple of favs:

If we've learned one thing from funding so many startups, it's that they succeed or fail based on the qualities of the founders.  The economy has some effect, certainly, but as a predictor of success it's rounding error compared to the founders.

Another advantage of bad times is that there's less competition. Technology trains leave the station at regular intervals.  If everyone else is cowering in a corner, you may have a whole car to yourself.

So for any given idea, the payoff for acting fast in a bad economy will be higher than for waiting.  Microsoft's first product was a Basic interpreter for the Altair.  That was exactly what the world needed in 1975, but if Gates and Allen had decided to wait a few years, it would have been too late.

We have never been more invigorated by what lies ahead.  It's definitely less crowded out there right now.  Launch your preemptive strike and secure a beach front. 


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