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Gary Tan Fireside Chat (Y Combinator CEO)

A few weeks ago, I attended a fireside chat with Gary Tan, the CEO of Y Combinator. He mentioned a lot of useful lessons during the session, but most of them have been covered in some form or another in his various podcasts and YouTube videos. Here are some of my distilled takeaways for your fine consumption.

The number one thing that is characteristic of young founders is that they often leap before looking. I cannot stress how important this is, regardless of what anyone says. Yes, it is important to be cautious, but nothing beats diving in, building, launching, learning, and improving. The faster you build, the faster you grow.

Next is the importance of hyper-differentiation in today’s crowded startup space. Founders should avoid a generic vision and instead aim to be better, cheaper, and faster for a specific group. This leads to the next point: avoid building generic chat interfaces that do not solve the customer’s problems. Focus on building vertical software that solves very specific problems for customers, then leverage a large dataset for AI applications.

Deliver a golden demo to secure a golden contract. There are many cases where the product is fantastic but customers are unable to visualize its value. This is why speaking to customers is so important. As the owner or manager of a product, understanding your customers’ unique problems is crucial. That is why I am building Supercharge, the ultimate AI platform for agile teams to analyze feedback and automate workflow items. Automate user interview analysis, deeply understand users, and build products customers love with Supercharge!