Successful Startup 101–1/3

Gerhard Casper Quad, Stanford

Magic in the air 🪄

  1. Embrace the failures as Astro Teller, X’s Captain of Moonshots shared. The trick is learning fast if you can take it as “a chance to either gain something or learn something”. Many SiV companies really “reward risk-taking” not just because they are good companies, but also they have to survive by pursuing 10x instead 10% only. So they can keep great talents & create value on such expensive place.
  2. Result-oriented meritocracy as The Silicon Valley Edge calls it. Even it’s against human nature, but Don’t listen to the Highest-Paid Person’s Opinion (HiPPO) as the book: How Google work urges. Luckily, there are always some “rebels” who can not resist challenging establishments. So, now we don’t need to believe in “Earth as the center of the Universe” anymore. A trick to “rebel” nicely is to use data points & measurements instead of opinions because “my opinion is always better than yours” 😉.
  3. High quality of life & great weather in SiV are the great blisses. Those are hard to walk away from. After all, that’s why we work so hard, right? The book: Scarcity shares proves how the poor teams gain focus dividends by paying tunneling tax. So more SiV people have the bliss to think laterally, play the long game on important but not urgent challenges & open to colliding ideas with others more openly. While I believe good people will also collaborate & help others without strings attached, more disposable resources always help.
Parasite: “They are nice because they’re rich” 😉

Tackle the monkey first 🐵

  1. Love the problems & care about the target customers deeply. You need to find out “what makes your heart sing”. So you’ll “have the courage to follow your heart & intuition” as Jobs put it. Remember: your problem is my opportunity.
  2. Teller suggests tackling the hardest parts of the problem from scratch first, aka hashtag the monkey. Because if you can not train a monkey to recite Shakespeare, building the pedestal first means nothing for a dream of a monkey reciting Shakespeare on a pedestal. Bonus: because VCs are not your regular loan officers, you can win their hearts better by removing top risks as The Silicon Way points out.
  3. Measuring success, failure, or everything in the real-time as possible. Many people reckon there are more “engineering companies” in SiV. One side effect: the scientific method is built-in the hearts & practices in the majority of such companies. They relentlessly test hypotheses & learn from the quantitative measures. So, they can push the envelope bit by bit continuously.
Google Cloud Startup Summit: How to Build a Moonshot Factory

Use the force from above ☁️

  1. Spotify: The future of audio. Putting data to work, one listener at a time.
  2. AWS and GCP Are the Real Winners in Snapchat’s Growth.
  3. Shopify Expands Partnership with Google Cloud to Enable Global Growth.
Google Cloud Startup Summit: Looking forward, what’s next?

Full Disclosure




A Taiwanese lives in Silicon Valley since 2014 & has random opinions on some stuff. The opinions shared here are my own, not those of companies I work for.

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Sam Lin

Sam Lin

A Taiwanese lives in Silicon Valley since 2014 & has random opinions on some stuff. The opinions shared here are my own, not those of companies I work for.

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