centos 64位系统如何使用XAMPP?

32位的机器随便装,几乎傻瓜式没什么说,不过64位的系统会被拒绝掉,并提示你无法启动,英文提醒”XAMPP is currently only availably as 32 bit application. Please use a 32 bit compatibility library for your system”
难道不支持64位系统么? 当然不是,在其内部程序里做了判断, 修改下完全可以强制执行!
集成包地址:http://www.apachefriends.org/zh_cn/xampp-linux.html 当然不建议生产环境用这个集成包,还是自己配置下好.
#如果你是64bit的OS,那麼會遇到下列問題
[root@citieyes opt]# /opt/lampp/lampp start
XAMPP is currently only availably as 32 bit application. Please use a 32 bit compatibility library for your system.

#解決方法,安裝glibc
[root@citieyes opt]# yum install glibc*

#將檢查OS版本的程式碼註解掉
[root@citieyes opt]# vim /opt/lampp/lampp

# XAMPP is currently 32 bit only[root@citieyes opt]# /opt/lampp/lampp start
#case uname -m in
# *_64)
# if /opt/lampp/bin/php -v > /dev/null 2>&1
# then
# :
# else
# $de && echo “XAMPP gibt es zur Zeit nur als 32-Bit Applikation. Bitte verwende eine 32-Bit Kompatibilitaetsbibliothek fuer Dein System.”
# $de || echo “XAMPP is currently only availably as 32 bit application. Please use a 32 bit compatibility library for your system.”
# exit
# fi
# ;;
#esac

[root@citieyes opt]# /opt/lampp/lampp start

崔鹏:约炮利器肯定不是好投资

世界是不公平的。

这要从我偶尔也会参与对广告客户的拜访说起,这些“大佬”们煞有介事地看了属于我们的杂志,然后很怀疑地问道我们的读者“是不是他们产品所要卖给的高端人士”。作为中国财经类杂志的广告报价,大概一次广告的平均价格是10万人民币。而最近的一个公司,它们的产品被人称为“约炮利器”,风险投资界对它们的估值大概是1亿美元。

当然,投放广告和风险投资的家伙们并不是一伙人,但其中明显存在着估值歧视—他们给一个杂志10万块要考虑它是不是有联通高端客户的渠道,而据说另一撮人却可以大手大脚地投出一千万美元给某些产品,并且毫不在意这些产品的客户渠道是否高端。

首先,那些风险投资人士了解中国“约炮”界的生活状况么?他们根本不是城市小说里那些时尚人士。我曾经有过这样一个同事,他惯于用QQ来约会各种各样的女青年,他曾经以此为荣地把他约来的“女孩”们带到过公司,那种感受……如果把这些人凑齐了,那公司就像变成了收容所一样。这些人简直就是公司中的笑料。

其次,约炮界的人群也没人们想象中那么壮大,生活是枯燥的,绝大多数人也还是按照传统的更安全的方式来寻找性伴侣。不管在怎样的社会,拥有健康的身体,并且有钱才是获得更多性伴侣机会的最关键条件。而约炮利器就像一个人说自己又会了一种体位,总的来说,这什么用都没有。我敢肯定,最主要的消费群体—一个中年男人,如果在他的手机上安装了所谓的约炮类应用,别人会认为这个人的个人生活是不是有问题,而他的妻子—如果他有的话—看到这个图标也很可能会对他们的婚姻生活感到怀疑。

拥有约炮利器的公司能获得风险投资的青睐,可能是源于很多投资者都有所谓的新盈利模式偏好,这些投资者里包括那些自以为很聪明的,或者这些风险投资者也在利用一般投资者的这种新模式偏好—有时候我怀疑风险投资家们根本不关心所投资的东西是不是真的是有价值的东西,而只要能在一个足够大的二级市场上把自己的货出手就可以了,他们希望找足够大的二级市场也是因为在足够大的地方,傻瓜也会足够多。

其实新的经营方式能赚钱的概率有点类似于把地球上的种子拿到太空实验室去辐射,诱使它们基因变异,然后得到有利于人类的新植物品种的概率,这个概率应该小于1%。

不过也有意外,这种意外就像伟哥这种药物,据说它本来是治疗心脏病的,但是后来它却为人类的快乐作出了很杰出的贡献。一些不靠谱的经营方式经过风险投资的放大很可能发挥它们对社会出乎意料的作用。不过,约炮利器不在其列。

专注做一件事情

专注一件事有多难? 成本不高难度很大.
每天跑2公里其实很简单,可是你能坚持多久呢? 也许会给自己找足够的理由, 并且都非常合理, 今天下雨了,今天吃太饱了,今天太累了,今天脚痛,今天心情不好,明天要早起等等. 然后就中断了,然后就放弃了坚持. 是不够专注么?

专注吃饭20年,不开玩笑的说,如果真的专注吃饭20年,至少是个有经验的吃货.专注睡觉30年,不管怎么样算,总该知道怎么样睡觉比较舒服,什么情况下睡觉难受,这是专注的价值, 能够深层透彻的发挥专业技能.

可是怎么那么难做到,有时候做一做就散了,做一做就混了,成就不了专家,也成就不了领域里的角色,在浑浑噩噩中度过了流年.

30岁,一个新的十字路口,专注做一两件事情,期限至少是一年. 加油!

請問,創業要怎麼開始?

appWorks Demo Day #4前为了专心在准备工作,所以近一个月暂停了我的演讲行程,换来的结果就是这阵子疯狂的还债。光是过去的这两礼拜,我就跑了联合晚报、台大新闻所、世新传管、创投公会、成大三创学程、成大学生论坛,还有开南大学等七场,要说是全省跑透透再加上马不停蹄,也一点都不为过。

其中我特别喜欢面对学生,尤其是跟他们Q&A 对话,因为从他们的问题里面,你可以听到年轻人们对??于未来有什么渴望,对于「创业」这件事情又有什么困惑,更知道该如何帮助他们。

而要说到这两个礼拜来最常出现的问题,那大概非「创业要怎么开始?」莫属。

说穿了我其实不太会回答这个题目,因为对我来说,创业的开始就是动起来,就是看到一个问题,着手开始解决它。当然也有另一种情况是看到一个机会,然后开始动手追求它,不过反正就是开始了。这有点像是我想跑步,下一秒我就开始跑步了,实在很难解释要「怎么开始跑步」这件事情。

第一次创业,篮球校队学长Louis 想要复制Dell Computer 的Direct Marketing 商业模式,他知道我会组装电脑,所以找了我一起。我们又找了一些资工系的学弟,然后就开始动手建造Hotcool.com 的电子商务平台。一开始根本没有办公室,网站好了之后几个人就在家里用后台上架产品,接着就开卖了。偶尔我们去Louis 家开会,不过大多的时候我们可以随时在远端工作。一直到订单开始进来,我??们需要开发票,才设立了公司。又到了单量开始增多,需要一个仓库,我们才租了一个办公室。所以从那之后,我一直认为「设立公司」和「租办公室」,只是创业到了某个程度,才被迫要去做的事情,而不是从一开始就该考虑的东西。这个问题还有另一个变种,那就是「我有一个好的idea,但是不知道要怎么做出来」。那是一个完全不同的问题,因为它代表的是「缺乏执行能力」–就好像你要开餐厅,但却不会煮饭一样。那是很糟糕的一件事情,因为除非你能赶快学会煮饭,或是能够找到一个会煮饭的伙伴,否则你最多就是成为《社群网战》里面的那两位可悲的划船队员。

或许你不知道,其实「鼎泰丰」一开始根本不是鼎泰丰,几十年前,这对创业夫妻本来是卖食用油的。但60年代罐装沙拉油出现,让他们的生意一落千丈。苦恼之余,他们看到门口老兵摆摊卖的小笼包,生意蒸蒸日上。所以他们就去学做了小笼包,然后把食用油的生意Pivot成点心餐厅,又经过30年的努力,才成了今天的跨国企业鼎泰丰。

几乎99%的创业开始就是这样,往往都不是什么太棒的idea,前面的几个尝试也通常都会失败。但那没有关系,因为也就是在失败中,你会找到更棒的ideas。所以如果你想跑步,那就开始跑吧,何必多想呢?

安卓,也可以很美(多图)

一直以来,苹果的iPhone系列都给大家这样的印象:走高端路线。从硬件到软件,从华丽的外观到复古的UI,似乎都秉承了这样的设计理念。相比之下,Google的Android似乎要草根得多。不过,其实Google的Android系统也可以设计出非常精美的应用。最近,轻博客网站Tumblr的一名用户就收集了一系列Android应用的精美图片,试图给大家带来Android UI设计的一些灵感,一起来看看吧。

Feedly:一款基于Google Reader的阅读类应用。

?Pinterest:瀑布流展示始祖,一款基于图片分享的社区应用。

DoubleTwist Alarm Clock:一款相当精美的闹钟应用,可以用最美的乐声,也可以用最重口味、最恐怖的音效将你闹醒。

Path:一款基于家人、亲密朋友的私密社交应用。

Weather Eye:天气之眼。一款可以让你自定义天气图标的天气应用。

Google+:一款基于圈子的社交应用。

Real Color:一款帮助设计师通过照片获得真实色彩值、生成调色板的应用。

Catch Notes:前身是3banana notes,一款帮你随身随地记录想法、灵感、经历的应用。

Spotify:一款非常火爆的音乐流媒体播放应用。

Tumblr:帮你记录生活,支持富媒体内容的轻博客应用。

创业是一场残忍生存斗争

创业变成了一个热门的词,创业变成了一个产业链,为了商业利益隐去了很多残忍的视角.
年少轻狂的热情
大学时间比较充裕,很多同学想法很多,开小店做买卖,创业不分行业不分形式,他们自发并努力为止奋斗的目标,也许是老板,也是是经济收入,也许只是一段光鲜的经历,年少轻狂,很多人失败很多人前仆后继! 很多人会议不管成败,一定一笑而过,因为充实并努力过.
创业不是你想的那样
毕业以后,怀揣这无数的梦想纷纷落地,踏踏实实工作了几年,却感叹怀才不遇,或是只觉得牛逼无比,只是缺少机会和平台,愤愤不平的人们总归浮躁着,也有一些人痛定思痛,决定创业. 以为可以摆脱老板的愚蠢,可以摆脱资源的匮乏,可以摆脱机会的不公平. 创业就像沙漠里的一条小溪,诱惑着充满欲望的人们,渴望着自己才能得以有用武之地. 并以为离开低于奔向了天堂. 可是创业不是你想的那样.
创业不是你想的那样美好,可能随时要求你放下面子,放下尊严,放下一切不违背原则底线的事情,因为你舍不得失败,因为你希望为之奋斗的结果是成功,随时准备面子放地上当拖把.也许欢快的人们都没有意识到. 正在创业真的没有那么的光鲜.
创业的心比能力重要
创业一般人不太多,所以你需要具备很多才能,并且高度的责任心是第一的原则.不管任何时候,谁都不愿意和一个没有责任心的人做事情.可能随时都要为其擦屁股. 如果创业不是一个人,那么主动沟通则成为责任心的一种表现.因为创业了,没有老板安排你做这个做那个,因为创业了再无大公司的人事,流程可遵循可讨价还价,唯一的目标就是把事情尽快完成,尽量做好,接着继续做,没有下班,没有项目结束点,除非你破产. 创业的心必须是坚韧的,创业的心必须是坚定的,创业的心跳一定会有起伏, 可能比上班的人遇到的不顺心的事情会更多,可能来自工作,来自团队的人,来自项目的意义. 压力大的甚至足以让你思考为什么要创业!
为什么要创业
你必须是为了自己,不是为了他人. 为什么? 想清楚了再去创业吧.
肉搏从何而来
对外公司要活下去,弱肉强食见惯不怪,对内创业条件的健康,稳步创业团队的完整也变的艰巨,有句话叫将熊熊一窝,如果你是个将请努力把自己培养成猛将! 要知道铁打的营盘流水的兵,从创业团队一直跟下来的人毕竟少数,发展中的人才流动变的很惨烈,不管你是否愿意去面对,这种事情终究会来找你.

创业成功的人都不是牛人,而是能领着牛人一起开破疆土的人.
创业成功的人都不是牛人,而是能够独立思考,并认真执行的人.
创业成功的人都不是牛人,也许在天时地利人和,加上一颗真正创业的心.

梦想,最昂贵也最廉价

看东方直播室,中间有一段很冗长的节目宣传片,分别是《顶级厨师》、《声动亚洲》和《中国达人秀》。比赛项目各不相同,打的口号无一例外都是梦想。

  有个有趣的现象,尽管各种选秀活动一直宣称给公众一个实现梦想的机会,但这个“梦想”却是有派别的。热门的梦想包括音乐、舞蹈等表演性质更强的,当然也有关于武术或者上文提到的厨师比拼,但后者无论是影响力还是关注度都不够。如果你的梦想不需要一个展示的平台,而仅仅诸如小学作文本上写的当个教师或者科学家这样的追求,这个舞台是不属于你的。

  然而即使你的梦想就是音乐,这个舞台也并不一定属于你,因为音乐梦想的市场永远有各种各样的老师跳出来把你分成三六九等。我发小在看完了某一场《中国好声音》之后疯狂吐槽,说看到的都是一些老面孔。

  在这个“后选秀时代”,各个比赛都抱着捞到之前比赛漏网之鱼的心态在比拼。每一次比赛都会有选手一把鼻涕一把泪地说“我的梦想就是站在这个舞台上”,但过不了几个月,他的梦想就变成了站在另一个舞台上。电视上这些种类繁多的梦想舞台,就是属于这些参赛专业户的。

  天涯上曾经有个帖子,8了历届的比赛专业户,你上学的时候他在比赛,你上班了他还在比赛。即使你有梦想并且可以站在舞台上歌唱,你也没那个能力做到这一点。而如果你还没有点催人泪下的故事,那就更没戏了。

  可能这些人的梦想也并不是音乐,至少不是如他们所说的那么单纯的音乐。他们眼中的音乐也许是带着无数的金边,能够帮助他们实现个人财富的,能够为他们堂而皇之的淘金行为提供一个冠冕堂皇的理由。音乐这东西看上去很简单,但如今展现出的却是更多音乐以外的东西。

  “我想让更多的人听到我的声音。”=“我想出名。”

  “我想尽自己所能让父母过上好日子。”=“我想出名,我想赚钱。”

  “我想实现我的音乐梦想,我想永远活在音乐里。”=“我可不想和大多数人一样庸庸碌碌地上班,我只想靠音乐挣点钱和名气。”

  九把刀说他买过的最贵的东西是梦想。但在现在这个社会,梦想正变得越来越廉价,廉价到可以作为实现淘金目的的借口。一些所谓实现了梦想的人,并没有为我们带来曙光,只带来了一些流传度不广的口水歌和一个过度饱和的音乐市场,以及这些选秀歌手自己的钱包。

  《超级女声》刚出来的时候兴奋了一代人,因为它宣称人人皆有梦想,人人的梦想皆可实现。但如今我们知道,这些人的梦想不是音乐,而是成名获利。当然这本身并没有错,某些人这一生追求的两样东西,无非就是名和利,又何必要包着糖衣炮弹紧着扇乎?

What startups are really like

(This essay is derived from a talk at the 2009 Startup School.)

I wasn’t sure what to talk about at Startup School, so I decided to ask the founders of the startups we’d funded. What hadn’t I written about yet?

I’m in the unusual position of being able to test the essays I write about startups. I hope the ones on other topics are right, but I have no way to test them. The ones on startups get tested by about 70 people every 6 months.

So I sent all the founders an email asking what surprised them about starting a startup. This amounts to asking what I got wrong, because if I’d explained things well enough, nothing should have surprised them.

I’m proud to report I got one response saying:

What surprised me the most is that everything was actually fairly predictable!
The bad news is that I got over 100 other responses listing the surprises they encountered.

There were very clear patterns in the responses; it was remarkable how often several people had been surprised by exactly the same thing. These were the biggest:

1. Be Careful with Cofounders

This was the surprise mentioned by the most founders. There were two types of responses: that you have to be careful who you pick as a cofounder, and that you have to work hard to maintain your relationship.

What people wished they’d paid more attention to when choosing cofounders was character and commitment, not ability. This was particularly true with startups that failed. The lesson: don’t pick cofounders who will flake.

Here’s a typical reponse:
You haven’t seen someone’s true colors unless you’ve worked with them on a startup.
The reason character is so important is that it’s tested more severely than in most other situations. One founder said explicitly that the relationship between founders was more important than ability:
I would rather cofound a startup with a friend than a stranger with higher output. Startups are so hard and emotional that the bonds and emotional and social support that come with friendship outweigh the extra output lost.
We learned this lesson a long time ago. If you look at the YC application, there are more questions about the commitment and relationship of the founders than their ability.

Founders of successful startups talked less about choosing cofounders and more about how hard they worked to maintain their relationship.
One thing that surprised me is how the relationship of startup founders goes from a friendship to a marriage. My relationship with my cofounder went from just being friends to seeing each other all the time, fretting over the finances and cleaning up shit. And the startup was our baby. I summed it up once like this: “It’s like we’re married, but we’re not fucking.”
Several people used that word “married.” It’s a far more intense relationship than you usually see between coworkers—partly because the stresses are so much greater, and partly because at first the founders are the whole company. So this relationship has to be built of top quality materials and carefully maintained. It’s the basis of everything.

2. Startups Take Over Your Life

Just as the relationship between cofounders is more intense than it usually is between coworkers, so is the relationship between the founders and the company. Running a startup is not like having a job or being a student, because it never stops. This is so foreign to most people’s experience that they don’t get it till it happens. [1]
I didn’t realize I would spend almost every waking moment either working or thinking about our startup. You enter a whole different way of life when it’s your company vs. working for someone else’s company.
It’s exacerbated by the fast pace of startups, which makes it seem like time slows down:
I think the thing that’s been most surprising to me is how one’s perspective on time shifts. Working on our startup, I remember time seeming to stretch out, so that a month was a huge interval.
In the best case, total immersion can be exciting:
It’s surprising how much you become consumed by your startup, in that you think about it day and night, but never once does it feel like “work.”
Though I have to say, that quote is from someone we funded this summer. In a couple years he may not sound so chipper.

3. It’s an Emotional Roller-coaster

This was another one lots of people were surprised about. The ups and downs were more extreme than they were prepared for.

In a startup, things seem great one moment and hopeless the next. And by next, I mean a couple hours later.
The emotional ups and downs were the biggest surprise for me. One day, we’d think of ourselves as the next Google and dream of buying islands; the next, we’d be pondering how to let our loved ones know of our utter failure; and on and on.
The hard part, obviously, is the lows. For a lot of founders that was the big surprise:
How hard it is to keep everyone motivated during rough days or weeks, i.e. how low the lows can be.
After a while, if you don’t have significant success to cheer you up, it wears you out:
Your most basic advice to founders is “just don’t die,” but the energy to keep a company going in lieu of unburdening success isn’t free; it is siphoned from the founders themselves.
There’s a limit to how much you can take. If you get to the point where you can’t keep working anymore, it’s not the end of the world. Plenty of famous founders have had some failures along the way.

4. It Can Be Fun

The good news is, the highs are also very high. Several founders said what surprised them most about doing a startup was how fun it was:
I think you’ve left out just how fun it is to do a startup. I am more fulfilled in my work than pretty much any of my friends who did not start companies.
What they like most is the freedom:
I’m surprised by how much better it feels to be working on something that is challenging and creative, something I believe in, as opposed to the hired-gun stuff I was doing before. I knew it would feel better; what’s surprising is how much better.
Frankly, though, if I’ve misled people here, I’m not eager to fix that. I’d rather have everyone think starting a startup is grim and hard than have founders go into it expecting it to be fun, and a few months later saying “This is supposed to be fun? Are you kidding?”

The truth is, it wouldn’t be fun for most people. A lot of what we try to do in the application process is to weed out the people who wouldn’t like it, both for our sake and theirs.

The best way to put it might be that starting a startup is fun the way a survivalist training course would be fun, if you’re into that sort of thing. Which is to say, not at all, if you’re not.

5. Persistence Is the Key

A lot of founders were surprised how important persistence was in startups. It was both a negative and a positive surprise: they were surprised both by the degree of persistence required
Everyone said how determined and resilient you must be, but going through it made me realize that the determination required was still understated.
and also by the degree to which persistence alone was able to dissolve obstacles:
If you are persistent, even problems that seem out of your control (i.e. immigration) seem to work themselves out.
Several founders mentioned specifically how much more important persistence was than intelligence.
I’ve been surprised again and again by just how much more important persistence is than raw intelligence.
This applies not just to intelligence but to ability in general, and that’s why so many people said character was more important in choosing cofounders.

6. Think Long-Term

You need persistence because everything takes longer than you expect. A lot of people were surprised by that.
I’m continually surprised by how long everything can take. Assuming your product doesn’t experience the explosive growth that very few products do, everything from development to dealmaking (especially dealmaking) seems to take 2-3x longer than I always imagine.
One reason founders are surprised is that because they work fast, they expect everyone else to. There’s a shocking amount of shear stress at every point where a startup touches a more bureaucratic organization, like a big company or a VC fund. That’s why fundraising and the enterprise market kill and maim so many startups. [2]

But I think the reason most founders are surprised by how long it takes is that they’re overconfident. They think they’re going to be an instant success, like YouTube or Facebook. You tell them only 1 out of 100 successful startups has a trajectory like that, and they all think “we’re going to be that 1.”

Maybe they’ll listen to one of the more successful founders:
The top thing I didn’t understand before going into it is that persistence is the name of the game. For the vast majority of startups that become successful, it’s going to be a really long journey, at least 3 years and probably 5+.
There is a positive side to thinking longer-term. It’s not just that you have to resign yourself to everything taking longer than it should. If you work patiently it’s less stressful, and you can do better work:
Because we’re relaxed, it’s so much easier to have fun doing what we do. Gone is the awkward nervous energy fueled by the desperate need to not fail guiding our actions. We can concentrate on doing what’s best for our company, product, employees and customers.
That’s why things get so much better when you hit ramen profitability. You can shift into a different mode of working.

7. Lots of Little Things

We often emphasize how rarely startups win simply because they hit on some magic idea. I think founders have now gotten that into their heads. But a lot were surprised to find this also applies within startups. You have to do lots of different things:
It’s much more of a grind than glamorous. A timeslice selected at random would more likely find me tracking down a weird DLL loading bug on Swedish Windows, or tracking down a bug in the financial model Excel spreadsheet the night before a board meeting, rather than having brilliant flashes of strategic insight.
Most hacker-founders would like to spend all their time programming. You won’t get to, unless you fail. Which can be transformed into: If you spend all your time programming, you will fail.

The principle extends even into programming. There is rarely a single brilliant hack that ensures success:
I learnt never to bet on any one feature or deal or anything to bring you success. It is never a single thing. Everything is just incremental and you just have to keep doing lots of those things until you strike something.
Even in the rare cases where a clever hack makes your fortune, you probably won’t know till later:
There is no such thing as a killer feature. Or at least you won’t know what it is.
So the best strategy is to try lots of different things. The reason not to put all your eggs in one basket is not the usual one, which applies even when you know which basket is best. In a startup you don’t even know that.

8. Start with Something Minimal

Lots of founders mentioned how important it was to launch with the simplest possible thing. By this point everyone knows you should release fast and iterate. It’s practically a mantra at YC. But even so a lot of people seem to have been burned by not doing it:
Build the absolute smallest thing that can be considered a complete application and ship it.
Why do people take too long on the first version? Pride, mostly. They hate to release something that could be better. They worry what people will say about them. But you have to overcome this:
Doing something “simple” at first glance does not mean you aren’t doing something meaningful, defensible, or valuable.
Don’t worry what people will say. If your first version is so impressive that trolls don’t make fun of it, you waited too long to launch. [3]

One founder said this should be your approach to all programming, not just startups, and I tend to agree.
Now, when coding, I try to think “How can I write this such that if people saw my code, they’d be amazed at how little there is and how little it does?”
Over-engineering is poison. It’s not like doing extra work for extra credit. It’s more like telling a lie that you then have to remember so you don’t contradict it.

9. Engage Users

Product development is a conversation with the user that doesn’t really start till you launch. Before you launch, you’re like a police artist before he’s shown the first version of his sketch to the witness.

It’s so important to launch fast that it may be better to think of your initial version not as a product, but as a trick for getting users to start talking to you.
I learned to think about the initial stages of a startup as a giant experiment. All products should be considered experiments, and those that have a market show promising results extremely quickly.
Once you start talking to users, I guarantee you’ll be surprised by what they tell you.
When you let customers tell you what they’re after, they will often reveal amazing details about what they find valuable as well what they’re willing to pay for.
The surprise is generally positive as well as negative. They won’t like what you’ve built, but there will be other things they would like that would be trivially easy to implement. It’s not till you start the conversation by launching the wrong thing that they can express (or perhaps even realize) what they’re looking for.

10. Change Your Idea

To benefit from engaging with users you have to be willing to change your idea. We’ve always encouraged founders to see a startup idea as a hypothesis rather than a blueprint. And yet they’re still surprised how well it works to change the idea.
Normally if you complain about something being hard, the general advice is to work harder. With a startup, I think you should find a problem that’s easy for you to solve. Optimizing in solution-space is familiar and straightforward, but you can make enormous gains playing around in problem-space.
Whereas mere determination, without flexibility, is a greedy algorithm that may get you nothing more than a mediocre local maximum:
When someone is determined, there’s still a danger that they’ll follow a long, hard path that ultimately leads nowhere.
You want to push forward, but at the same time twist and turn to find the most promising path. One founder put it very succinctly:
Fast iteration is the key to success.
One reason this advice is so hard to follow is that people don’t realize how hard it is to judge startup ideas, particularly their own. Experienced founders learn to keep an open mind:
Now I don’t laugh at ideas anymore, because I realized how terrible I was at knowing if they were good or not.
You can never tell what will work. You just have to do whatever seems best at each point. We do this with YC itself. We still don’t know if it will work, but it seems like a decent hypothesis.

11. Don’t Worry about Competitors

When you think you’ve got a great idea, it’s sort of like having a guilty conscience about something. All someone has to do is look at you funny, and you think “Oh my God, they know.”

These alarms are almost always false:
Companies that seemed like competitors and threats at first glance usually never were when you really looked at it. Even if they were operating in the same area, they had a different goal.
One reason people overreact to competitors is that they overvalue ideas. If ideas really were the key, a competitor with the same idea would be a real threat. But it’s usually execution that matters:
All the scares induced by seeing a new competitor pop up are forgotten weeks later. It always comes down to your own product and approach to the market.
This is generally true even if competitors get lots of attention.
Competitors riding on lots of good blogger perception aren’t really the winners and can disappear from the map quickly. You need consumers after all.
Hype doesn’t make satisfied users, at least not for something as complicated as technology.

12. It’s Hard to Get Users

A lot of founders complained about how hard it was to get users, though.
I had no idea how much time and effort needed to go into attaining users.
This is a complicated topic. When you can’t get users, it’s hard to say whether the problem is lack of exposure, or whether the product’s simply bad. Even good products can be blocked by switching or integration costs:
Getting people to use a new service is incredibly difficult. This is especially true for a service that other companies can use, because it requires their developers to do work. If you’re small, they don’t think it is urgent. [4]
The sharpest criticism of YC came from a founder who said we didn’t focus enough on customer acquisition:
YC preaches “make something people want” as an engineering task, a never ending stream of feature after feature until enough people are happy and the application takes off. There’s very little focus on the cost of customer acquisition.
This may be true; this may be something we need to fix, especially for applications like games. If you make something where the challenges are mostly technical, you can rely on word of mouth, like Google did. One founder was surprised by how well that worked for him:
There is an irrational fear that no one will buy your product. But if you work hard and incrementally make it better, there is no need to worry.
But with other types of startups you may win less by features and more by deals and marketing.

13. Expect the Worst with Deals

Deals fall through. That’s a constant of the startup world. Startups are powerless, and good startup ideas generally seem wrong. So everyone is nervous about closing deals with you, and you have no way to make them.

This is particularly true with investors:
In retrospect, it would have been much better if we had operated under the assumption that we would never get any additional outside investment. That would have focused us on finding revenue streams early.
My advice is generally pessimistic. Assume you won’t get money, and if someone does offer you any, assume you’ll never get any more.
If someone offers you money, take it. You say it a lot, but I think it needs even more emphasizing. We had the opportunity to raise a lot more money than we did last year and I wish we had.
Why do founders ignore me? Mostly because they’re optimistic by nature. The mistake is to be optimistic about things you can’t control. By all means be optimistic about your ability to make something great. But you’re asking for trouble if you’re optimistic about big companies or investors.

14. Investors Are Clueless

A lot of founders mentioned how surprised they were by the cluelessness of investors:
They don’t even know about the stuff they’ve invested in. I met some investors that had invested in a hardware device and when I asked them to demo the device they had difficulty switching it on.
Angels are a bit better than VCs, because they usually have startup experience themselves:
VC investors don’t know half the time what they are talking about and are years behind in their thinking. A few were great, but 95% of the investors we dealt with were unprofessional, didn’t seem to be very good at business or have any kind of creative vision. Angels were generally much better to talk to.
Why are founders surprised that VCs are clueless? I think it’s because they seem so formidable.

The reason VCs seem formidable is that it’s their profession to. You get to be a VC by convincing asset managers to trust you with hundreds of millions of dollars. How do you do that? You have to seem confident, and you have to seem like you understand technology. [5]

15. You May Have to Play Games

Because investors are so bad at judging you, you have to work harder than you should at selling yourself. One founder said the thing that surprised him most was
The degree to which feigning certitude impressed investors.
This is the thing that has surprised me most about YC founders’ experiences. This summer we invited some of the alumni to talk to the new startups about fundraising, and pretty much 100% of their advice was about investor psychology. I thought I was cynical about VCs, but the founders were much more cynical.
A lot of what startup founders do is just posturing. It works.
VCs themselves have no idea of the extent to which the startups they like are the ones that are best at selling themselves to VCs. [6] It’s exactly the same phenomenon we saw a step earlier. VCs get money by seeming confident to LPs, and founders get money by seeming confident to VCs.

16. Luck Is a Big Factor

With two such random linkages in the path between startups and money, it shouldn’t be surprising that luck is a big factor in deals. And yet a lot of founders are surprised by it.
I didn’t realize how much of a role luck plays and how much is outside of our control.
If you think about famous startups, it’s pretty clear how big a role luck plays. Where would Microsoft be if IBM insisted on an exclusive license for DOS?

Why are founders fooled by this? Business guys probably aren’t, but hackers are used to a world where skill is paramount, and you get what you deserve.
When we started our startup, I had bought the hype of the startup founder dream: that this is a game of skill. It is, in some ways. Having skill is valuable. So is being determined as all hell. But being lucky is the critical ingredient.
Actually the best model would be to say that the outcome is the product of skill, determination, and luck. No matter how much skill and determination you have, if you roll a zero for luck, the outcome is zero.

These quotes about luck are not from founders whose startups failed. Founders who fail quickly tend to blame themselves. Founders who succeed quickly don’t usually realize how lucky they were. It’s the ones in the middle who see how important luck is.

17. The Value of Community

A surprising number of founders said what surprised them most about starting a startup was the value of community. Some meant the micro-community of YC founders:
The immense value of the peer group of YC companies, and facing similar obstacles at similar times.
which shouldn’t be that surprising, because that’s why it’s structured that way. Others were surprised at the value of the startup community in the larger sense:
How advantageous it is to live in Silicon Valley, where you can’t help but hear all the cutting-edge tech and startup news, and run into useful people constantly.
The specific thing that surprised them most was the general spirit of benevolence:
One of the most surprising things I saw was the willingness of people to help us. Even people who had nothing to gain went out of their way to help our startup succeed.
and particularly how it extended all the way to the top:
The surprise for me was how accessible important and interesting people are. It’s amazing how easily you can reach out to people and get immediate feedback.
This is one of the reasons I like being part of this world. Creating wealth is not a zero-sum game, so you don’t have to stab people in the back to win.

18. You Get No Respect

There was one surprise founders mentioned that I’d forgotten about: that outside the startup world, startup founders get no respect.
In social settings, I found that I got a lot more respect when I said, “I worked on Microsoft Office” instead of “I work at a small startup you’ve never heard of called x.”
Partly this is because the rest of the world just doesn’t get startups, and partly it’s yet another consequence of the fact that most good startup ideas seem bad:
If you pitch your idea to a random person, 95% of the time you’ll find the person instinctively thinks the idea will be a flop and you’re wasting your time (although they probably won’t say this directly).
Unfortunately this extends even to dating:
It surprised me that being a startup founder does not get you more admiration from women.
I did know about that, but I’d forgotten.

19. Things Change as You Grow

The last big surprise founders mentioned is how much things changed as they grew. The biggest change was that you got to program even less:
Your job description as technical founder/CEO is completely rewritten every 6-12 months. Less coding, more managing/planning/company building, hiring, cleaning up messes, and generally getting things in place for what needs to happen a few months from now.
In particular, you now have to deal with employees, who often have different motivations:
I knew the founder equation and had been focused on it since I knew I wanted to start a startup as a 19 year old. The employee equation is quite different so it took me a while to get it down.
Fortunately, it can become a lot less stressful once you reach cruising altitude:
I’d say 75% of the stress is gone now from when we first started. Running a business is so much more enjoyable now. We’re more confident. We’re more patient. We fight less. We sleep more.
I wish I could say it was this way for every startup that succeeded, but 75% is probably on the high side.

The Super-Pattern

There were a few other patterns, but these were the biggest. One’s first thought when looking at them all is to ask if there’s a super-pattern, a pattern to the patterns.

I saw it immediately, and so did a YC founder I read the list to. These are supposed to be the surprises, the things I didn’t tell people. What do they all have in common? They’re all things I tell people. If I wrote a new essay with the same outline as this that wasn’t summarizing the founders’ responses, everyone would say I’d run out of ideas and was just repeating myself.

What is going on here?

When I look at the responses, the common theme is that starting a startup was like I said, but way more so. People just don’t seem to get how different it is till they do it. Why? The key to that mystery is to ask, how different from what? Once you phrase it that way, the answer is obvious: from a job. Everyone’s model of work is a job. It’s completely pervasive. Even if you’ve never had a job, your parents probably did, along with practically every other adult you’ve met.

Unconsciously, everyone expects a startup to be like a job, and that explains most of the surprises. It explains why people are surprised how carefully you have to choose cofounders and how hard you have to work to maintain your relationship. You don’t have to do that with coworkers. It explains why the ups and downs are surprisingly extreme. In a job there is much more damping. But it also explains why the good times are surprisingly good: most people can’t imagine such freedom. As you go down the list, almost all the surprises are surprising in how much a startup differs from a job.

You probably can’t overcome anything so pervasive as the model of work you grew up with. So the best solution is to be consciously aware of that. As you go into a startup, you’ll be thinking “everyone says it’s really extreme.” Your next thought will probably be “but I can’t believe it will be that bad.” If you want to avoid being surprised, the next thought after that should be: “and the reason I can’t believe it will be that bad is that my model of work is a job.”

為什麼你要創業?

我第一次創業是在 99 年,升大四的暑假。那時全球正處在一片瘋狂的網路熱當中,我和一群台大的朋友,懷著要就要站上世界的舞台,要就要和歐美最頂尖團隊競爭的夢想,成立了哈酷網,立志要成為亞洲的戴爾電腦 (Dell)。

當然從現在的角度看過去,當初真是一股傻勁。對管理、對商務、對電腦業,根本都沒什麼了解,居然就這樣出來開公司。而更有趣的,是居然還有投資人敢把錢交給我們,公司開張不到幾個月,我們就募得了好幾千萬的創投資金。

半年之後,我們自己寫的線上電腦零售網站開張,公司也開始有營收。但營業不久,便發現所謂戴爾模式 (當時) 在台灣很難成功,因為民眾根本還沒有在網路大筆消費的信心,而台灣也太接近零組件產地,電腦和周邊的毛利因此被過度競爭壓得奇低 (大約只有 3% 左右),如果衝不出量,根本無法獲利。

不過由於我們的軟體開發能力不錯,於是在投資人的鼓勵之下,決定轉型成為企業軟體公司,也就是現在的碩網資訊。一開始,先專注於幫想在網路上經營商店的企業開發 B2C 平台。可惜先後接了幾個案子之後,便碰到達康股災,所有企業也瞬間暫停網路平台的投資。

於是我們又再度被迫轉型,一群台大資工的高材生,在 MIT 博士執行長的領導之下,獨立開發出中文搜尋引擎和文字採礦 (text-mining) 等相關技術,包裝成知識管理、智財管理等相關軟體,接著獲得台積電、聯電、廣達等重要客戶的採用,這才殺出一條血路。

而在攻占了台灣的電子、金融業等市場後,接著必須要向海外拓展,於是我又帶著兩位同事,搬到上海。之後兩年,我們跑遍大江南北,把碩網的中文知識管理軟體,介紹給了無數的中國企業客戶。
於是在所有人的努力之下,碩網終於在 2003 年時轉虧為盈。完成了階段性任務,我也決定該是時候出國深造,04 年終於離開碩網,赴紐約大學攻讀 MBA (企管碩士) 學位。

講了這麼多,我的重點是什麼?就是你應該要嘗試創業。為什麼?

創業給你視野

如果當初我不是創業,而是去某大電子公司上班,四年之後,頂多是一個產品經理。能看到的,大概就是某個產品的規格、有什麼其他代工廠競爭、要用什麼價格去競爭等等。這些經驗或許也不錯,但是還是相當狹窄,很難比得上我創業四年所看到的高度。或許碩網沒有像我們原先設定一樣變得超級成功,但是所有創業夥伴們從中得來的經驗,卻是你花錢也買不到的。

創業給你廣度

更重要的是,創業可以讓你看到一個公司營運的所有必要元素。除了產品和技術,一個企業要能夠運作,你必須還要有行銷、業務、財務、人事、會計、福利委員會等等組織。這樣多元的歷練,你大概不可能在大企業取得。大概只有創業,才能讓你有這樣的廣度。

顛覆既有市場的能力

創業的重點就是破壞現狀,用創意來提出更有效率、更好的產品,以解決人們的問題。這樣的活動在大企業是很難推動的,因為大公司往往綁手綁腳,無法快速活動 (看看近兩年的 Microsoft、Yahoo 甚至是 Google 就知道)。而且官僚組織更是容易演變成團體責任機構,讓個人很難在其中推動創新。以上的問題,在創業環境中當然不會存在。且更重要的是,你可以有機會用自己的方式,去打破既有的秩序,創造全新的市場,改變人們的生活。這樣的影響力,絕對是在追隨國際標準運作的電子業,很難達到的。

從失敗中復活的機會

最後,如果我能保證你什麼,那就是創業的過程中你將會面對無數的失敗。然而,當你回頭看歷史上最成功的創業家,也都是每每能從瀕死經驗中復活,不斷讓自己變得更強大,不死鳥一輝形的人物。比爾?蓋茲 (Bill Gates) 的辦公軟體當初差點因為沒有好的作業系統,被 IBM 拒於門外,迫使他去生出一套 MS-DOS,從此踏上作業系統霸主之路。 Google 當初本想以 1 百萬美金價格賣給 Yahoo,誰知道楊致遠不買帳,才迫使他們走上獨立,創出一個千億美金價值的公司。

你的人生應該要精彩

當然,我知道以上的這些事情,聽起來都有點刺激,或許太過刺激。但換個角度想想,你的人生,不是也只有一次,難道你就只想這樣平平凡凡的混過去嗎?

(Pic via wili@flickr under CC license)