There are thousands of essays written about the topic of building companies (many from people much smarter and more experienced than I). To be honest, I often ignore most advice. Not because it is bad (though most of it is really generic or jam-packed with hindsight bias), but rather because I think very few things matter when you are building an early stage company.
As YC talks about often, really the only thing matters in the early days is whether or not you are building a product that people love. Building something great sounds simple but is really hard. It is probably the hardest thing you have to do…so we tend to get distracted with all of the tangential pieces (fundraising, hiring, press, auxiliary features, etc.) that are much easier to think about but far less important to your company’s success.
So that is what I am focused on: the very singular goal of building something I know is great and can be proud to recommend to any friend or stranger I interact with.
I know there will be time for frills. Pictures. Confetti. That time is not now. In fact, that time is nowhere unless we figure something out now. And it is with that mindset I recognize how we must be ruthless in our prioritization of what is important and critical to moving levers and surviving throughout this journey.
We will fail because of our failure to focus and understand what is important.
We will fail, simply, if and only if we fail to build something great.
Everything else is table-stakes.