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August 30, 2010 AT 9:29 am

“The VC-free startup”

Dale (Publisher of MAKE) has a great post on O’Reilly Radar “The VC-free startup”

A couple of items caught my eye in the notes from Paul Graham’s Y-Combinator talk on trends for the future (circa 2009):

  • There should be an O’Reilly book for business. It would be really short. “Make something people want, charge them money for it. Advanced: charge more money.”
  • B-school is West Point for industrial capitalism. It trains generals, not foot soldiers. Market now rewards people who can do stuff.

The hype around Silicon Valley may distract us from the basic business idea that Graham emphasizes: make something other people wish they had. If you can do that and you can reach people who will buy, then you can have a successful business. I’m seeing makers who are creating products for other makers to buy. Limor Fried’s Adafruit Industries is one example…

Makers of physical goods have some advantage in that people seem to understand paying for them. Makers may also find good opportunities making things that businesses need rather than selling direct to consumers.

Just to add to that – There are many success stories in the world of makers, but they’re mostly ignored by places like TechCrunch and business magazines. We’ve spent countless hours with journalists who have contacted us only to hear later that making good products that people want and charging a fair price is too “boring” for their editor.

More:

Million dollar baby – Businesses designing and selling open source hardware, making millions.


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