How to Get Startup Ideas



  • look for problems, preferably problems you have yourself
  • want, build, few realize the worth (doing)
  • Why do so many founders build things no one wants? Because they begin by trying to think of startup ideas. (“made-up” or “sitcom”)
  • They don’t want to use it themselves, at least not right now, but they could imagine other people wanting it. Sum that reaction across the entire population, and you have zero users.

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Research: The Average Age of a Successful Startup Founder Is 45


We found that the average age of entrepreneurs at the time they founded their companies is 42.

The average age of high-tech founders falls in the early forties.

In other words, when you look at most successful firms, the average founder age goes up, not down.

Among those who have started a firm, older entrepreneurs have a substantially higher success rate.

Relative to founders with no relevant experience, those with at least three years of prior work experience in the same narrow industry as their startup were 85% more likely to launch a highly successful startup.

many VCs may operate under a mistaken belief that youth is the elixir of successful entrepreneurship — in other words, VCs are simply wrong.

Rather, they may seek investments that will yield the highest returns, and it is possible that young founders are more financially constrained than more experienced ones, leading them to cede upside to investors at a lower price.

The 40-year gap, or What has academic computer science ever done for us programmers

Has academic computer science been useful for practicing software engineers? I will show that it has, but with about 40 years of delay.

Declarative arithmetic expressions, such as SQRT(2.0*X)/Y, were first realized in Fortran, invented in 1953…  … So, we may conclude that in roughly 40 years, the concept has become widely adopted.

The “map/reduce” concept was pioneered in the LISP language around 1960… … Google famously used map/reduce at scale in early 2000s.

The paradigm of object-oriented programming began with the Simula language in 1967… … By mid-2000s, C++, Java and OOP became established industry practices.

Communicating sequential processes was an obscure theory developed in 1978 by Tony Hoare… …The first industry-strength implementation of this theory had to wait until 2009 when Google created the Go language. The adoption of Go outside Google started gaining momentum around 2013-2015.

Lambda-functions (or “anonymous functions“) were first clearly described in the 1967 lectures by Christopher Strachey and later implemented in a number of experimental programming languages… …In 2009, lambda-functions were added to Delphi and PHP, in 2011 to C++, in 2012 to Ada, and in 2014 to Java.