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Paul Graham

Bloomberg interview

16 Jun, 2011

In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Graham says, to succeed, startups must improve lives.

[Startups] have to make something that actually makes people’s lives better. It’s funny how straightforward it is. People often think that business requires some sort of trickery, or you have to corner the market or something like that, but actually you have to make people’s lives better.

He says that startups should not fear competition from companies like Apple and says that out of hundreds of companies he has funded only one (Kiko’s calendar app) was killed by competition.

I spend a lot more time telling people to stop thinking about their competitors, than I do telling them to think about their competitors as a way to work harder. People who are good have this inner drive that makes them work hard anyway. The really successful companies don’t spend a lot of time obsessing about their competitors.

Y Combinator's Graham Says Startups Must Improve Lives