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    • Paul Graham is like Yoda to the Silicon Valley. He's the founder of Y Combinator, which famously provided the first funding for companies like DropBox and Airbnb. He was interviewed a couple days ago about what makes startup companies succeed.

      I have mixed feelings about him because I think he's also flooded the market with hundreds of underfunded companies that rushed to failure, as the founder of Slack says it, by shipping before their product was good enough. My opinion.

      Anyway, in his latest interview he said what he often does: determination wins over intelligence. Do you believe it?

      đź“·: The pros and cons of startup accelerators, Mashable.

    • There are so many factors. If you had to pick the two you describe yes. The determined person will succeed over the more intelligent one.

      How about luck, age, health, location, experience I think I could go on for quite awhile with factors.

      What do you do? Do you invent the new best yogurt around and and several years later you’re a billionaire? You invent Facebook and your going to get there way faster than buying and selling real estate. In order to get there quick you have to sell something like toilet paper that everybody needs.

      What if you invent a cure for baldness? Lots of intelligence and you need nothing but a little business savvy to get there.

      This is a great subject to explore, what makes a person succeed fascinates me.

      How about a good family a loving wife and the ability to make good decisions?

      How about believing a higher power guides you and you do your best to follow his beliefs?

      I might submit all factors require determination, even intelligence.

      Meet Chad, he is 18. He is going to ASU. I have watched Chad grow from the age of six. I watched him win the 4A 145 weight class Washington State Wrestling Championship this year.

      Today he built his first vent for my company and I took his picture. I am thankful that he works with me. His dad helped me design and build some of my products. His dad builds national champion caliber off-road race machines from scratch on his shop floor.

      Lots of damn determination going around, how much intelligence nobody knows.

    • Perhaps one reason people believe startup founders win by being smarter is that intelligence does matter more in technology startups than it used to in earlier types of companies. You probably do need to be a bit smarter to dominate Internet search than you had to be to dominate railroads or hotels or newspapers. And that's probably an ongoing trend. But even in the highest of high tech industries, success still depends more on determination than brains.

      Graham defines determination as a balancing act between will (assertiveness) and discipline. If you have the drive to go after what you want, you can become the world’s greatest drug addict unless you possess sufficient discipline to avoid self-destructive behaviors.

      Funny, but it seems as if Graham is saying that startup failures are often the result of out of control teams. Not because of bad products, but because of founders who lacked self-control.

      But how do you assess the discipline of a team or founder? You can determine experience and intelligence and even assertiveness of a startup founder before you invest, but how do you know their discipline?

      Interesting questions. Is Tesla better off without Elon Musk? Or does his brilliance and will more than compensate for some of the bizarre behaviors over the past couple years?

      If Tesla was still a startup, would it have survived the rescue submarine comments, the SEC fines and loss of chairmanship, and the weed smoking interview?

    • Another wizened man of startups, Ben Horowitz, has said you don't hire for absence of weakness, you look for great strength. Elon has such great strengths that hardly anyone else has. Like Steve Jobs, the products he makes are incredible. And I think they are harder to make than the ones Steve made.

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