Michael Seibel, CEO Y Combinator:
1) There are many startup experts, or at least people who pretend to be startup experts. But unfortunately, almost everything that you’re consuming you have to question whether it’s high quality or not.
2) If you consume TechCrunch and other tech news and think that that’s how the tech world works, it’s not true. It gives you a false impression of what’s going on in the market.
3) You can read about companies getting funded every single day. But very clearly, you know, the vast majority of those companies die. Where are the articles about those companies dying?
4) You see a company raise a bunch of money. How do you know they raised money because they grew and made revenue, and the idea is good? How do you know they raised money because they have relationships with VCs and were second-time founders? You have no idea.
5) Most of the information given to the press is shaped in such a way to give an impression. The goal is not necessarily to share the truth. Most of the news is not reflecting the real world. It reflects the world that either the reporter or the company wants you to believe.
6) There are so many quote-unquote startup experts out there who’ve never done a startup, who want to give you advice. And often, these people are your friends. Your peers can help support you, but they aren’t advisers. They have never done startups.
7) Don’t use VC Twitter as a source of information about what’s going on in the startup world.
8) If you’re constantly absorbing information and insights from the inaccurate press or friends and advisors who’ve never done startups, you’re putting “garbage in” to your mental model on how startups work. And your startup is going to be “garbage out.”
9) Be very careful about where you get advice. It turns out more advice isn’t better. High-quality advice is what you should be looking for.
10) If you build your mental model of startups based on quality content, like YCombinator, that is not “garbage in.” You’ll be doing better generally than you’re building it on what you read on TC or what you see tweeted.