Paul Graham has written a couple of new high-tech entrepreneur articles: Ideas for Startups and What I Did this Summer. The first is about ‘how to have an entrepreneurial idea’ and the second about their first year running their newly formed young-persons incubator fund (this year they had 18-28 year olds involved).
The ‘Y Combinator’ incubation fund’s activities this summer are interesting – he thinks 3 or 4 of the 10 start-ups they’ve funded will succeed. That’s a good number – the oft quoted figure is that 10% of companies get past the idea stage and of those only 10% survive to year two (so an overall success rate of 1%). Take that 1% figure with a pinch of salt – this seems to be applied to all start-ups, from market traders through to biotech, so I choose to mostly ignore it (it’s too general).
He might be talking rubbish, but I think his ideas are sound – his articles are good and his book has some interesting extra essays. Be aware that his essays centre on the high-tech industry so perhaps don’t translate to other fields.