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Mark Zuckerberg and friend in Noe Valley

It's incredibly hard to start a company.

Fortunately, a lot of smart people have done it before, and they have sound advice to share with budding entrepreneurs.

We pulled the best quotes from recent blog posts, conferences, and interviews that can help startups at every phase, whether they're still deciding what to launch or figuring out how to scale.

Here's the truest, most timely startup advice from business stars like Pinterest's Ben Silbermann and Y Combinator's Paul Graham.

On deciding what to start: "Facebook, I didn’t start to ‘start a company.’ It was mostly just through wanting to build it and having it be this hobby and getting people around me excited. It eventually evolved into a company. But I never understood the psychology of wanting to start a company before deciding what you wanted to do. Explore what you want to do before committing." - Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and co-founder of Facebook

"If you are thinking of starting a non-transactional consumer startup, be aware that you are entering what is perhaps the most competitive sector in tech in the last decade….ten million users is the new one million users." -- Chris Dixon, Partner of Founder Collective and founder of Hunch

On the stress of running a company: "As a startup CEO, I slept like a baby. I woke up every two hours and cried." -- Ben Horowitz

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Fred Wilson and Friends

Starting a company is hard, so you're going to need a lot of advice along the way.

There are many entrepreneurs, investors and bloggers who churn out business advice daily, but it's a pain figuring out which sites are worth reading.

We've compiled a list of our favorite sources of small business and tech news for entrepreneurs.

Running the gamut from hilarious, to informational, to controversial, to thought-provoking, these blogs are all must-reads for anyone who's running a business.

Quora

Blog: Quora

Blogger: Any entrepreneur you want to follow, from Fred Wilson to Marc Cuban

Why it's so great: Quora is a Q&A site where experts actually take the time to seriously answer your questions. You can follow topics like "startups" and "entrepreneurship" and people like Fred Wilson or Mark Zuckerberg.  Answers get voted up by by the community so that only the best ones shine. You can find answers to questions like "What is the best way to prepare yourself for entrepreneurship?" or "What are some tips on connecting with high-profile people that can help your startup?"

Sample: "What are some tips on connecting with high-profile people that can help your startup?"

Top answer by Robert Scoble:

I hang around high-profile people often. Here's some things that can help you connect:

  1. Listen. If they say your idea sucks, listen to the feedback, take notes, and ask for contact info. Then go fix the problems, or come up with another idea and demonstrate you listened.
  2. Get to the point. People like Ron Conway are busy. They are wildly rich, so the only thing that is limited in their life is time. You are taking away some of their most precious resource, so get to the freaking point. Don't try to chit chat or ask about their kids or make small talk. Go right for the big ask. They are used to it.

PandoDaily

Blog: PandoDaily

Blogger: Sarah Lacy

Why it's so great: Sarah Lacy and her band of bloggers at Pando are making an effort to become the "site of record for Silicon Valley." Much of the staff came from TechCrunch, so they're well sourced. Lacy conducts exclusive interviews with high profile people in tech and curates the top tech/entrepreneurship stories from other startups in the site's right rail.

Sample: AngelList has Transformed Seed Investing -- Are Recruiters and Job Boards Next?

Last week Naval Ravikant went to an industry dinner. He asked a friend in the venture business how things were going. The friend slumped over in his chair, shrugged sadly and said, “The business is becoming commoditized.”

It’s an extreme interpretation, and not everyone shares it. Times have never been better for a handful of firms who are rolling in the returns, raising as much from LPs as they want and still doing business the way they always have.

But matters have also never been more polarized for the VC-haves and have-nots, and this sad-sack VC has a few people to blame. Chief among them is his friend Ravikant, whose site AngelList has dragged the stealthy, back-room world of venture capital kicking and screaming into the light — something many industry watchers never thought could be done.

And now, AngelList is doing the same thing it did to VCs to recruiters.

LinkedIn Today

Blog: LinkedIn Today

Blogger: LinkedIn curates articles based on your professional profile and your social connections.

Why it's so great: LinkedIn Today curates articles that are fitting for your industry and that people in that industry are sharing. As such, it's a good source of entrepreneurship and business news all in one place.

Sample: Articles on LinkedIn Today:

Hiring Your First Set Of Employees - Greylock Capital

Facebook Testing a New 'Want' Button - Inside Facebook

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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matrix

Cheat codes are secret combinations that unlock special abilities in video games.

Reddit users have compiled a long list of "real-life cheats" that can help you navigate the mall, the bar, Macy's and everywhere else.

We've picked out our favorites and are sharing them here. 

If you need to withdraw more than your limit, sometimes you can withdraw twice from the same ATM or the one next to it before the bank stops you.

From Reddit's list of real-life cheats.

When you're talking to someone, cross your arms to check if they're listening. If they cross theirs as well, they truly are.

From Reddit's list of real-life cheats.

If you have crushing chest pain, call 911 first. Then chew some aspirin. I work in cardiology.

From Reddit's list of real-life cheats.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Mark Zuckerberg eyes

Eight years ago, Facebook was a coding project in Mark Zuckerberg's dorm room.

Now its a global business with $4 billion of revenue that is used by 1/8th of the world's population. And it's worth more than $100 billion.

When Facebook started, there were dozens of other social networks going after the same opportunity.

Facebook won. They lost.

Here are some reasons why--reasons that apply to almost every business.

1. Move fast

Mark Zuckerberg built the first version of Facebook in his spare time in his Harvard dorm room.

He didn't write a business plan.

He didn't endlessly ask friends and advisors what they thought of the idea.

He didn't "research the market," apply for patents or trademarks, assemble focus groups, or do any of the other things that entrepreneurs are supposed to do.

He just built a cool product quickly and launched it.

And Facebook was born.

2. Remember that ideas are a dime a dozen--it's all about execution.

From the moment Facebook was launched, there was a huge fight about whose idea it was.

Two Harvard seniors, the Winklevosses, said it was their idea--that Mark Zuckerberg had "stolen it."

This led to a legal fight that has lasted for nearly a decade.

Meanwhile, outside the clubby world of Harvard, there were dozens of other entrepreneurs who had similar ideas. And lots of them launched those ideas. But, today, there's only one Facebook.

Why?

Because ideas are a dime a dozen.

What matters is making them happen.

As the fictional Mark Zuckerberg told the fictional Winklevoss brothers in the movie: "If you had invented Facebook, you would have invented Facebook."

Don't waste time congratulating yourself for having a good idea. Just go make it happen.

3. Keep it simple (don't overbuild)

Many companies get so entranced with all the amazing features they want to build into their products that they make their products so complex that no one can figure out how to use them.

Or they take so long to develop their products that by the time they come out, they have already been leapfrogged.

The first version of the "thefacebook" was very simple. It did one thing well.

Then Zuckerberg and the Facebook team improved it over time. And, each time, they made sure that the service was still easy to use.

(Okay, the privacy controls are ludicrously complex, but no one pays attention to those).

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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