Hey, I'm Dan! I invest in startups at Madrona and write the DL, a weekly newsletter about tech in the Pacific Northwest

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Read this before starting a startup

One of last week’s top links on Hacker News was a post called I wasted $40k on a fantastic startup idea. It’s about one developer’s hard-earned lessons (nine months of work and $40K of savings) on how to validate a Brilliant Startup Idea.

It’s definitely worth learning from other people’s (expensive) mistakes, so if you have a startup idea, this is a great reference on how to evaluate whether something is a great business or just a great product. In case you don’t want to read the full thing, my favorite takeaway was this quote:

[Startups] can’t just create value for the user: that’s a charity. You also can’t just create value for your company: that’s a scam. Your goal is to set up some kind of positive-sum exchange, where everyone benefits, including you.

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