12 quotes from Sam Altman’s Startup Playbook

  1. THE IDEA: “we’re looking for businesses that get more powerful with scale and that are difficult to copy.” … “The best ideas sound bad but are in fact good.”
  2. A GREAT TEAM: “The best founders are unusually responsive.”
  3. A GREAT PRODUCT: “Startups are the point in your life when tricks stop working.” … “we tell founders they should be building product and talking to users, and not much else besides eating, sleeping, exercising, and spending time with their loved ones.”
  4. GREAT EXECUTION: “The only universal job description of a CEO is to make sure the company wins.”
  • 5) Growth: “It’s valuable to have a single metric that the company optimizes, and it’s worth time to figure out the right growth metric.” … Humans are very bad at intuition around exponential growth.”
  • 6) Focus & Intensity: “Prioritization is critical and hard.” … “It’s very hard to be both obsessed with product quality and move very quickly.”
  • 7) Jobs of the CEO: “You have to eat well, sleep well, and exercise.” … “the diversity and magnitude of the disasters will surprise you. Your job is to fix them with a smile on your face and reassure your team that it’ll all be ok.”
  • 8) Hiring & Managing: “Value aptitude over experience for almost all roles.” … “if you don’t retain employees, you can be the best recruiter in the world and it still won’t matter.”
  • 9) Competitors: “99% of startups die from suicide, not murder.”
  • 10) Making Money: “try to get to “ramen profitability” as quickly as you can” … “Watch your cash flow obsessively.”
  • 11) Fundraising: “The secret to successfully raising money is to have a good company.” … “Always explain why you could be a huge success.” … “investors have a wonderful ability to say “no” in a way that sounds like “maybe yes”. It’s really important to have fundraising conversations in parallel” … [there’s too many, you should go read [at least] this entire section: playbook.samaltman.com]

12. Closing Thought: “at least a thousand people have every great idea. One of them actually becomes successful. The difference comes down to execution. It’s a grind”