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Letter to a young programmer considering a startup  

Excellent article by Alex Payne. It points at several fundamental issues with the startup industry, and is worth a read for pretty much anyone, whether you're new to this game or just getting into it.

The machine doesn't care about you. In fact, the machine is designed with the understanding that most startups will fail, or at most offer unremarkable returns to investors. The majority of the companies in many VC portfolios are acknowledged duds. One or two "10x" companies prop up most portfolios. At best, startup founders who fail get another pull of the slot machine. At worst, their failures drive them to desperation.

There is nothing inherently disruptive about a venture-backed startup. The startup system is just another system; an alternative to the corporate ladder with just as many rungs to climb. Some startups may end up dramatically reshaping a market, but then so might an incumbent player or an active regulator.

I have a lot of thoughts in response to it (some of which I already drafted in another article a few weeks ago, which I haven't published yet), so I'll make a fuller comment later, but in the meantime, this article is a must-read if you care about the systemic issues in the startup industry.

More from the library:
Appsumo's failed A/B tests
Paths and deterministic design
Don't wait to work on exciting ideas