What's a startup, really?

I bet it's not what you think it is.

Hello again, Squad.

The Really Rich Journal

Explore, then exploit.

Naval Ravikant

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The Weekly Tone

When you first start a company (whether it’s plumbing or rocketry), it's because you want to find a way to make some money by solving a specific problem. Perhaps it’s something that’s annoyed you since birth or is a new way to solve something using tech that didn’t exist a few years ago. Maybe it’s an old problem (like adding running water to a home) that needs a lot of skills to solve.

But that's just the beginning.

And everyone (including yours truly) gets this wrong at first. Your company isn’t built to immediately make money.


Rather, think of your new company as solely a vehicle for exploring that problem—more like a problem solving laboratory than a printing press. The plumber learn his best way to refine his business, just as the software engineer does—by doing it.

And it's not just about making money right now. It's about learning, adjusting, and growing.

And if you’re lucky enough to make money right now—you’re actually only scratching the surface of what you could be making.

Because you don’t understand the complexity of the problem yet. No one does.

Working for a contractor is a lot different than owning your own plumbing business. And so on.

Starting a business is simply to have the luxury of running experiments with real live humans.

Your journey will have twists and turns from your original idea. It's how you learn and create a solution that truly matters.

This takes a bit of time—and suffering.

Only when you truly understand the problem and create a meaningful solution, that's when you succeed.

The truth may be: customers prefer buying our products on a recurring basis at a reduced individual cost or our software is best suited for local tax preparers than mega accounting shops.

In a world where truth is the rare commodity, it’s like striking the motherlode after years of prospecting.

Or the moment of truth, so to speak.

In summary: your company is a way to solve complex problems. Keep learning, trying new things, and if you open-mindedly never quit—you will uncover some truth eventually.

And that truth may make you really rich.

💰 R/RR

Rich: It’s not working.

Really Rich: It’s not working yet.

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