Garry Tan

Garry Tan quotes on life

Founder Initialized. PM/designer/eng turned Forbes Midas List Top 100 VC in startups worth over $40B, before product-market fit.

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1

Don’t solve with process what you can solve with a conversation

2

Being the best listener in a room pays more long term dividends than being the loudest

3

You can learn a lot from books and podcasts but here’s why you need to still seek out advice from people who have worked with a lot of startups 1:1— Books/podcasts don’t tell you what happens when things go bad. They will just give you the survivorship bias of what goes right.

4

Beware work that feels good but has no tangible result.

5

To create the future you need a beginner’s mind: In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few.

6

A lot of people worry when they try and fail, that failure will hang around their neck forever The lucky reality is that nobody cares! You will be remembered if you help a lot of people or make something great, but as long as you don’t hurt anyone else the downside is nil.

7

You don’t always have to be the smartest person in the world. It is better and easier to be the best at explaining things. That local maximum will get a better outcome most of the time than absolute brilliance if there is no ability to recreate or incept that idea in others.

8

If your fire in your belly burns longer than your adversaries, you will prevail. 5 years or 10 years but definitely by 20 years... nobody has staying power except those driven by something other than just power and money and fame.

9

Speaking faster and saying more words is like taking a trip with a big suitcase and filling it with lots of things you don’t need and forgetting some things you do. Better to take a small suitcase with just the things you need. Better to speak slowly and say only what you must.

10

I have always outperformed my resume. Never let where you came from be the most interesting thing about you. How? Always do good work now. Your past might get you in the door (or sometimes keep you out too) but the good work (real product, users, growth, results) will make you.

11

Reminder: People do their best work when they are loved and have the right amount of structure.

12

The next time you have a truly great experience, take a moment to admire the sacrifice it took for someone to design & manage that for you.

13

Most things are not good It takes cycles of improvement to make them good If you don’t ask and nobody tells you something is great, then it probably still sucks Even if people do shower you with praise there is probably stuff you could do to make it better So, ask.

14

One thing that is useful is if someone can think coherently: it is totally possible to think your way to novel ideas or solutions. There is an idea maze and you can describe the walls and constraints. The big problem is thinking coherently is surprisingly rare.

15

You must be open minded to accept risk You must be vulnerable to grow Taking risks combined with personal growth leads to self actualization It’s unnatural to keep open to things that challenge you, and it’s scary to be vulnerable... but it’s worth it.

16

It’s fun to talk about new things you’re gonna do, but greatness comes from actually doing them, well after all the novelty wears off.

17

When feeling pessimistic, remember that attempting to do something that doesn't work is one of the few ways to discover the things that do.

18

Helpful note to self today and every day: Breathe, slow down, and be thankful.

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