Garry Tan

Garry Tan quotes on skills

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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Ability to focus for long periods of time to become great at something, coupled with the ability to cold call your way to anyone can get you a really long way in this world.


Most underappreciated skill for new founders: Numeracy. Can you speak with authority about your numbers, now and in the future? Can you define the levers of your growth, pick feasible goals, and then hit them week after week, month after month? This is true product market fit


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


Most startup founders end up spending their entire careers trying to catch lightning in a bottle even once. I caught it once and lost it myself. It’s hard to hold— so much can go wrong. When you catch lightning in a bottle, you have to do everything in your power to harness it.


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.


Great experiences require makers who have taste, vision and execution. Taste is discernment. Vision is the ability to articulate a future. Execution is the ability to realize it. We meet teams that can do some partial set every day. When you meet a team with all 3? Magic 💎


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.


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.


Humility is necessary to build a great product. Arrogance believes the product is great and anyone who thinks otherwise is an idiot.


The best founders have a plan, have data, and are direct and plain spoken. The worst are evasive, unprepared and over-rely on social proof.


Good relationships are built on long duration, but most people are too focused on the short term. Being a steadfast stalwart allows you to play long term infinite games that contribute to bigger ideas and ideals.


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.


Often new markets are won before anyone knows there's a contest. Great founders secure the prize before others are even aware it exists.


One of the most valuable and rare traits a founder can possess is knowing when the product is imperfect but usable vs. unshippable garbage.


The biggest mismatch in tech is too many founders can execute but can't sell. Others only sell and can't execute. Both are necessary.

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