Sam Altman

Sam Altman quotes on investment

American entrepreneur, investor, programmer, and blogger. Former president of Y Combinator.

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You have a problem, so you decide to raise some money. Now you have two problems. So you hire some people. Now you have three problems.


Make the email shorter, get to the point faster, and don't be shy about followup.


Bad investors ask about the founders' school. Good investors ask why they picked this idea. Great investors ask about their childhoods.


Next time an investor tells you your market is too small, ask them for the size of the market 10 years ago for Airbnb, Uber, or Snapchat.


Low burn rate, rapid progress: excellent! High burn rate, rapid progress: ok Low burn rate, slow progress: ok High burn rate, slow progress: disaster, and now common because "we can always just raise more money"...


Making it clear to a founder that someone believes in him/her, and the idea, is one of the most valuable things a startup investor does.


Startups: although it's become fashionable to raise way more money than you need and not worry too much about the dilution, you'll regret this if you're successful.


Investors generally fall into two buckets: they either make you more or less stressed when something bad happens.


Before you hire people with the money you just raised, please please please remember that small teams move faster than big ones.


I would love it if everyone stopped talking about valuations and went back to taking about products.


The danger with raising a lot of money is that you can start buying a lot of ego validation.


The best investors take the least credit for companies' success. This correlation is so strong that it's a reasonable filter.


Founders raise 5x the dollars for 2x the ownership and think they're getting a great deal. It sneaks up on you as you keep adding people to the round. Then you do it again in the next round. Then you realize you own 9% of your company and get sad.


first-time founders often think that raising a large round or hiring a lot of people will solve their problems and are usually disappointed.

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