Stanford in the Alley: 8 Startup Myths Exposed


There’s a lot of talk about Silicon Valley vs Silicon Alley. Let’s be honest: New York startups head west for the Silicon Valley investors. Silicon Valley companies open offices here for the access to the wealth of established industries that only New York offers. As for the rivalry: enough already, although one thing that the Valley does have that the Alley doesn’t is Stanford University. In a new spirit of collaboration, AlleyWatch is bringing Stanford east, with a series of videos from classes taught at the esteemed university.

It would be wise to take notes when Kevin Systrom and Michael Krieger, co-founders of Instagram, are giving startup advice. These two brilliantly successful entrepreneurs share what they believe to be the eight most widespread myths about startups that need to be busted, and the realities that are being shrouded by these myths.

Some people believe that you can learn to be an entrepreneur from a blog, book, lecture, etc. This is simply untrue. A day on the job is substantially more beneficial than a year in a book. Experience teaches you to make better decisions, understand all the ins and outs of your trade and learn from failure.

Contrary to popular belief, finding the solution to a problem is not the hard part. Finding the problem that needs solving is the truly the most challenging task. Work to build a product that solves problems, no matter how big or how small those problems are.

And successful startups don’t ever come from one single great idea. In fact, your first idea will most likely not result in your final product.

That’s only a taste of what you need to know about the realities of building your own startup. Watch this video and in less than an hour, you will have gained invaluable knowledge from startup founders that have been there, done that. And share what they’ve learned along the way.

Kevin Systrom – Co-founder of Instagram
Michael Krieger – Co-founder of Instagram
Tina Seelig – Executive Director of Stanford Technology Ventures Program

Check out this lecture given by Systrom and Krieger at Stanford University.

About the author: Dan Kauffman

Dan Kauffman recently graduated from Rutgers University in NJ with a BA in Journalism and Media Studies. Dan is now pursuing a career in the journalism field.

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