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Paul Graham Giving Away Billion Dollar Startup Ideas, Basically

pg railsconf Paul Graham Giving Away Billion Dollar Startup Ideas, Basically

"You're welcome!" (via twitter/pg)

Betabeat first alerted you to the phenomenon of investors giving away their best ideas like so many party favors last June. But it appears repeat offender Paul Graham is at it again!

Back in 2008, Mr. Graham kicked off the practice by posting a list of startups Y Combinator would like to invest in. “We don’t like to sit on these ideas,” he noted, “Because we really want people to work on them.” But his latest offering to the shared pool puts that list to shame.

On his personal blog recently, Mr. Graham posted seven (count ‘em, seven) different “Frighteningly Ambitious Startup Ideas” that could make you (yes, you!) a billionaire.

Of course, Mr. Graham’s point was that ideas this big actually “tend to repel” people, he wrote, noting “how frightening the most ambitious startup ideas are.” But we prefer to read this as a To Do list. All we have to do is build “A New Search Engine”? We’re rich, bitch! Or we will be soon.

Mr. Graham’s other six suggestions, below, are no less daunting, but thankfully he offers plenty of guidance to lead you in the right direction. Take for example, his rather acerbic take on New Google:

“Lately when using Google search I’ve found myself nostalgic for the old days, when Google was true to its own slightly aspy self. Google used to give me a page of the right answers, fast, with no clutter. Now the results seem inspired by the Scientologist principle that what’s true is what’s true for you. And the pages don’t have the clean, sparse feel they used to. Google search results used to look like the output of a Unix utility. Now if I accidentally put the cursor in the wrong place, anything might happen.”

Can’t think of a way to work it any better? Then can we interest you in these billions instead?

Replace Email: “My inbox is a todo list, and email is the way things get onto it. But it is a disastrously bad todo list.”

Replace Universities: “One could do a lot better for a lot less money.”

Internet Drama: “So how do you deliver drama via the Internet?” [Ed. note: PG! Give us a call! We can totes help on this one.]

The Next Steve Jobs: “So if Apple’s not going to make the next iPad, who is?”

 Bring Back Moore’s Law: “There’s an intriguing middle ground where you build a semi-automatic weapon—where there’s a human in the loop.”

 Ongoing Diagnosis: “One of my tricks for generating startup ideas is to imagine the ways in which we’ll seem backward to future generations.”

Have your own billion dollar idea you’d like to share? Feel free to post them in the comments. If any of them make us Peter Thiel $$$, we promise to Zaarly you a thank you note.

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  1. Ian says:

    Getting people to reconnect and actually see each other for how we are!

  2. Ian says:

    Maybe make emails audio! and more visual!