Things To Do When You're Drunk

The Key to a Really Great Startup Idea? Alcohol.

40 ounces to freedom, and a massive IPO.
tumblr lamloncjdi1qat8sbo1 500 The Key to a Really Great Startup Idea? Alcohol.

A still from The Social Network, found by Googling "Drunk startup" (newwavecrashing.tumblr.com)

There are a whole lot of ways you can cultivate a great startup idea–hiring talented team members, learning to master the pivot with poise, and scoring a hefty round of funding are just a few. But what’s another popular way to hit on a moneymaking idea and embrace the fearlessness needed to pursue it? Get drunk. Really drunk.

The Internet is abuzz today with “startup stories,” spurred by Paul Graham’s post yesterday about how he decided to start Y Combinator. In a move of solidarity, Union Square Ventures VC Fred Wilson penned a missive on his blog about how he came to found Flatiron Ventures, and asked other founders to share their stories in the comments.

While a core dissatisfaction with their current professional prospects was a key theme among many of the stories, another was a little surprising: these ladies and dudes are really into drinking!

“I was slightly drunk on a Friday night seven years ago,” begins Fernando Guttierez, founder of a small healthcare business. “I made a bad move while going down the stairs in a bar (i.e., I fell) and injured my knee… I had had a difficult time to find a good therapist that could work on the hours and places I wanted, so I created a business around that.” That’s one way to solve an alcohol-induced medical emergency.

“It seems that getting drunk or drinking is an emerging theme,” commented William Mougayer, Founder/CEO of Engag.io. “I wonder if that should become part of the Lean Startup process. Wanna start a company? Get drunk & it will come.”

“I guess I could say I owe my freedom to vodka,” concluded the endearingly clumsy Mr. Guttierez.

The devoted commenters on Mr. Wilson’s blog aren’t the only people who owe their business ideas to a little help from liquid courage.

Elias Bizannes, founder of StartupBus, came up with the idea over drinks in Australia. Mark Zuckerberg famously began the process of building Facemash, Facebook’s predecessor, with the line “I’m a little intoxicated, not gonna lie.”

Several of this reporter’s friends have been known to go on drunk domain buying sprees from time to time. (No word yet on how hollandoates.com will get itself off the ground.) And with apps like Go Daddy making it so easy to buy a domain name from your phone, it doesn’t bode well for the drunken domain squatters among us.

We suppose startup brainstorming while drinking is better than drunk tweeting, or worse–drunk Gilt Groupe shopping. So if you need us, we’ll be at House of Shields, throwing back whiskey and waiting for our next million dollar idea to hit.

Follow Jessica Roy on Twitter or via RSS. jroy@observer.com