In a user interview, try to restrain your interest in talking and really listen. Take notes and listen to what the user is saying because, in that span of time, the 10, 20, 30 minutes that you spend with the user, you're trying to extract as much information as possible, so that when you return to the office and when you've returned to your co-founders, you're bringing hard data, real facts about users' lives to the table. I think that there are five great questions that everyone can ask during their early customer interviews.
And being good as I said you should think about broadly, be good and kind to yourself, eat well, exercise, stay in control of yourself and your sanity because rolling back to what I said earlier, startups are hard, really hard. Be good to your co-founders. One of the main reasons that companies fail is because co-founder relationships break down and founding teams break up. We funded a company in the summer of 2015 called Inner Space which has a lot of material on how to communicate well with your co-founders so this doesn't happen. But likewise, be good to your employees, be good to the people you work with. Choose a culture and values that are positive, make your company a happy exciting place to work. You can always feel that vibe if you go into a successful company. Go into a company with 100 people where they are moving and they are going forward and they're creating something special, and you can feel it. And of course, be good to your customers, they pay the bills. They're the reason you do what you do, being customer-centric is always a recipe for success. Be good to your investors. They took a chance on you, and that will pay back in the future because you never know when you're gonna raise money again.
Okay, there's more. I'll go through these quicker. "I'm a solo founder." Okay, that's not a reason not to apply. It's just, again, maybe you're afraid of rejection or you know that we encourage you to have co-founders, that's not a reason not apply to YC. "I've already applied to YC once before." I'll address this later, but just because you didn't get in once and, "no way," means that you won't do it again. So that's, like, not a good reason. "I've already raised some money."
Thank you Jared, Geoff, and Craig for helping me with this post, Ammon and Guillaume my co-founders at Socialcam, and Justin, Emmett, and Kyle for surviving all the pain from the good old days at Justin.tv.