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Start-ups: Y Combinator and the Trough of Sorrow

Medical startups & the Medical Fusion Conference

Paul Graham is the director of a venture capital fund that has begun 145 new companies and developed a cult following in the tech community.  Graham and his fund, Y Combinator, were profiled recently in Inc. magazine.

The article, entitled The Start-up Guru: Y Combinator's Paul Graham, is great for those who are interested in start-up companies.  Graham is transparent about the difficulties of starting a company from scratch and his description of life in a start-up rings true for those who have ever been through the experience.  According to Graham,

"Everyone has a problem with your product, and people are constantly calling to complain about things you cannot possibly fix. Then there is the fact that you are doing everything for the first time, which creates a crippling sense of uncertainty, as well as a persistent fear that a single bad decision could doom the whole enterprise. There are squabbles with co-founders and combative negotiations with investors and that gut-wrenching period when you realize that success isn't going to come quickly or easily -- Graham calls it the Trough of Sorrow. Graham's start-up days are more than a full decade behind him, but he can't help recalling them with a shudder. "It's like talking to someone who went to war," Graham says. "It sucks to run a start-up." "

For physicians interested in entrepreneurship, the Medical Fusion conference is a good way to be introduced to how medical expertise can be leveraged in unique ways.

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