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Startup life: ‘things that aren’t work’

Recently, I’ve had a few conversations with founders who, after Y Combinator (YC) is over, feel a bit lost about what to do next. During YC, the answer of what to do is pretty simple – we tell them to write code and talk to users. Intellectually, they know the answer after YC is to keep building their businesses, but all of a sudden they’re faced with a lot of different opportunities, needs, and demands on their time.

This is a tricky time for founders because it can be easy to confuse things that look like work with actual work. Work may mean more than just writing code and talking to users, but it should only encompass things that make your company grow and get better.

It can be easy to convince yourself that doing these other types of things make your company better, but that’s wrong. These things are mostly for recreation. Treat them that way if you want to, but don’t confuse them with what will actually help your startup.

Things that look like work but aren’t:

Things that don’t look like work but are:

This blog post originally appeared on Aaron Harris’ personal blog.

Aaron HarrisAaron Harris is a partner at Y Combinator. Aaron Harris was the co-founder of Tutorspree, which was funded by Y Combinator in 2011. Before Tutorspree he worked at Bridgewater Associates, where he managed product and operations for an analytics group. He has an AB in History and Literature from Harvard. Follow Aaron @harris

Photo provided by Aaron Harris

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