Paul Graham

updated 28 Feb 2023

Paul Graham is a computer scientist, entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and writer. He is best known as the co-founder of the seed-stage startup accelerator and investment firm, Y Combinator. Paul Graham is a well-regarded figure in the technology and startup communities, and is known for his essays on a variety of topics, including technology, startups, LISP programming language, painting, and entrepreneurship. He has been a strong advocate for the role of technology in society and has encouraged young entrepreneurs to pursue their ideas and make a positive impact on the world.


Paul Graham is an avid twitter user and can be found @paulg. He tweets about startups, technology, social issues, his observations, and observations his kids make and say.

Net Worth

Estimated $2.5 Billion

Pauls Grahams Best Essays

Paul Graham is known for his thought-provoking essays on a wide range of topics, including technology, startups, and entrepreneurship. Some of his most well-known essays include:

  1. "How to Start a Startup" - This essay provides practical advice on how to start a successful startup, covering topics such as idea generation, product development, and fundraising.

  2. "Hackers and Painters" - This essay explores the similarities between computer programming and art, and argues that both are forms of creativity that are fueled by a desire to make something new.

  3. "The Refragmentation" - This essay predicts the future of the technology industry and argues that the Internet will become increasingly fragmented as new platforms and devices emerge.

  4. "Why Nerds are Unpopular" - This essay explores the social dynamics of school and why many smart, talented students are often unpopular.

  5. "The Hundred Year Language" - This essay discusses the future of programming languages and the possibility of creating a language that will last for a hundred years.

These essays are widely read and discussed in the technology and startup communities, and are considered to be some of Paul Graham's most important works.

Paul Graham Mental Models

Paul Graham has written about and promoted a number of mental models that he believes are useful for entrepreneurs, startups, and technology companies. Some of these include:

  1. First Principles Thinking - Graham encourages entrepreneurs to think about problems and solutions using first principles, which involves breaking down complex ideas into their basic components and reasoning from there.

  2. The Power of Constraints - Graham argues that constraints can be a powerful force for creativity and innovation, as they force people to find new and creative solutions to problems.

  3. The Importance of Focus - Graham emphasizes the importance of focusing on one thing at a time in order to achieve success. He argues that startups should concentrate on a single product or service and not get distracted by other opportunities.

  4. The Long-Term View - Graham encourages entrepreneurs to take a long-term view of their companies, rather than just focusing on short-term gains. He argues that this allows them to make better decisions that will benefit the company in the long run.

  5. The Lean Startup Methodology - Graham is a proponent of the Lean Startup methodology, which emphasizes rapid iteration and continuous learning in the development of new products and services. He argues that this approach allows startups to move quickly and avoid wasting time and resources on unnecessary features or products.

These mental models provide a framework for thinking about and solving problems, and are widely adopted in the technology and startup communities.


Paul Graham: Before the Startup

A Conversation with Paul Graham