What determines whether your startup sinks or swims? To help you avoid startup doom, designer Mark Vital has visualized 18 mistakes that kill startups. The infographic is adapted from an essay by programmer and investor Paul Graham, co-founder of Y Combinator, an incubator that has funded more than 800 startups, including Dropbox, Airbnb, Stripe, and Reddit. You can turn these fatal mistakes into a recipe for success by simply negating them.
The infographic reveals the delicate balances required in launching a successful startup. A few standout rules of thumb: don’t fly solo as a founder—Jobs would’ve been nothing without Wozniak, and it’s not a coincidence most startups Graham has funded had two founders—but make sure you and your co-founder don’t fight too much. Don’t launch too slowly—or too early. Don’t raise too little money—or too much money (apparently, there’s such a thing: “once you take a lot of money it gets harder to change direction,” Graham writes). Don’t have a derivative idea: There are only so many “Tinder for ___s” that can succeed. Oh, and move to Silicon Valley.