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21 of the Best Jessica Livingston Quotes

Dan Western



21 of the Best Jessica Livingston Quotes

Jessica Livingston is an American author and a founding partner of Y Combinator;

Livingston is the author of ‘Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days’, which contains interviews with famous startup founders, including Steve Wozniak, Mitch Kapor, Ray Ozzie, and Max Levchin.

This is our collection of the best Jessica Livingston quotes:


21 Jessica Livingston Quotes

1. “A lot of the machines that Google is built on – commodity is the polite word for them – they’re regular PCs and so they’re not always the most reliable.” – Jessica Livingston

2. “I think there are very few people who have a capacity to see the future. So it can be difficult when you are talking about something where nothing about it exists yet.” – Jessica Livingston

3. “It was just a few million bucks to take us out of our misery, to pay off our loans.” – Jessica Livingston

4. “People like the idea of innovation in the abstract, but when you present them with any specific innovation, they tend to reject it because it doesn’t fit with what they already know.” – Jessica Livingston

5. “Steve did a prepayment on royalties to make sure we had the resources to stay in business.” – Jessica Livingston

6. “The one thing we learned over 5 years is that nothing works better than just improving your product.” – Jessica Livingston

7. “We need to make sure that we are allowing students to be exposed to future technology and not reducing it to current – what a lot of people would like to say; ‘relevant’ teaching.” – Jessica Livingston

8. “I didn’t really want to patent it because, for one, I don’t like software patents, and, two, if you patent it, you make it public. Even if you don’t know someone’s infringing, they will still be getting the benefit.” – Jessica Livingston

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9. “I’d say determination is the single most important quality in a startup founder. If the founders I spoke with were superhuman in any way, it was in their perseverance.” – Jessica Livingston


10th of 21 Jessica Livingston Quotes

10. “Much better to figure out where the marketplace is going to be in a few years, focus on providing a solution to that, and let the market forces catch up to you.” – Jessica Livingston


11. “Pick a big enough project, something that’s really hard, something that over the years you can work on.” – Jessica Livingston

12. “The first business plan is there to make sure you can use Microsoft Word.” – Jessica Livingston

13. “The really dramatic growth happens when a startup only has three of four people, so only three or four people see that, whereas tens of thousands see business as it’s practiced by Boeing or Philip Morris.” – Jessica Livingston

14. “When you build only software that you absolutely need, you don’t get more software than you’ll actually use.” – Jessica Livingston

15. “I think business at all costs is just wrong. I think there are certain things that you just don’t do, and that acting with integrity and decency in business to me is just a given. I simply don’t compromise on those things.” – Jessica Livingston


16th of 21 Jessica Livingston Quotes

16. “Innovations seem inevitable in retrospect, but at the time it’s an uphill battle.” – Jessica Livingston


17. “Over the years, I’ve learned that the first idea you have is irrelevant. It’s just a catalyst for you to get started. Then you figure out what’s wrong with it and you go through phases of denial, panic, regret.” – Jessica Livingston

18. “Programmers have not been professionals because they haven’t really cared about quality.” – Jessica Livingston

19. “The less energy people expend on performance, the more they expend on appearances to compensate.” – Jessica Livingston

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20. “We had this angry phone conversation where he said something like,”We’ve been working on this thing for a whole month, and it’s still not finished.” It’s funny in retrospect, because we were still working on it 3 years later.” – Jessica Livingston

21. “You’ve got to be investing today in what your future’s going to be 5 or 10 years out.” – Jessica Livingston



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Dan Western is the founder of Wealthy Gorilla. Dan has been running Wealthy Gorilla and studying self-development, personal finance, and investment for the last 7 years. To this day, Wealthy Gorilla has become one of the fastest growing wealth infotainment sites in the world; with over 300 million views worldwide. Dan doesn't use personal social media anymore, so you won't be able to find him on Instagram, or Twitter.

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