Indie Hackers Podcast

Indie Hackers Podcast 220: Michael Seibel

Published: Aug. 4, 2021, 8:56 p.m.

Business Name(es)

Y Combinator



Key Lessons from the Episode

The most important things to take away


Innovate where it matters and copy where it's appropriate. Don't try to innovate everything.

"If you want to build a large company, for example, you probably can't innovate the funding model... How do you pick where you innovate, how do you pick where you copy, how do you figure out where to put your entrepreneurial energy and how do you unpack some of the assumptions that a lot of people have when it comes to raising money from investors?"

Investors are not parents or mentors; they are managing someone else's money and aiming for a return. Don't rely on them for emotional support or guidance.

"Your investor is not going to get the advice right... Your responsibility is to treat that investment ethically and to try as hard as possible to make more money for that investor... If I can convince you to do something that you know is bad for your company after giving you money using my words, sorry, if that doesn't kill you, something else is going to kill you in the startup game."

Fear and envy can be destructive forces. Don't let them drive your decision-making process.

"In our game, almost everyone loses... Fear, I don't want to do this thing. It's uncomfortable, so I'm going to not think about it. Or envy, that person has something that I want or that I think that I want... Everyone who succeeds in this game has to deal with things that scare the crap out of them."

Aim for product-market fit and focus on understanding your customers' needs. Don't be afraid to charge money for your service.

"If you don't have flour and eggs, it ain't going to be a fucking cake... You got to learn about the customer's needs. It takes time... And so it's kind of like trying to bake a cake, but trying to remove all the ingredients and still expecting a cake."

Be disciplined and focused in your execution. Don't get distracted by shiny objects or shortcuts.

"Being disciplined is way more powerful in this game than being smart... Discipline was so important... It's a different muscle that was being used aggressively."

Episode Details

Episode Gist

Customer Acquisition

Y Combinator helps startups acquire customers by providing them with access to a large network of potential clients, mentorship, and resources. The accelerator program focuses on teaching founders how to build their own product, understand their target market, and charge appropriately for their services.

Business Category



Business and Enterprise Solutions

Business Model


Contact Michael Seibel