Paul Graham evaluates talent by considering various factors. One of the key elements he looks for is determination and perseverance . He believes that determination can be observed by listening to stories about how individuals faced and overcame challenges .
Additionally, Paul Graham pays attention to whether founders truly understand their own ideas and have a deep understanding of the technical aspects . He believes that being able to judge the level of expertise in a specific area is one of his strengths .
In evaluating startups, Paul Graham also focuses on finding founders who have done side projects or have a track record of past achievements . This helps to increase the likelihood that the startup idea is not simply a result of inexperience .
Paul Graham also acknowledges that his wife, Jessica Livingstone, is a better judge of character and social protocol, highlighting the importance of these skills in talent evaluation .
Overall, Paul Graham considers determination, expertise, track record, and understanding of ideas to be important factors in evaluating talent.