As I dig through the net to find wisdom I found this very comprehensive 2015 piece by Joseph Walla the founder of Hellosign (2012) and HelloFax (2010) earlier. He writes about the numerous lessons learned while taking his two ventures from 0 to 1mn ARR.
Most of the advice on Startups have a timelessness about them. People have been starting businesses with an idea that they found compelling for hundreds of years. Still you would wonder why we do not learn from the abundant availability of information? Possibly because we are making conscious choices like – ‘build to be acquired – not to serve customer needs’. A few clever people do get away with that. But I digress.
I came across this highly readable article by Vishal Kataria (http://aryatra.com) on common blunders founders commit and I thought it would be nice to reiterate the basics that we ignore. No idea why?
Vishal talks about these:
1. The Mere Ownership Bias : Be fiercely customer centric.
2. Selling Products And Services : Sale the Solution (to the customers problem) not the feature ( in your product).
3. Ignoring The Process – This is super important. But clarity in role and deliverables is key to success.
4. Pursuing Every New Opportunity – Stop doing that. Obviously.
5. Saying No To Learning – Learn about new tech, new competition, new user needs.
Give it a read. It has illustrations, more links and a nice way to quick check if you are in the clear.
The Startup life full of challenges. Managing relationship through difficult situations that need discussions and decisions is critical. Not without reason co-founder conflicts seem to be one of the key reasons for startup failures. That made me reflect on how many of our difficult discussions with colleagues and contemporaries devolve into nothingness and how we can possibly change the approach to make it more meaningful. Giving feedback or discussing tactical issues at hand can be tricky. They tend to land up in debates, the need to defend ones position becomes imperative. It is rare to have an environment which is safe and open for the group to share openly and that’s where the Gestalt (language) Protocol comes in.