Start-up secrets

03Nov09

Secrets gathered from an article in Inc.com. Very good learning tips that can be applied. I took each and added to it myself a few words.

  1. Stick with it: startups don’t die, they commit suicides –> that when entrepreneurs get bored, discouraged or just don’t persevere. Start-ups need work and faith, and most of all a clear vision and game plan.
  2. Simplify your mission. Know for sure what your business is, what the goal is. Eric Koger from ModCloth recommends the 60- to 90-second synopsis.
  3. Ditch your safety net, because it might keep you from moving forward and trying harder.
  4. Exceed expectations.  When you over-deliver, you draw attention and most likely success.
  5. Do more with less. When you are creative, you can do with fewer resources. It works the other way around too. As a consequence you spend less on better more creative products/services.
  6. Don’t go it alone. This one is sometimes difficult, especially when you do not feel you can transmit the same excitement and vision about your start-up idea. It happened to me at a small level, but still. Emily Olson from Foodzie recommends you partner up with someone, build a great team and support each other through the tough times. Because there will be tough times.
  7. Be nimble. Be aware of changes, as well as opportunities. The idea is constant adaptation, flexibility and awareness of what’s out there.
  8. Have a plan for actually making money. This one speaks for itself.. No one will come to offer you money. When you have a plan, it means you know the steps you should take in order to reach a goal. It also motivates for trying harder, improving weaker spots.
  9. Do your homework. Be clear about what assumptions you make about the industry, the competitors, the products you’re planning to introduce. Verify assumptions and be cautious. Better be safe than not.
  10. Be prepared. Linked to the previous one, by doing your homework you are not prone to be taken advantage of. Know when and how to negotiate, be realistic and know what you can expect.
  11. Stay genuine. Do what you love doing and do it well.
  12. Send in the geeks. What can I say, having them on the founding team sort of ensures web technology flexibility and hence quality from the very beginning.
  13. Don’t manage angry. Anger means lack of emotional control; if you cannot control yourself, don’t expect to be able to control others.
  14. Don’t be afraid. “If you have an idea, do it! Apply your idea while you’re still in your 20s or 30s, so you can be bold and take risks.
  15. You can’t mask mediocrity. “Be undeniably good.” — Anthony Volodkin, Hype Machine
  16. Do what you love. This point can’t be stressed enough. Loving what you do makes everything else easier.
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