from Medium.com 8/14 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
It’s been over a year now since I decided to found a startup – without a complete understanding of what that meant. I can safely say it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made – altho often difficult & discouraging – it has been an incredible learning experience.
Reflection. I receive a good amount of Emails from aspiring entrepreneurs who are still in college. They want to know what mistakes I’ve made and what advice I can give them – before they venture out on their own. That got me thinking, “What do I wish I had known about entrepreneurship when I was still an undergraduate? I had so much fun with this question that I decided to make a post out of it! Hopefully this list can serve to help and inspire future entrepreneurs.This list is primarily for first-time founders. It’s very elementary and you’re going to come across many more lessons on your startup journey.
20 Things I wish I had known before Founding a Startup:
1. Don’t be afraid to “share” your ideas. Nobody will care enough to steal it. And even if someone does, no one can do it as well as you.
2. Talk to your Potential users as early & often, as possible, to find out if they really could use your product or service – and would pay for it.
3. Get to know your Competition, but don’t be over-whelmed by them. Just build a better, faster, cheaper product.
4. Making an Awesome product that you love is cute. Making an Awesome product that others use is “amazing”.
5. Wisdom. There is good advice, and there is bad advice. You’ve got to learn to distinguish between the two. Sometimes you’ll have to learn the hard way.
6. Don’t wait for Perfection. Just launch something – unless it’s a colossal project – then you shouldn’t aim for perfection or else you’re going to be waiting forever to launch it.
7. You will get a lot of Rejections. Learn to deal with it and don’t let it get to you. Change if you need to. Try another source
8. Ideas mean nothing; Execution is everything. But ideas are still very important. You have to have a good one to make it worth starting?
9. You’ve got to become a good Networker. Your network is important. Network often and strategically. You never know when you’re going to make a contact that will give you good advice, find staff or funding.
10. Learn how to find people’s Email to connect with them. Hint: Download Rapportive.
11. Get LinkedIn Premium. It’s about $25. It’ll help you find people you need to meet.
12. The ability to Boot-strap is important. If you are a first-time founder, I’d argue that you should build your first product with minimum money.
13. Don’t try to raise money until you have a Product built (& the bugs out of it). If you’re inexperienced and this is your first startup, nobody will trust you with money until you can at least prove you can build something. If your friends and family give you money, then fine.
14. Try to get into a Startup Accelerator. Y Combinator. Techstars. AngelPad. 500 Startups. Boost. If you are a new entrepreneur and you don’t have crazy successful parents, your network & expertise will be limited. Accelerators can accelerate you. The network and advice you receive is priceless.
15. But Accelerators aren’t everything. Don’t depend on them. If you get rejected, you got to keep moving on. Accelerators don’t invest in companies who need them for survival anyways.
16. Talk to your Customers as early & often as possible, so you can know what they like and don’t – then you can modify accordingly – there’s advantage.
17. Your Co-Founders / Team can make or break your company. Choose wisely to meet the gaps of your needs and people you’ll enjoy working with.
18. Build good relationships with Journalists & others that can get you “free” Publicity.
19. Data Analytics. Make sure you know a thing or two about Data Analytics, tosure to track all your analytics to know how you’re doing and what to adjust.
20. Do Fun Stuff outside of work, but not too much. Your business wont start itself. It needs a lot of hard work, but keep a balance in your life.
Comments: Is there anything else a new Flounder should know before they try to start?