A couple of months ago I started working in my first Startup (SlidePick) and to be honest, I had no fucking idea about what I was doing, I didn’t even know what the word Startup stand for. So I think you can imagine how lost I felt when I started this journey.
But it was something that it just felt right. That feeling in your guts (Yes, that one you feel right now) telling you to dream, to imagine, to innovate, to create…To Startup.
I know that, as me, there are thousands of new founders and entrepreneurs looking out for some guidance or orientation on how to get started building this amazing idea that we have in mind. Dreaming day and night about this kind of divine inspiration that we received one day and the quest of making it true.
The problem is that there is not a magic potion or ancient secret for success and probably “All the Startup advice you read are wrong” (Ev Williams).
But even this, there might be some key things that we shouldn’t do, expect or things we should avoid when we are starting. This is what this post is about, to share from the little but amazing experience I have lived, which are the best advices you could get to Startup…
Start asking you Why…So you want to Startup eh, you want to become a entrepreneur? Tell me why. Which are your motivations and expectations?…Money? Wrong way buddy.
“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe” -Simon Sinek
Ideas are worthless, execution is everything…Yup, your idea is worth $0, Congrats! In the other hand your ejecution could be worth millions.
“Ideas are commodity. Execution of them is not.” – Michael Dell
Don’t fall in love with your idea!…Have a long term vision about it and dream about what you would like it to become. But embrace changes and the iterations that it might have over time, keep objective about it.
Your idea must be a solution…Think of it as a pain killer for a specific problem your customers have. Don’t even try to build something thinking you “believe” that they will like it or use it. Just because your little sister or mom likes it, that’s not good enough!
“Life’s too short to build something nobody wants.” -Ash Maurya
Create an Early Adopter profile…Think about this 20 people that they, literally, will go mad of happiness because of your posible solution. Then just as a National Geographic reporter in the jungle, you must watch, study, understand and register every thing that could help you to get to know them better.
Hypothesis, Metrics, Experiments…Define this three criterias and what kind of insight you want to get from the information you will gather. From now on you are something like a crazy scientific! Play that roll.
Question and Validate everything…This is the key to have a chance to succeed. The answers are outside, so go for them! (Revenue is the ultimate validation of your idea)
GTFO of the building :)…Thats right, this early adopters are not sit across the hall. So stand up and go to their natural habitats!
“There are no facts inside the building, so get the heck outside!” -Steve Blank
Create a Mockup befor a MVP…Don’t waste your time, money and energy coding or building something befor you have tested a mockup with your Early Adopter. Even if you have to draw it on a napkin is good enough, is just to show your core concept.
Ask for feedback, feedback and more feedback…Ask for it every day, hour and minute. Anytime, anywhere.
Co-Founders?…Ask them this. If you die tommorrow, they will continue working on this idea? Thats the kind of partners you want on your team.
Choose co-founders the way you would choose a spouse. The reality is that you will, at least in the early days, spend far more time with your co-founders than your partner. -Danielle Newnham
Nobody will steal your idea!…Please stop thinking that, please. First, half or more of the people will probably think that your idea sucks. Second, nobody have the time and energy to waste copying and idea that is worth $0…So don’t worrie and talk about it with everyone! that’s more insights and feedback about it.
Embrace and learn from failure…That’s the point where you realize if you were born for this. Don’t be afraid of failing, be worrie about standing up again every time. Take that leap of faith and believe in yourself.
Well, I know that I’m not a world famous entrepreneur with years and years of experience and incredible succesful companies on my shoulders. But this are some valuable lesson that I have learned in this time and that I will apply for the rest of my life. I’m just looking forward to continue learning and to do one’s bit helping this amazing community.
Hope this could help you for your next adventure…for the moment when you decide to Startup!
I would love to catch up with you and know about your experience! @mati_honorato or at email@example.com
Any grammar, spelling or punctuation mistake, please let me know. So I can keep improving my english…my best to all of you! :)