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Startup Don'ts

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What not to do on a startup if you intend to stay afloat (and not die)

What not to do on a startup if you intend to stay afloat (and not die)

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  • 1. A SHORT AND CONCISE GUIDE OF WHAT NOT TO DO IF YOU INTEND TO STAY ALIVE IN THE OVERLY COMPETITIVE WORLD OF STARTUPS (PART 1 OF MANY) by @herval
  • 2. KNOWING WHAT TO DO IS EASY work a little bithave an idea profit!
  • 3. MISTAKES SLOW YOU DOWN “I’ll fail until I succeed” (I just hope I’m not 90 years old when I do)Success = making less mistakes (and learning from the ones you make)Learning from others’ is a shortcut
  • 4. HERVAL FREIRE Starting up since 2002 Founder of 4 companies, a dozen projects Helped founding a gazillion other companies (mostly as a hacker)
  • 5. THIS PRESENTATION SPONSORED BY... & (we’re hiring!)
  • 6. DON’T DELAY THE PAPERWORK
  • 7. DON’T OVERENGINEERBuild as few things as possible Solve specific problems, don’tgeneralize too soon Be quick - that’s youronly weapon as a startup
  • 8. DON’T HIRE INTERNS FREELANCERS NOOBS A strong foundation requires a brilliant team No time for unexperienced people or mistakes The first 10 employees will determine your company’s DNA. Make the best of it.
  • 9. DON’T UNDERESTIMATE COSTS Starting with empty pockets willonly bring you frustration Hidden costs, taxes andaccidents Having money to eat ispeace of mind
  • 10. DON’T EXPECT ANYONE TO SUPPORT YOUYour friends will think you’re crazy (unlessyou’re in the Valley, in which case they’re probably crazy too)Your family will ask you to get a jobUsers won’t flock at your doorIgnore the naysayers and doyour stuff
  • 11. DON’T ASK CUSTOMERS WHAT THEY WANT “If I’d asked my customers what they wanted, they’d have said a faster horse” - Henry Ford (that dude that went broke 5 times before Ford Motors) Measure everything! DATA is King
  • 12. DON’T PANIC Nothing is as easy as it looks Anything that can go wrong will go wrong Everything will take longer than expected to get done (rule of thumb: 3 times longer) Expect the best, plan for the worst
  • 13. DON’T BLAME OTHERS The economy downturn Those pesky developers My disappointing sales team The weather Blame yourself and yourselfalone
  • 14. DON’T PIVOT TOO MUCH...“so many opportunities out there! Gottacatch them all”- Pokemón entrepreneur“It didn’t work at first try, so it sucks, let’sdo something completely different”- Glass-half-empty entrepreneur“revenue is so 90‘s! We should gamifythose micropayments. Everyone is doing it!”- The trend-follower
  • 15. ...BUT PLEASE DON’T BE STUBBORN “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” - Albert Einstein (that kid who didn’t speak until he was 4!)(SMS group messaging) (Bourbn - another Foursquare) (that MMORPG)
  • 16. DON’T DIE “I have not failed. Ive just found 10,000 ways that wont work. “ - Thomas Edisson, that dude that invented the lamp (and a thousand other things) Rovio: 52 games, 8 years, almost zero revenue before Angry BirdsPaul Graham’s “How not to die” - http://bit.ly/nYDNaT
  • 17. QUESTCHUNS?about.me/herval