Every time I read a management or self-help book, I find myself saying, “That’s fine, but that wasn’t really the hard thing about the situation.” The hard thing isn’t setting a big, hairy, audacious goal. The hard thing is laying people off when you miss the big goal. —- Ben Horowitz
Startups are hard and by ensuring that one is clear on some of the following aspects, the chances of failure can be brought down dramatically.
Founders Vs Investors
- Understand the difference between them. No part-time co-founding.
- Founders are a part of the journey, investors have a stake in the journey.
- Similar financial and intellectual sync, you will not succeed if your motivations are not the same.
Hypothesis Vs Validation
- Get your hypothesis behind startup plan clear. Why are you doing it? Keep updating and regularly check on these notes, imperative to get your shop running.
- Validation is a series of experiments backing your initial hypothesis. A strong homework and quick answer here is necessary to make either the right pivots or to do course corrections.
Culture Vs Strategy
- Culture eats strategy for breakfast.
- Marry strategy with execution, have fewer risk points and diligently work to de-risk as many components of the company as possible.
- KISS: Keep it simple stupid, if you can’t articulate in simple terms, you are missing something.
Execution Vs Operations
- Have KPIs defined for every task? You don’t improve what you don’t measure.
- Some things take time, don’t try and rush off. Understand gestation period for the foundational task and don’t scale prematurely.
- It’s going to be difficult and throw new challenges not anticipated. In the end, execution is all that matters.
Hiring Vs Firing
- Single-handedly the biggest factor in early stages.
- Get it wrong and nothing else would matter.
- Hire for attitude first. Fire if no aptitude.
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
My favourite startup book: The Hard Thing about Hard Thing