Commandments to Startup Success

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 ensuring that one is clear on some of the following aspects is important so 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 the 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 the 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

 

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