Startup Lessons

I’ll use this page to talk about what has gone well…and what hasn’t…in the process of my software company.

I’ll start bulking it out soon, but here is a start.  I’ll also try to eventually write a post for each “lesson.”

Top Lessons I’ve learned:

  • Start with a cofounder (especially if you are business guy starting a tech company)
  • Only take on A quality players…as Sequoia puts it, a team’s DNA is set in the first 90 days
  • Iterative development is good, but don’t overlook the importance of clear specs
  • Getting more money in the bank is a mixed blessing
  • Passion is more important than experience…
  • …but be careful not to undervalue the knowledge that comes from someone who has done it before
  • Keep your team organized

What I’ve done wrong:

  • Started without a cofounder
  • Outsourced core pieces of development
  • Lost focus
  • Drank my own Kool-Aid
  • Underestimated the difficulty of completing a software project
  • Underestimated the time it takes to manage even a small team
  • Underestimated the time it takes to do anything

What I’ve done right:

  • Never was secretive with my idea
  • Looked for mentors
  • Been exceptionally capital efficient
  • Been exceptionally persistent
  • Entered the Berkeley and Stanford Business Plan Competitions
  • Recruited 24×7 and found some very exceptional people in creative (and zero cost) ways
  • Kept the right attitude (lots of optimism while acknowledging the fact that most things fail and success rarely comes easy)

What I wish I had:

  • Spent my first 6 months looking for a cofounder instead of doing something else
  • Gone to the South Bay and got plugged into the tech world quicker
  • Started my company next to the Berkeley or Stanford campus on day one

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