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20 things Great Founders 🚫 don't do at early stage startup

🙅🏻Learning from the best founders so you don't repeat the same mistakes

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If you are early stage founder, its inevitable not make mistakes. I am a serial early stage founder as well and made tonne of mistakes. I have also met many other founders and learned from there mistakes as well. What we can do however is to learn from others to reduce our odds. In this edition I compile those learning in 20 point on -

Things that great founders don’t do at early stages of there startup.

- Early Stage Founder

💰 Finances:

  1. Hire Too Fast: Good early stage founders don't rush to expand their team, avoiding premature overhead costs.

  2. Spend Excessively on Marketing: They don't allocate large portions of their budget to marketing before validating their product-market fit.

  3. Obsess Over Office Space: They don't prioritise fancy office spaces over critical business investments.

  4. Build things from scratch: They don't spend unnecessarily on custom solutions when off-the-shelf products could suffice.

  5. Allocate Too Much Time to Networking: They don't waste excessive time on networking, understanding the importance of focusing on their product and customers.

📱 Product:

  1. Jump to Solutions Without Validating Problems: They don't start building solutions without ensuring there's a real problem that needs solving.

  2. Assume They Are the Best Designers: They don't assume they alone know how to design the solution best, recognizing the value of user feedback.

  3. Focus on Broad Features Over Core Needs: They don't create extensive feature lists at the expense of addressing core user needs.

  4. Skip the MVP for a Full Product: They don't bypass building an MVP in favor of a full-featured product, understanding the importance of iterative feedback.

  5. Avoid Experimentation: They don't ignore the importance of experimenting with their product to find the best market fit.

💁🏻 Customer:

  1. Work in Isolation: They don't develop products in silos, missing out on valuable external insights and feedback.

  2. Neglect Early Revenue Streams: They don't overlook the importance of establishing early revenue streams as indicators of product viability.

  3. Ignore Customer Feedback: They don't ignore customer feedback, understanding its critical role in refining their product.

  4. Target Too Broad an Audience: They don't make the mistake of targeting too broad an audience, diluting their marketing efforts and product relevance.

  5. Underestimate the Value of Community Building: They don't neglect the importance of building a community around their product for feedback, support, and growth.

📈 Leadership & Strategy:

  1. Assume Funding Is the Primary Goal: They don't prioritize seeking funding over creating real value for customers and finding a viable business model.

  2. Dismiss the Need for Mentors: They don't underestimate the value of having mentors for guidance, advice, and networking.

  3. Stop Seeking Knowledge and Insights: They don't become complacent, understanding the importance of continuous learning and staying informed on industry trends and innovations.

  4. Have no accountability: They keep themselves accountable and measure there performance using KPI and regular checks.

  5. Not Building a culture: Great founders invest in building ownership driven culture that ensures long term sustainability of the company.

Remember, navigating a startup is as much about avoiding missteps as it is about chasing milestones. I hope this issue leaves you with valuable takeaways for your journey. Looking forward to our next heart-to-heart. Until then, take care and keep forging ahead.

Thanks for reading, Keeping Building

Aman Sharma
( ✍🏻 @ Austin, TX )

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