9 Common Pitfalls of Startup Founders

1. Think twice before going into an industry you don’t know well.

2. Test as many hypotheses as you can before starting development

3. Budgeting your product for an MVP phase only? I have bad news for you…

How much is MVP, $X? Okay, so I need $X + $Y for marketing and then I will:

a) understand its traction,

b) get users,

c) gain an sustainable growth rate,

d) start to generate revenue, and

e) get Round A funding.

  • update any functionality that was based on false hypothesis,
  • add more features that were not included in the MVP,
  • expand upon or try different monetization models,
  • determine whether you’re on target with your audience or if it’s different,
  • most importantly, improve primary product metrics to learn how you can leverage user data to constantly make your product better,

4. Consider engineering as a continuous cost of operations, or quit the technology business.

  1. Now you are in the technology business. Your product — software — is the core value of your company. If it’s your only source of revenue, you can’t stop maintaining it.
  2. Your product will have bugs. Always. It’s inevitable. Someone should fix them!
  3. If you stop improving your product, you’ll start losing to the competition.
  4. Any product, especially a mobile one, gets outdated much faster than you may think (with new OS versions, new mobile devices, etc.).
  5. You’ll most likely lose your existing team if you put engineering operations on hold. Restarting a project with a different team is painful.
  6. Data-driven growth is impossible without an ongoing engineering team working next to a product team.

5. Your MVP functionality will change down the road. It’s normal.

6. No Go-to-Market Strategy on Day One? Wait until you have it.

7. Go live with your product as soon as you can.

8. Think Numbers.

9. And the last one — Your Idea is worth Nothing!

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Artem Petrov

Artem Petrov

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Artem is a coach, serial entrepreneur, angel investor and executive in product and consulting technology companies. Artem lives in works in Silicon Valley.