#StartupMantras by Sanjay Anandaram

Sanjay has been sharing #startupmantras on Facebook. This is a reproduction of the same together!

  1. Never believe your own PR. The beginning of the end occurs when you start believing. PR is only for others to consume!
  2. Loyalty and Competence aren’t fungible. Startups that grow up learn this fast. Or, is it the other way around?!
  3. Who else loves you besides yourself?
  4. Do you want to own 100% of a 1cr company or 1% of a 100cr company?
  5. Are you selling combs to the bald?
  6. Will you buy your own stuff?
  7. Two poor guys don’t equal 1 rich guy
  8. If the roof in office leaks, do you carry a bucket to work?
  9. Think Big, In small steps.
  10. Speed is an awesome advantage
  11. Valuation is money in the mirror; Do you know how to extract value out of it?
  12. One doesn’t learn swimming reading books but only by being in the water. A market is known only by being in it, not through reports.
  13. A feature isn’t a product, a product isn’t a business, a business isn’t a company and a company isn’t an organization. Each is a log-scale evolution.
  14. Be confident, not arrogant. The former allows for humility and learning.
  15. An app isn’t a solution. It is a tool to solve a problem. Do you know what the problem is?
  16. Personalities are displayed when there’s real money on the table
  17. It takes a village to raise a child (African proverb). A startup too — outreach to different experiences, capabilities, competencies, knowledge, expertise…
  18. Founder must have Dharma-Sankata “Am I the right CEO for this company?”
  19. Business isn’t done on a spreadsheet, done between people. Developing, building and nurturing relationships matter
  20. Understand that technology by itself is only about 20% of the solution. The balance is sales, marketing, partnerships, customer experience, support, operations, people and cash management. Invest in learning the 80%
  21. Nothing happens till sales happen!
  22. Go deep into a market then go wide — geo, product etc.
  23. Blaming everything and everyone except oneself is a very red flag
  24. Company culture flows from the top. Bottlenecks are at the top of every bottle!
  25. Hope is not a strategy! “We will do viral marketing and then there will be customers and world peace!” Sorry.
  26. If the chemistry isn’t right, the arithmetic will never work
  27. What’s good for the founder isn’t necessarily good for the startup but what’s good for the startup is almost always good for the founder
  28. Hiring someone by offering more money will also see the someone leave for even more money!
  29. The boss, the work and the culture are the main reasons for people to leave. Money isn’t the solution.
  30. Funding follows a team and market opportunity. Not the other way around!
  31. Customers don’t want a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole! Remember the great Prof Ted Levitt when you sell benefits, not features
  32. Learn to get to the bottom by asking these questions “If so, why so?” & “If not, why not?”, till you can ask them no more
  33. As CEO, can you get yourself to fire your co-founder for non-performance or for cause?
  34. Customers don’t always know what they want, but they know what they don’t want! Listen!
  35. How many customers/users have you met? When was the last time you did?
  36. Remember the adage: Don’t carry a knife to a gun-fight. Be prepared!
  37. Ignorance and Innocence aren’t excuses
  38. Target an existing market in a better, faster cheaper way; Don’t evangelise a new product for a new market unless you have oodles of cash and luck!
  39. If no one is buying your offering, the problem isn’t with no one, but with the offering!
  40. Craft your offering onto existing consumer behaviors. Expecting consumer behavior to change because you exist calls for a long expensive wait.
  41. Being unique without being useful is useless. Remember, square wheels are unique!
  42. If you cannot delegate, you cannot scale. Remember the adage: You don’t buy a dog and do the barking yourself!
  43. Calibrate and manage high growth. Adage: Drinking from a fire hose can kill!
  44. There’s only so much cost-cutting. Learn to focus on revenues. Starving to death is painful.
  45. Beware of confirmation bias: As the entrepreneur you so want to believe that you ignore and justify everything to your satisfaction! Dangerous.
  46. Entrepreneur: Are you ready for the high highs and the really low lows?
  47. Advertising isn’t marketing isn’t sales. Understand them and their differences.
  48. Customer service and support is a critical part of customer engagement. Understand its costs and value.
  49. You cannot ever over-communicate, esp as founder, CEO. People take time to hear.

Will be updating the list as and when Sanjay shares more! :)

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