Founders, you are doing it!…..wrong

As a startup founder myself, I have a lot of opinions on what startup founders do right and wrong….mostly on what we do wrong.


If you don’t know if your startup is default alive or default dead, you are doing it wrong.

Reference: Default Alive or Default Dead


If your startup is not growing and your solution to growth is “hiring a rockstar” who will figure out growth, you are doing it wrong.

Reference: If you as a founder can’t figure out how to find and get customers who value your product/service, how are you going to convince someone smart enough to find value in selling your product/service to others.


If you are not worried about reaching profitability because you think it’s easy to raise more money, which in turn further decreases you chances of raising money, you are doing it wrong.

Reference: Fatal Pinch



If you have less in revenue than what you pay an accountant to tell you how much money you are losing daily/weekly/monthly, you are doing it wrong.

Reference: Personal experience


If you think you need to need to bring in an outside consultant to talk to your team about the problems with communications within your team, you are doing it wrong.

Reference: Personal experience


If you think you are a startup because you are either a) newly founded, b) work on technology, or c)have taken in venture funding, not because of the pace at which you grow, you are doing it wrong.

Reference: Startup = Growth


If you spend more time with your investors than with your team and customers, you are doing it wrong.

Reference:


If you believe that the standard advice about needing to focus on growth doesn’t really apply to your startup because ….., you are doing it wrong.

Reference:


If you think that you only need to innovate on the product you are creating and not in the distribution of it, you are doing it wrong.

Reference: You can’t just create a cool new product or technology. You need to know how customers will find you and/or how you will find your customers. “I will invest in a company that hasn’t figured out it’s business model, but I will not invest in a company that hasn’t figured out a distribution model.” — David Sacks.


If you fail to realize that your tech startup should be in the business of delivering innovation and not in the business of making mobile apps or websites, you are doing it wrong.

Reference: What business is your technology startup in?


If you are spending time on things like meeting with lawyers and accountants, going to conferences, grabbing coffee with people not working in your team, sitting in meetings, and not on things like building your product, talking to your users, and growing, you are doing it wrong.

Reference: Startup advice, briefly



If you think you can go from $100k in revenue today to $5M and then to $100M without having a plan on how you will get to $500k first, you are doing it wrong.

Reference: If you want to drive home at midnight and your house is a hundred miles away, you get in the car, and the first thing you do is turn on your headlights so that you can see thirty yards in front of you first.


If you can’t identify, simplify and track your key metrics for growth and success, you are doing it wrong.

Reference: Lecture 14 in How to start a startup — How to operate


If you believe that the valuation of your company is not based revenue, but on what you are “worth”, you are doing it wrong.

Reference: Silicon Valley HBO

It’s not about how much you earn. It’s about how much you’re worth.
And who is worth the most? Companies that lose money.

If you think you deserve a large salary because you raised some funding and are “a CEO”, but haven’t figured out revenue and/or growth, you are doing it wrong.

Reference: Peter Thiel: Best Predictor of Startup Success Is Low CEO Pay


If you have more excuses for why you are not growing than you have ideas on how to grow, data on what is working and what isn’t and not focused on growth, you are doing it wrong.

Reference: Personal experiences & everything that @sama says.


If your startup is not growing fast enough, and all your “solutions” require that you raise more money, you are doing it wrong.

Reference: Personal experience and & @sama.


If you are a founder or CEO and didn’t think that you needed to build a real sustainable business, and only started thinking about that with the “funding market how it is now, you are doing it wrong.

Reference: Every article these days reminding founders that you need to create a company that makes profit and can’t rely on unsustainable growth hacks & more venture capital.