10 ways you’ll probably f**k up your startup

Here I highlight some common early-stage mistakes I come across working closely with startup teams and how you can avoid them

Laurence McCahill
Dec 15, 2013 · 10 min read
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1. No clear vision or purpose

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Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle framework

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”
Simon Sinek

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2. A lack of focus

“People who focus exclusively on efforts that matter, succeed. It’s that simple.” Michael Lazerow

3. Design as an afterthought

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like, design is how it works.” Steve Jobs

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Quote from John Wilshire, Artefact Cards

4. Building something nobody wants

“Life’s too short to build something nobody wants.”
Ash Maurya

5. Chasing investors, not customers

“When you take money from investors their business model becomes yours.” Steve Blank

6. Too much talking, not enough listening

“We have two ears and one mouth. To be a good leader, you have to be a great listener.” Richard Branson

7. Launching too late (or too early)

8. Failing to ask for help

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Ben Chestnut’s reverse marketing funnel

9. No growth plan

10. Hiring badly

“Get the right people on the bus, then decide which direction to drive it.”
Jim Collins

“We are presenting the Culture Canvas in the startup community so they can use this tool to model their culture from the start. Modelling a minimal viable culture and assessing whether there is a product-culture fit is vital even if you are dealing with a two-founder startup. It is also important for proven startups that are looking to scale their business.”

In summary

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Laurence McCahill

Written by

Designer, coach, entrepreneur. Co-founder The Happy Startup School.

The Happy Startup School

For entrepreneurs that want to do good, make money and be happy

Laurence McCahill

Written by

Designer, coach, entrepreneur. Co-founder The Happy Startup School.

The Happy Startup School

For entrepreneurs that want to do good, make money and be happy

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