How not to start a startup

I’m quitting my startup journey, and it’ll make you rethink whether now is your time to start a startup.

Startup rocket gone down.. Thanks to Jason Puccinelli

Just do it

All entrepreneurs seemed to agree that starting a business yourself is the greatest learning experience you can get (after failing of course).

My past months

I cut out most activities that didn’t relate to building my startup.

  • Opening my Facebook News Feed
  • Paying attention to politics
Thanks to James Pond!

Don’t just do it!


Let me explain

My biggest lesson

Paul Graham, one of the most successful entrepreneurs around, claims that there are three essential things to create a good startup.

You’ve got it, Paul

Making something customers actually want will fix itself if you have good people. Spending as little money as possible will fix itself if you have good people.

Good people.

The solution

So my advice would be this: if you’re thinking of starting a startup, find AT LEAST one good friend to join you, ideally two good friends. Make sure the combination of you covers the holy triangle of startup: hipster, hacker, hustler (aka designer, engineer, marketeer).

Thanks to Andrew Neel
Thanks to Startup Stock Photos


Because if you have good people from the start, making something your customers actually want becomes 100X easier. Starting a startup is a rollercoaster: turn-downs, long hours, lack of perspective. Endless iterations, nothing to fall back upon, being outside of your comfort zone.

Thanks to Jens Lapinski

What now?

So here I am, ready to go and accelerate another startup. I only decided to look for a job since two days, and there’s already been two companies who want to move interviews to the next level.

There is no perfect fit when you’re looking for the next big thing to do. You have to take opportunities and make an opportunity fit for you, rather than the other way around. The ability to learn is the most important quality a leader can have.


First, if you’re a founder, and you’re alone, for the love of god, spend at least a good proportion of your time looking for other people to join you on your quest.

  1. What do I need to get there in 1.5 years?
  2. Am I in the position that brings me these things?
  3. If not, what alternatives exist that offer me this?

Two last things…

If you liked this article, please do 👏 and share it with your friends. Remember, you can clap up to 50 times — it really makes a big difference for me.

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The Mission

A network of business & tech podcasts designed to accelerate learning. Selected as “Best of 2018” by Apple.

Bram Krommenhoek

Written by

Failed founder. I share my "Aha"s and "Oh shit"s. As seen in The Mission, The Startup,

The Mission

A network of business & tech podcasts designed to accelerate learning. Selected as “Best of 2018” by Apple.