I've recently shared the below recommendations at one of the startups ramp-up workshops I've hosted, and would like to re-share them here.
- At least one failed startup is a mandatory experience for every truly successful entrepreneur. Personally, I have founded more than one company that failed. If before the start all you do is looking for proofs that your idea will be definitely commercially successful, you are probably not a true entrepreneur.
- According to my observations, one of the important traits of a successful startup is the lack of money. Big investments at the start will most likely be a barrier to your success.
- Really focus on attracting team members willing to work for shares of future profits.
- For me, honesty and transparency in business are a must. Startups that don’t put ethics first often fail very badly. However, if the business environment thrives on unethical standards, this can be a hindrance. AlmaMater is a projects we developed for application process and grade transparency between students and professors within Ukrainian universities. The schools bought the program, but never implemented it, because the system, unfortunately, thrives on that lack of transparency.
- You must always plan. All of your plans will turn out to be inaccurate, but the benchmarks you establish will help you to focus and move ahead.
- A good startup founder usually does not make a great CEO. Therefore, it is normal for a founder to leave the company with about 15% share, with the remaining being “diluted” among other founding management and investors.
- Never start a startup until you calculate profitability.
- Don’t forget to take personal time off work to spend with your family and friends. If you don’t, you will likely burn out after 2 years and return to a salaried job.
- Personally, I don’t use Facebook. I am not a fan of the company’s philosophy, I don’t share their values and don’t approve of how they “monetize” their users. This is why you can find my team and I on Google+ and LinkedIn. I believe many tech entrepreneurs today have the same approach towards their social media presence, so always look beyond traditional channels when trying to connect with peers and like-minded people.
Hope my tips will be useful. I'm always open to any questions, please feel free to ask them as comments below.