Starting a business is difficult. Launching a startup is even more challenging. Aside from facing challenge of attempting to build a company from the ground up, many entrepreneurs have little prior experience in the business world. Even when they have an incredibly awesome idea, complex problems arise, such as managing the young enterprise, handling finances and hiring employees on a budget.
Due to a lack of experience, many startups endure the misfortune of failure -- if they launch at all. Be sure to not add to their tales of disaster. Here are 15 startup mistakes to avoid at all cost:
1. – as a single founder you have almost zero chance of getting funding from Paul Graham. Why? It’s not a coincidence, he says, that founders who succeeded did so as a team of at least two.
2. – you can change everything about a house but its location. Likewise, if your startup is in a bad location, you can’t change the nature of that location. It’s easier to move the startup. Where to? Silicon Valley.
3. – knowing a good programmer from a bad one often takes being a good one yourself, or having a trusted one on your team. Exceptional programmers are always in short supply. So the odds are stacked up against hiring good ones.
4. – how fast you can scale will determine whether your startup lives or dies once you get traction. On the wrong platform scalability will be the bottleneck. And users often don’t wait for you to figure it out.
5. – before you actually launch you are in the dark about whether your startup should even exist. The longer you delay the launch the more you delay getting the answer. If you are afraid to know what the answer is, you might want to ask yourself why.
6. – launch too early, though, and you may be completely unprepared to handle your growth, or worse yet to present a usable product.
7. – somewhere someone will for sure be interested in your product, you just don’t know who yet? Sounds like those people may not exist. Be sure to check.
8. – you get what you spend on. With too little money you may not be able to flesh out your product in to its full potential.
9. – spending too much before you grew enough to have the numbers to raise the next round, and you are out of cash, which often spells the end.
10. – raising too much will likely make you feel like a huge success even before you made anything useful. At the end of the day it’s users, not investors, you want to impress the most.
11. – if the choice is between making investors happy or making your users happy, always choose the users. If the user is happy your investors will make money eventually.
12. – you can always make money later. This however, cannot be said about making users happy. You need to make something they want now.
13. – you can’t solve all your problems with coding. Businesses are built on relationships. Go out and meet those people.
14. – founder conflict is too common. Founders being ambitious people are almost bound to disagree.
15. – a lack of determination to see the startup through to the end is not rare. If you feel like you have other options in life than building your startup, you will probably mentally hang on to them.