a man among boys or a boy among men

It's November 12, 2017. I'm the "CEO" of a influencer marketing startup.


Yes it is creative. Yes it is innovative. But no I'm not playing in the biggest. I'm choosing to be a leader in a space of people that I aspire not to be like rather than be a smaller fish in an advanced space.

I'm consciously making the decision. I believe in what I'm doing and am excited to see where I can take it. I'm also making the promise to myself that the next move will be not be a man among boys move. 


18 mistakes that kill startups

Notes and quotes from a Paul Graham article.

Macro mistake above everything is make something people want. 


Single Founder 

1) It's alarming if you can't convince any of your friends to start a business with you. 

2) Starting a startup is too hard for a single person. 

Even if you could do all the work yourself, you still need someone to brainstorm with, talk out of stupid decisions and be there for you. 

The low points are so low that few can bear them alone. 

Bad Location

Go to a big city. This is obvious.

Marginal Niche + Derivative Idea

Don't work on something incremental or is another version of an existing concept. 

Obstinancy

Balancing the line between opening to new ideas and switching to a new idea every week. How to do an external test for this? Ask whether the ideas represent progression. 

Choosing the Wrong Platform

Don't operate on the wrong platform. Platform meaning the framework that you're building on top. IE: Zynga got crushed by FB. 

Slowness in Launching 

Slowness in launching = procrastination in life

Launching Too Early

Launching too slowly killed more startups than launching too fast. Danger in launching too fast = ruin your reputation. What is the minimum? A) Useful on its own B) Something that can be incrementally expanded into the whole project

Having No Specific User In Mind

if you're trying to solve problems you don't understand, you're hosed. 

Don't guess what will work, find users and measure their responses. If you can't make it for specific ones then you'll have to talk to people who understand it.

Raising Too Little Money

Startup funding is measured in time. Every startup that isn't profitable has time until they have to stop -- runway. 

Hiring suggestions: don't do it if you can avoid it, pay people with equity rather than salary not because of saving money but you want people who are committed enoguh to prefer that and hire people who are going to write code or go out and get users.

Raising Too Much Money

One VC who spoke at Y Combinator said, "Once you take several million dollars of my money, the clock is ticking." When raising millions, investors get cautious - not saying yes or no but just engaging in endless conversation. 

YC advises founders who seek the money to take the first reasonable deal they get. Bargain-hunting among investors is a waste of time. 

Sacrificing Users to (Supposed) Profit

Making something people want is so much harder than making money from it. Worry about the business model later.

Fights Between Founders

Advise founders to vest so that there will be an orderly way for people to quit.  


effective co-founder relationship notes

Realizing the lack of effort I've put into understanding one of the more critical aspects to a business, I decided to do a little research. 


Findings/Notes

- It doesn't just work. 

- Identify the responsibility of who will do what. 

- If you're serious about the success of your startup, you'll be just as serious about proactively planning to strengthen the bond.

- 20% of the funded startups have had a founder leave through YC

- Human relationships need maintenace, they won't function and happy to put them into work.

- Weekly founder dinner: talk about whatever, not just facts and figures or even the business. Honest reflection of feelings- anxiety, stress, etc.

- There's no such thing as a small issue: nothing too small to be brought up and talked about. A relationship doesn't end over one argument, rather it deteriorates over the accumulation of little things. No matter how silly it would seem, address it immediately.

- If you're not over something that you're not. Goal is a trusting, transparent and honest relationship with co-founders.

- Don't pretend the conflict isn't there.

- "Deciding to start a company from scratch with the goal of building a billion dollar business takes ego. As a result, founders often have large egos. With every success or piece of publicity, egos get inflated. Failures, public and private can deflate egos, and beat people up emotionally. That roller coaster creates tension, frayed nerves, and fighting." - Aaron K-Harris.

- Open communication is the most important thing. Much more important than liking one another. If you can't have an honest talk then your in trouble.

- Being succesful will mask co-founder problems, being unsuccesful will highlight them

- Embrace conflict 


Resources

https://techcrunch.com/2017/02/18/co-founder-conflict/

http://blog.close.io/the-secret-to-successful-and-lasting-co-founder-relationships

http://blog.onevest.com/blog/2015/5/14/tips-for-an-effective-co-founder-relationship

personal promise to myself

startup 1 = innovative/game changing take on a shitty industry

current startup = innovative/game changing take on a less shitty industry

startup 3 = innovative/game changing take on a great