What I’ve learned in the earlier months of a Startup — 15 tips.
As a Co-Founder of a Startup, I’ve acquired certain knowledge that I’d like to share with you. 15 tips that could help you a lot.
Let me present myself. I’m Alejandro and I’m Co-Founder of Scope. Since the beginning of the year, I’ve acquired certain knowledge that I’d like to share with you.
I will talk about the core elements of a tech Startup (since we are a tech one) in its early stage and summarize them in 15 tips, so these elements will probably be related to product, strategy & business model, marketing, investment and general behavior with your teammates and Co-Founders.
I hope you find it useful! Let’s go 🚀
1.- You don’t know how really important it is to define a mission and a vision of a company until you have to take care of your closest decisions. This may have less importance for many people, but for us, it has been extremely valuable to have defined who we are and where do we want to be to take several important decisions in the firsts months.
2.- Define your roles. I know that in Startups, the roles are just only a title in the LinkedIn account of a person, but when you define roles, you reduce friction within the team when things start to get out of control.
3.- It is not only important to define roles but to define tasks and responsibilities. Make use of weekly sprints, so you can better organize your teamwork for the entire week.
4.- It’s more important to receive feedback from users than to try to receive money from potential customers. Try to increase your metrics, know your users, know their behavior, ask them. What do they really need? Have they found problems? Do they find your tool useful?
5.- Related to the previous point, it’s tremendously important to validate the product/MVP before with users before than with customers. You’ll probably receive valuable feedback so your product will fit better with the market, reducing considerably the time-to-market.
6.- Don’t be afraid of freely offer your product to your potential users. Instagram was sold to Facebook just because it had more than 10 million active users.
7.- This is probably one of the best tips I can give to you and sometimes may be the opposite of what was said above. Don’t lose your focus. Even if you receive feedback, don’t make quick decisions without a previous hypothesis or enough quantity of demand. Define your own roadmap, try to reach enough quantity of data before work on anything that will probably ask for your scarce resources.
Sell your business model. Record it in your mind.
8.- Talking about resources, always keep in mind that everything you do cost money and time. And time is probably the most important resource in the early stage of a Startup. For that, it is incredibly important to have a good strategy of product at the same time as a good user acquisition strategy. Every decision you made, the more you have to invest.
9.- Ok, let’s talk about the money. Another one of the best tips I’ll give you here today. Ask for money when you don’t need it. To raise an investment round could take you months, literally, and to have an investor deck and a one-pager it’s a must.
10.- When you are looking to raise an investment round, one of the most important things you should understand from now is that investors want you to sell them your business model. Record it in your mind. They are not looking for a good product (that sometimes too, but it’s not common) but for a good strategy to raise your goals. What are your metrics? How do you pretend to fit-to-market? What is your strategy to reach your goals? How will you sell your product? Who is your target? and etcetera are some of the common questions.
Garages? We are in 2019!
11.- Income projections are useless without a good marketing strategy. Define your plan. Where do you want to be? Is your project scalable? When do you think you reach break-even? Numbers in the early stages are just smoke.
12.- Don’t lie with the numbers. That’s the best tip we received from our acceleration program. If you try to lie with numbers, you are putting a rope around your neck. Don’t fool yourself. Define a good strategy, build your product in a good way and work hard to place your product on the market.
13.- Forget about garages. That time in which companies were built in garages has passed. Don’t isolate yourself and your company, it’s much better to work in a good and positive environment. Normally, acceleration programs and co-working spaces are the perfect environments to work on.
14.- Be aware of the opinion of other companions, but do not get carried away by everything that they say to you nor you make decisions hurried in function of it.
15.- And lastly but not least, if you are a woman, you will have it complicated in a world of men and probably you will be frustrated. Sadly, on most occasions, my partner and CTO of Scope Mariluz goes unnoticed in conversations and meetings. Very disappointing and I hope it will change in the nearest future. My best wishes to you, warriors 💪🏻.
These are the most important lessons I have acquired in these first months at Scope. I loved sharing my experience with you people 💙.
I hope you find this publication useful. If you do, do not forget to give it 50 👏🏻 and share it with your friends.