Common Mistakes in Startup Companies

Posted by StevenHWicker on May 18th, 2019

When you decide to work on a business that didn’t even exist before you got the idea of building it is no easy task. Running a business is tough but building it from scratch is even more challenging.

Here are some common mistakes startups make:

1. Building the product in a cave.

As founders, we always want our customers to be happy with the product. They think of a problem and try to make what they think is “the most probable solution.” With time, they often get obsessed with their product. This increases their rigidity towards change.

The assumptions they make gives them the illusion that they’re working on a big problem. They think that their product is the right thing that their customers want, but this is never true and it’s a trap. It’s like selling a subway sandwich. You can’t make a perfect sandwich for your customer unless you know their veggies and sauce choices.

What to do: Talk to your customers. When you start working on a product, build a very scrappy MVP on a weekend and go to your customers. Remember the 50 percent rule of traction : spend 50% of your time on product and 50% on getting traction. You need users to tell you what to make and you can’t make a good product without their guidance.

2. Being a feature freak.

Most founders start building the product and bloat it with so many features. They believe is a value add and with time they get lost. They loose the idea of the actual problem they were solving which confuses the customer.

Attention span of consumers is very small and you need to convey the value you’re offering in a crystal clear manner.

Making the first version of the product very simple and minimal is the best policy.

3. Lacking the ability to pivot.

When a storm hits, be like palm trees. The tree that falls first isn't the most rigid and tall. We’re like a tree and we need to be very flexible. We need to bend in the direction of the wind and keep our roots deep into the ground to gain strength. The wind is like the market.

Founders always need to trust the market against our opinions . And the roots signifies the culture & our team , we need to keep it strong, it gives strength to the tree.

Founders think of an idea when they start building the product. 99% of successful startups don’t end up being the product they thought. Things change and we need to embrace the changes. The best startups are the ones that analyse what their customers want. We keep changing the product until they are happy. This is an iterative process.

4. Hiring the wrong people.

The old saying that people are your most important asset is completely wrong. The RIGHT people are.

Startups generally have 3–4 people with similar mindset working for a cause in early days. They work 18 hours a day to make it happen.

We realized that skills can be taught. Creating a good curriculum might be a good fix for that. Then what you should focus on while hiring? We got our answer in culture.

When you talk to people about culture fit, they don’t really know what to expect. That’s why it’s important to set a culture code. Website Making

A 2 interview rounds. The first and most important round is about them being a good culture fit and second round is a technical round. This habit not only gets you the right people but they also end up enjoying to work with awesome people. We look at 4H in everyone (Being Happy, Humble, Honest and Hungry).

It’s okay to hire bad programmers but it’s not okay to hire wrong programmers. They can always be trained but they can never be changed.

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Joined: December 8th, 2018
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