A successful startup can make you rich and famous, but a failed one will make you responsible. No matter what you do after a failed attempt, you will never be careless again. You’ve learned your lesson the first time, and you don’t intend to continue on the failed path. I was a part of a startup once, that failed, and they had solemnly taken an oath to serve many people, most of whom were happy customers.
Now, let’s look at some of the most valuable morals to the failed startup story.
Be rational, not emotional:
Owning a startup is like having a baby of your own. There are times where you make decisions based on your emotions. Under any circumstance, emotional decisions don’t benefit a business, or you. It is important to treat your business with unconditional love, but don’t get emotionally attached to anything.
Money, oh boy are you important:
This lesson is elementary, like the 1st grade: when it comes to running a startup business, you need the cash more than anything. Your business needs to have a cash burning capacity. It could be yours, or it could be from an investor; the important thing is to have the power to use it. For first few years, you have your only pal — your checkbook.
Assumptions, keep them in your back pocket:
“Your assumption and the truth, dine at totally separate tables.” — J Michael Straczynski
Making assumptions is, quite frankly, your end to entrepreneurship. Assumptions do not necessarily mean taking risks. Risk-taking is an essential and integral part of a business but making assumptions about anything in business is disastrous.
Few masters, all Jacks:
The phrase ‘jack of all, master of none’ is not for you. Initially, your business needs more jacks than masters; the reason being, when it is in that growth and development phase, you need personnel who can take care of a bunch of things, relative to a team that can handle only their respective job roles. A team member waiting for something that is their forte won’t help anyone.
C is for Communication:
You need to have a small team until the time you break even. A small team is essential for several reasons; the most important of all is to have the best flow in communication with each other. You will be a failure if you or your employees don’t know what is going on with the other members of the team. You might have different units in your startup, but there must be proper communication with each other.
Discuss less, achieve more:
The truth is, the more you discuss, the less your achieve with respect to your company goals. In an early age startup, discussions are important, but to an extent. They are time-consuming and most of the time make simple equations complicated. Where I say communication is essential, likewise discussions are vicious.
There are several other lessons that I’ve learned in my crusade, but these a just a few of the most important lessons I took while I worked towards growing my baby startup.