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Feb 10, 2011 | Thoughts from a startup hopeful

It’s been just about a month since I started work on justnear.me and I already feel like I’ve learned a lot regarding the realities and intricacies surrounding startups. At least I hope this list to be for my own posterity, to look back upon and realize the obviousness of it all.

1) Your friends are your startup’s worst enemy
Your friends are the first people you reach to in hashing out ideas for startups, and the worst people to do so with, since they may not be as critical of the idea or the product as a stranger would be. It really does depend on the friends you are with, but it’s hard to argue the case that if you have nothing to lose by making a certain point, then your points are likely to be more direct. (inspiration)

2) The reason I don’t want to join your startup is because it’s not mine
Being able to code and rapidly prototype and program is a powerful asset to any startup, but the person who gets credit isn’t always the person who makes the idea come to fruition. It’s frustrating to propose an idea and be asked who was involved in developing it. It’s even more frustrating to see so much demand for “the next best hacker” – I never feel motivated to participate in projects that I don’t come up with, because I know I’ll only be as useful if I can be your code monkey.

3) The more you think of an idea, the more awesome it becomes
I think the harshest reality check is that a startup is only as good as the pitch. If the pitch falls flat on its face, then no one will follow up by investigating the actual product. That’s why I feel more comfortable letting the product speak for itself (and why I still suck at 30 second pitches). It seems like a pity to see a product fall by the wayside just because it isn’t framed in the right way.

4) People like seeing
If there’s an opportunity to leverage visual tools, it seems foolish not to at least go down that path. I’ve seen potential investors light up when there’s a visual sketch on paper or a whiteboard – a video or Powerpoint seems to go too far. I’m going down the business card path – we’ll see how that goes.

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 10th, 2011 at 6:17 pm, EST under the category of Coding, Future Me. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.