… or the best lesson of how to be down-to-earth
One year ago I was thinking about launching a startup with a group of friends, our idea was basically a platform for tourist guides specifically free tours. This is the story of why we failed to launch the product.
I will divide the problem into four parts:
- Put your feet on the ground — Creating a business calculus in Excel spreadsheet and try to imagine values and projections for future business profits and break even points is useless in the early stage. You could write anything there, even the most silly projections in the end it will just make you feel the better. Because, if you are in such early stage it is impossible to predict how much you will grow or earn. However it doesn’t mean you don’t need calculus because you still need to know how much you will spend and check (the size of) your market.
- Having no idea of what features you will do — if your team is a group of software developers the first impulse is making code fast. Huge mistake, go out there to know your customers, think what features you need for an MVP and only after that you can focus on programming.
- Meetings and meetings and…more meetings — I realised that meetings procreate in this project, the authors of “Rework” are right, when don’t have a clear idea of what things you will discuss in a meeting. One will give birth to another and so on.
- Lack of focus — if you think that there is a cool feature that should be in the app, but it’s not in your MVP specification my advice is… don’t do it! There are more shipments after MVP so add the feature later, or your MVP will never finish.
Before starting your business venture think about those four points.
I also recommend the reading of “Rework” from Basecamp and “Lean Startup” of Eric Ries. If you read that you will learn how to avoid many mistakes. I don’t think that making lots of mistakes is the path to success, the key is avoid making mistakes.
The most important advice is to keep focus and do it with feet on the ground.