My first year as a startup founder — 6 main conclusions
A year ago, I officially became unemployed. I was not leaving for nowhere — I found an idea that sparked me so much that I could not resist the temptation of trying to implement it. So I launched a startup.
After this year, I can say for sure that it was worth it. I have never lived such a full life as I do now.
Not only did I get a taste of entrepreneurship for the first time, but I also went through several personal transformations. Indeed, today EduDo is no longer an idea, it is more than 15 people who work every day to make our vision a reality.
What are my main conclusions so far?
Gather the right people around. And it’s not about experience. If running a business is Call of Duty, running a startup is Dark Souls (sorry for this gaming analogy, hah) — nothing is clear along the way. It is not clear where to go, how to go, whose advice to follow, and whose — not. The most interesting thing is that since there is no recipe for creating a successful startup, the things that worked in one case will not necessary work in another, and vice versa. Accordingly, the only thing that you can do is to generate the strongest possible hypotheses and test them as fast and good as you can. And this is not a job — this is a type of thinking. Moreover, at the beginning of this journey, this rule applies to everyone — both founders and employees. Work in a startup will burn out people without a finder’s mindset in a matter of months. But real seekers will never leave a startup world — they’ll get bored in other, more “classic” places.
Work with those you’d like to go have a beer with. In these “beer” conversations the most important and uncomfortable questions are raised, and the answers to them are also found. Therefore, the chance to find “the special idea” is much higher if you are building a startup with those you like to spend informal time with.
Work a lot, but don’t destroy yourself. No matter how strongly you believe in the idea, a human body remains a human body, and it needs to rest. Moreover, because a rest is a change of context, sometimes it’s the time when the freshest ideas come.
Accept the fact that you cannot control everything. I really like the saying “If you are a startup and you have everything under control, you are not moving fast enough.” Sometimes there are moments when everything crumbles like sand through your fingers. And when you have to make these decisions that in any case will have both positive and negative consequences, you really learn to prioritize.
Push yourself out of context. At some point, you realize that you have invested much more time in the study of the subject than others. Then you may feel that talking and listening to them is a waste of time, they are not in the context at all. At this moment, it is very important not to close yourself from new information. After all, this is the very charm — people who are not so deeply into the issue, have not so blurred vision and can throw in a brand-new idea.
Be honest and open to yourself and people around. If something goes wrong, share it. When the right people are around, this won’t demotivate them, but, on the contrary, will give them a challenge they seek.
Perhaps more experienced founders are now smiling a little while reading these, in many ways, obvious points. But I always tried to reflect, and a year in a radically new role for myself looks like an excellent reason to do this. Growth to everyone!
You can also read my previous articles:
- How to raise first investments in a right way
- How much should early-stage startup founders pay themselves
- We became a Mobile App of the Year on Product Hunt — so what?
- How we raised $180 thousand in a few weeks with no product
- Why every founder should write
- Venture investors and absent-mindedness
- Educational technology (EdTech) is the major trend of the decade
- Do you really need VC?