Top 3 major reasons why you built a fail startup like me -
  • @undefined- Sep 6

    Top 3 major reasons why you built a fail startup like me

    This is the second part to Starting a Business series. In case you did not get a chance to read the last article, it was a little history before getting accepted into Startup School. In today’s article will talking about how to build a fail startup.

    I’m more than qualify to speak on this matter because 99% of my so called startups didn’t even start. Week 1 of Startup School has ended and I learned that I do 1 out 3 things that Paul Graham has suggested. Let’s take a look at that list:

    1. Founders listen – ✅
    2. Do things that don’t scale – ❌
    3. Launch fast – ❌

    Founders listen

    During Paul’s video he mentioned that founders have this tendency of doing the complete opposite of what he advice founders. Down the line, founders regret not taking Paul’s advice and start racing to undo the mistake they’ve caused.

    I’ve too have face this problem when coaching someone in health, fitness, or programming. For example, let’s say Sally Sue comes up to me and asks,

    “Ruben, can you help me get a beach bod?”

    Ruben says,

    “Sure. Let’s start you by doing this type of exercise with this type of diet.”

    A week goes by and Ruben asks Sally, “how’s the training coming along?” Sally will typically reply with, “I’m trying to take it slow because I’m new to this. so I only did it twice this week, blah blah blah.” Another week will go bye and Sally will complain that it’s to hard and that she’s not seeing the results she desires.

    Okay, let’s start by asking why the fuck would you even ask Ruben for help and have him waste his time creating a workout and diet regiment if you’re not going to follow it, Sally?

    “He/she has been around the block a few times”

    Not everyone is a Sally, some folks like Bob, do everything as Ruben says and see the results in just a couple weeks. The reason why Bob saw results faster than Sally is because he did not let his feelings or gut tell him to question the expert.

    Moral of the story is don’t question an experts methods. There’s a reason why he’s an expert and why you’re seeking out for his help.

    As for me and my startup, I will follow every advice the Y Combinator group suggest.

    P.S. I’m not against women. There are Bobs out there who don’t listen also.

    Do things that don’t scale

    This one seems counter intuitive. Why wouldn’t people not want to automate their work? The answers seems to be very simple for Paul and Sam. It’s because it doesn’t let the founder learn. I see it with early founders and I’m guilty of it myself, of performing big company strategy moves at such an early stage.

    • Automating emails
    • Automate marketing
    • Launching for a big audience such as Indie Hackers or Product Hunt
    • Not talking to customers
    • Market in person to potential clients

    When I first got started, as a consultant, I tried methods such as sending cold automated emails to get clients. I wanted to avoid meetups with a passion because the thought of getting out off my chair and talking to people seem like a waste of time. That strategy got me either no response or dirt cheap clients. One day I decided to get my ass off the chair, put on decent clothes, and go out to see people face to face and talk about their goals and business needs. I got better results, learn how to carry myself, and speak to potential clients.

    And I believe the same rules will apply to a SaaS business. Sending personal emails, talking to your customers, and catering a small group of people will teach me, as a founder, on how I can better serve your customers at bigger scale.

    Launching fast

    When I’m building my own project/product with the intent of making it a business, I tend to build a special bond with it. A type of bond that makes me think that it needs to be perfect before I share it with the world. The truth of the matter is that the project will never be perfect. Not mine or your precious projects. Launching fast and getting feedback is the most critical part of any product because users only care about making sure that it solves their problem. The goal is to make sure you’re building something people want to pay for. If folks think your product is shit, just ask them why or how you can make it better and react fast.

    “Throw your vision out the door”

    In my case, I recently told Amir that I was building the team invite system so other players can use the app. Amir did not care about that

    “The team invite doesn’t matter since I’ll be the only inserting the stats. We can just make one account and share it.” – Amir

    My initials thoughts were, “I want him paying for the app, I won’t lose sight of the bigger picture but for now doing that will cut development time and allow me to be profitable much quicker.”

    My current startup state

    Right now my current product is going into alpha version in a week. It’s going to be important to start getting feedback from my first customer and make sure I can cater his needs before I cater others. I’m also doing things that don’t scale at all by talking to my customer aka my friend Amir. Catering to a small audience and making sure they’re really happy and excited about the product is my objective before I cater to hundreds or even thousands.