The other day, I posted a poll on what post I should write next, and 57.1% voted for a “founders resource guide.” And because I’m working on a first-time founders course, I thought I’d focus the guide on first-time founders. Here we go…
In this post, you’ll find:
- Founder Basics
- A Note for Underestimated Founders
And although the concepts that I share in the Founder Basics are simple, in the +1,000 startups I’ve reviewed for investment, I’ve seen first-time founders skip these foundational blocks, spend a lot of time and money, and then end up creating a business that ends up a zombie or flat out fails.
So, keep it simple, check-box the basics and your gut, stay scrappy, gritty, and dig in.
Disclaimer: Businesses are both art and science. No one has all the answers. No one has one plan that will guarantee your or your startup’s success.
Before you start creating a business, explore what it means to be an entrepreneur, get to know the range of entrepreneurs, the difference between a small versus a venture capital backable business, evaluate whether taking the risk (since most startups fail) is something that you and your family can tolerate, and review your personal goals. Assuming being an entrepreneur is still something you want to do…
Keep in mind that there are bad reasons to become an entrepreneur, such as telling yourself “everyone is doing it” or you want to become a millionaire quickly. Also, know you will feel lonely at times and the process of building a business will be physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing.
Spend a lot of time on problems and identify the one you’ll work on solving. Consider what problems you care about solving most and assess what problems you are the best suited to address. Are you an expert in the problem? Have you encountered the problem and solved it for yourself? You get the point.
Once you identify the problem you will solve, do your research on the market and people or companies who will benefit from your solution (AKA your future customers). Get to know 1) the market…