Feb 12

Startup Confucius Says….

Confucius was a Chinese thinker and philosipher around 550 BC. Although there isn't a great deal of written information of his actual body of works, he is well known for sayings like "Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself". This inspired me to start a log of my own confucian principles, stemming from my experiences with my own startups, and other startups I work with. We'll be regulrly adding to this list:

  1. It doesn't matter what you, your friends or your partners think, it only matters what the customer thinks.
  2. Every area of the startup must be aligned with the Vision and Mission of the business. Regularly check for synchronization.
  3. Do not allow partners / employees to go rogue, i.e., go off on their own vision and missions…nip it in the bud.
  4. Make sure you have a clear marketing strategy for growth synchronized with a clear sales strategy to support it.
  5. Validate your business idea before spending your life or anyone elses life savings. In otherwords,it's all about the marketing stupid. Make sure there is a market for what you want to build.
  6. Start developing your marketing and marketing communication strategies as soon as you start building the product.
  7. Prime the sales funnel with customers BEFORE you have a product. This way sales hits the ground running.
  8. Make sure you understand investors before approaching them (see blog http://www.kenovatech.com/blog/?p=74 "The facts you should know before talking to investors")
  9. Present a strong story, not a feature.
  10. Understand the PROBLEM(s) you are solving, who you are solving them for before and how you're going to solve them before sharing your idea with too many people.
  11. Get a coach or mentor who's had plenty of experience with startups…they will accelerate your progress and prevent you from YEARS of spinning your wheels.
  12. Do not let your development team dictate what the product should do! Make sure they are clear what problems need to be solved and ensure they stay within those parameters.
  13. The software developers work for the startup, they are there to advise, suggest, brainstorm, recommend, manage and develop you application. The business must make the tough decisions.

"This article may not be reproduced in whole or part without including the name of the author (James Naylor) and an acknowledgement of the fact the article was originally published in Shoestring Advice for Technology Startups (http://www.KENOVATech.com/blog). Any other use of this material is unauthorized and is a violation of law."

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