Enduring Advice: What Startup Founders Want To Tell You

By Vivek Chakraverty 6 Min Read

Being an entrepreneur is a great challenge in itself, a challenge in which the fittest succeed. Despite the difficulties that will undoubtedly come your way, it is an interesting and ultimately rewarding experience.

A good beginning is more often than not the decider of the fate of the enterprise. Keeping this in mind, we bring to you some of the choicest advice for startup founders compiled from the web. This advice has been given by the people who have been in your position, and have faced the music before, sometimes more often than you would think.

1. “Dream big, and follow your dream every single day until you are living the dream every day.”

– Shaun Neff

Dreams are just a great catalyst for action, without which there is really no success. The words of Neff seem to echo the words of the great Indian philosopher Swami Vivekananda.

2. “You will never know enough. You will always be forced to make a decision without fully understanding what is coming. As a founder, that is just something you have to get comfortable with.”

– Aaron O’Hearn

Do not be afraid of what lies in the realm of the unknown. Rather, strive boldly to make the unknown exactly what you had imagined it would be like all this time. Do not fret if that is not what how things turn out. You can adapt. But the sincerity of action must be there.

3. “Startups are really hard. Every successful one had terrible hurdles and setbacks that they had to overcome.”

– Robin Chase

All of the things that truly matter come more often than not through a long and tedious hardship. The level of hardship varies, but make no mistake about it orchestrating the success of a startup being a herculean task.

4. “The best advice is to not give yourself too much credit when times are good and too much blame when times are bad. Once you realize that luck plays a necessary role in success, it makes you both more humble and more self-confident at the same time.”

– Ethan Austin

Yes, you play a pivotal role in the success or failure of your enterprise. But in the burden of responsibility, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that it is not in fact all about you. You matter, but so do the contributions of others, be they for the better or for the worse.

5. “They said they’d invest in us as long as we built for the browser and solved a problem we had every morning.”

– Alexis Ohanian

Make sure that your startup idea addresses a crucial problem faced by a large group of people almost on a daily basis. The best startups exemplify this problem-solving nature of startup founders.

6. “As a founder — or anyone who feels proud of and close to the product he or she creates — you struggle to have the right perspective about your business. It’s easy to get too close, and that can be distracting. Here’s the good and bad news: No one is looking at your work as closely as you are. So, remember that when you’re on hour four debating which shade of navy blue works best for your logo. Yes, details matter. But at a certain point, you have to let go and move on to the next thing.”

– Pavia Rosati

Being attached to one’s own brainchild is a normal and even positive thing. But try not to become obsessed with the particulars. As a startup founder, you have numerous obligations and duties, so make sure you are in a position to fulfil all of them.

7. “With the community, give before you get. Do deep research for your ideas, but trust your instincts. Actively seek guidance, but know the advice often conflicts, so you need your own conviction. With product, think expansively, then pare it back to basics. Be proud of what you build, though there will never be perfection. Be aware of competition, but don’t worry about it. Be direct with your team, but always kind, empathetic, and self-aware. Understand that maybe the world doesn’t need your idea, so know when to move on. Luck and resilience are as important as ideas and talent. Don’t believe your own press, good or bad. Don’t take yourself too seriously, even if you’re trying to change the world. Never lose sight of the important stuff: love, friends, family."

– Jamyn Edis

You may not be the “one who brought back balance to the force,” but you must definitely balance the various pressing issues both at work and home, and in the pub, too.

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