6 Pieces Of Advice For Idea Stage Startups

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In the entrepreneurial world advice is one of the most important things you can get. Especially idea stage startups need it - here are our top 6 picks!

The world of startups was once one brimming with chaos, unknowns, and the possibility of failure at every door. Almost no place in the world except the exclusive Silicon Valley had the tools to foster a startup culture. We’ve come a long way, baby! Nowadays we even have public sector interest in startup growth – that’s amazing! The startup revolution is afoot and is growing rampantly throughout our global cities. Of course, this doesn’t mean that startups, especially idea stage startups, can’t use a bit of repetitive advice. After all, the movement is new, and could use all the support it could get!

So, what are most immediate recommendations we have for startups amongst a plethora of well meaning information? Here we are:

1. You Must Afford To Fail And Not Die (Literally)

We want you to startup and off the bat we’re telling you that you will fail in some form, and you may fail totally for a few years. Will you be able to handle this sort of insane psychological, emotional, mental, and of course, financial pressure while intensely creating a conceptual business? If the answer is no, then it’s best to stay in the job market, to be supported financially and network in the field in which you want to startup.

2. You Must Be Able To Have Meat To The Vision

You have the vision and broad technique for creating ice-cream that can cure diabetes. Now, how do you turn that vision and technique into organized prototypes, intellectual property, a structured board and (salaried) management team, find longstanding Angel and VC support, and then go live? The answer isn’t blowing in the wind, you have to come up with it, pretty fast.

3. You Must Be Comfortable With Litigation & Lawyers

Get a lawyer, now. We’re not kidding. And not only for external ad hoc legal counsel, but for internal, ongoing support. The lawyer knows legal speak, and needs to be your silent (or not so silent) backup when dealing with stakeholders, including potential investors. In the life of your startup/company, you will upset someone – an investor, a customer, even a country. When you do, you need strong legal backing from inception.

4. You Must Be Able To Embrace The Limelight

One difference between a traditional small business and what we consider today as a modern startup, apart from the funding types, is the level of exposure a startup must create for itself to attract stakeholder interest. First, the initial founders need to be as passionate, clever and careful as ever to attract co-founders and build a strong internal team. This is more than ‘hiring’ – this is visioning and ‘missioning’! Then, it’s time to wow the best-fit high level Angels and VC’s with your logical yet revolutionary magic. And of course, the brave startup must continually wow your analyzed and chosen growing customer base!

5. You Must Have The Instinct Of A Fox

Note we didn’t say shark. That’s for the investors. You, dear startup leader, are the charming yet clever (even sly) fox. You know the odds are high; you know that investors want your first born kid as equity; you know that customers are wonderful, yet fickle creatures. You know you will make mistakes with pretty much all stakeholders. If it is one piece of advice that comes from Sir Winston Churchill, it is to “stay calm.” This doesn’t mean not to take action; it means to remain internally calm and externally charming while never keeping your eye of the goal, and of the external landscape. Be a sniper in entrepreneur’s clothing. Homework: read the fable called “The Fox and the Crow.” Be enthusiastic, but be calculated as well.

6. You Have To Walk In Numbers

There is nothing stronger in this world than like-minded support. Note well, all the industry’s investors know each other, or have only three degrees of separation from each other. They have an unspoken support for each other, even if they may seem as competition with each other. Find that type of camaraderie with like-minded startup communities and collaborate as much as possible without giving anything proprietary away. Startups need the most support and encouragement, even more than the funding, because quite frankly, everyone who is in the status quo system thinks you are crazy. You need to be fostered with other crazies in the apt madhouses of incubators and accelerators. Or, your own created community. You can’t go this alone. Don’t do it to yourself, we need you to succeed.

Do you know that 90% of traditional small businesses fail in one year? That is a travesty, and it happens because here you have leaders with startup potential who try to be successful in business using the traditional business process, the process that the status quo stipulates to be in business. It works for big business. It works for multinational corporations (MNEs). It doesn’t work for us, and that’s okay. When you begin to do operate outside the lines, outside the status quo model (but not outside legal!), you are getting closer to your startup success. Stay calm, never forget your ‘why’, find encouragers, and carry on.

To your success startups!



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