I was recently at a event where two founders were interviewed about their journey founding a startup. These takeaways surprised me:
1. Use existing services
I get it! You are at the height of your idea, ready to build a solution for every problem you encounter along the way. Social networking features, notifications, or whatever your new venture needs.
Doing this is wasting your time! There are countless problems out there that are already solved in a magnitude of ways. Integrating one of those will cost you a fraction of time and allow you to actually solve the problem you are trying to solve. Additionally in 99% of cases the existing solution is better than what you could build because these services are highly specialized in what they are doing. This means they can scale with you, instead of you having to scale your solution as well. Win-win!
Many times these services offer free tiers that are sufficient for a small user base, which is enough to get any startup kick-started.
Conclusion: Use existing solutions instead of building something yourself. Most of the times it’s cheaper (or free), more reliable and less time consuming to implement.
2. “Fast money is bad money”
This quote from Ralph Cibis, CEO of Rakete 7 surprised me. Money is money I thought. Turns out the founders would have rather had someone with domain specific knowledge and a good network supporting them than a VC that just sends a lot of money. Makes sense! In the latter case they would have to use the money to hire ten people figuring all this knowledge out.
Finding the right investors which align with your vision is crucial for success. Sometimes it pays off to spend that extra week finding someone that can not only support your business with the much-needed cash but also comes with a big sales network, controlling experience, market research and other beneficial info.
Conclusion: “Fast money is bad money”. Spend that extra week on finding the VC that aligns with your vision and can offer more than just the money.
What are some of the things you think every founder should know?
Gero is a wannabe Startuper by night, Android Engineer by day. Find him here: https://gerogerke.de/