by Terrence Yang | Founder, Precelerator, Yang Ventures | @yangterrence
All the mistakes entrepreneurs make after raising seed-stage funding ultimately reflect a failure to just make something at least some folks really want, and do it in a way that can be profitable some day.
Nothing else really matters.
Common mistakes include –
Failure of mindset. Failing to be obsessed, focused, determined, resourceful, driven, compelled and relentless in figuring out how to make something that at least some folks really want.
Scaling too early.
Hiring technical folks and salespeople too early.
Wasting time on partnerships.
Partnerships are not the answer. What Gates did with IBM is a once in a lifetime occurrence. Just focus on making stuff some folks really want.
Wasting time chasing deals with big companies, governments or non-profits.
These folks move slowly and want customized solutions. You have limited time to prove you can get real, paying customers before Series A.
Wasting time on vanity metrics.
Wasting time on press and PR.
Failing to be a great leader and manager.
Wasting time going to events and conferences.
Wasting time on cofounder disputes.
Wasting money on service providers such as the vast majority of social media consultants and growth hackers.
Failing to have first principles and run fast, cheap tests.
Non-great entrepreneurs often try to avoid talking to customers and hire a magical salesperson to swoop in on a unicorn and suddenly increase revenues dramatically.
Failing to hire only when there is great pain.
Inability to recruit.
Non-great entrepreneurs can not persuade great technical and non-technical people to join the team for below-market salary and equity at an appropriate title and level of responsibility.
Failing to be frugal.
High burn rates.
Getting an office before you’re ready.
Spending money and time on things that are not related to building product, testing it with users, observing their behavior and facial reactions in person, and iterating based off the feedback.