45 lessons learned from my participation to an Accelerator: StartupSauna
1. Business is all about discipline. Disciplined People, engaged in disciplined thought, taking disciplined action. (Quoting from Jim Collins)
2. Not all people wandering are lost (Quoting from Steve Blank). If you can’t bear the uncertainty, whatever your current success, your business will not survive a transition.
3. In the early stage of your startup you should look more for people who will say “NO” to you. The more “NO” you receive, the more your chance to succeed. “NO” is your best ally. Ask people “What is wrong with your idea?”, “Why this won’t work?”, “why they don’t want to invest”, “why they won’t recommend you to a friend”.
4. Strategy is less about what you decide to do. A big part of it is about what you decide NOT to do. (Quoting from Steve Jobs)
5. You need a blend of high humility and high confidence to be successful.
6. Listen, because most of your assumptions are wrong, like most of your believes. Failure to listen is your enemy N°1
7. The “5 why” from Coach Aape : ‘Why you are here’, … ‘why you are doing what you are doing’, … ‘why are you the best to be here’, … ‘Why you are the best to do what you are doing…. and … ‘why it’s the right time to do what you are doing’
8. Most Surprises in Startups are negative. be prepared!
9. Remember this one. NEVER NEVER give the right of refusal to any investor. period.
10. Build relationship with VC before you need them.
11. Lessons learned #StartupSauna: Keep strong focus. Avoid Distraction. You need people to believe in your ability to execute!
12. Think Big, and Keep optimizing constantly your time, your content, your product, your pitch, your positioning
13. The key to leadership in your market is to do customers acquisition better than your competitors.
14. Failure = failure to recognize change and pivot fast. Don’t fall in love with your vision!
15. Lessons learned #StartupSauna Head Coach Ilka: the key to a startup success is to find a group of customers with repeat sales.
16. Lessons learned #StartupSauna Coach Ramine: Keep your promises!
17. Give more than you take. make it easy for people to extract value from you!
18. Map your medias campaigns like your do for your sales.
19. Medias are made of people. Start building your network early Lower the risk for journalist to write about you
20. Consider medias as one of your customers, and use them as part of your marketing approach
21. Going to market too large will cloud or clutter your view. Focus, prove your numbers, then scale!
22. Lessons learned #StartupSauna: What is your success formula? if you don’t have one, you are doomed. First you prove your formula then Scale
23. Scale only if you have proven that you have a formula (that works)! Find the right formula first!
24. if a person in your team doesn’t have motivation, the leader has to create a motivation for him.
25. if there is no competition, it means there is no market for it.
26. Be fearless. Ask yourself “what will I do right now if I was fearless! Life favors risk takers
27. Understand your market. Invest time to understand your market, as much as you spend to develop your product.
28. Build a culture. Invest time to develop a culture, as much as you spend to develop your product.
29. Say No often. Keep your eyes on your goals, what is important, your end vision. Avoid Vanity fairs!
30. Build a culture. Everything in your startup will be the fruit of your culture.
31. Focus your message on the one thing you are the first to do for a target group or market to achieve a certain goal
32. Create a category that you could be the first in and dominate!
33. Select a target market then write a value proposition that clicks with that target group, and be the best to serve them.
34. there is only two sources of competitive advantage: (1) the ability to learn more about your customers faster than the competition, and (2) the ability to turn that learning into action faster than the competition. (quoting Jack Welsh, former CEO of GE)
35. Business model innovation is key to a startup success, but USE proven models when available
36. It’s all about the relationship. People invest in people they like, trust, and could champion.
37. Before hiring, Give some homework to the final candidates.
38. Avoid money chasers, and attract only passionate people.
39. Speak like if you were talking to one person in the room. Create a one-to-one conversation even if they are hundreds here.
40. Respect your audience: before your pitch spend 3-5 seconds to look into people, grab their attention, be a center of attention #startupsauna
41. Whatever happens, always stage your “Come back” to “Show them” you have guts
42. Setbacks make you or break you, depend on how you react to them.
43. Culture eats strategy at breakfast – Peter Drucker
44. Culture is the single best asset for any business; include startups (Culture eats strategy…
45. Before you revenge, Dig two graves!