I recently came across this clip from a speech given by Jerry Kaplan. He talks about some of the biggest mistakes tech entrepreneurs make and I found the video to be quite fascinating. You can view it below:
To summarize, the five mistakes are:
1. Unclear Goals & Mission
While it may sound like something out of a business textbook, setting goals and mission is vitally important as yours may differ from your co-founders. Write down the goals, what you intend to do and what is your measure of success.
2. Trying To Prove That You’re Smart
The biggest problem with starting a company with the sole purpose of trying to prove you’re smart and capable is that you end up not wanting to share the credit with other people, which means you don’t get their help and support. As I said before, business is a team sport.
You should never start a business for the money. One consequence of that is you end up not raising enough capital because you want to keep your ownership, or equity, of the company. There is an old joke in Silicon Valley that equity is like shit. If you pile it up, it smells bad. But once you spread it around, a lot of wonderful things grow. It really links back with what I said before, do what you love and the money will follow
4. Hiring People You Like Rather Than People You Need
A company is not a social club. You tend to hang out with people who are like you. So if you hire your friends, what ends up happening is that you aren’t able to bring different skills and different point of views to the table – and that is absolutely critical.
5. Not Knowing When To Let Go
Companies change and evolve as they grow. Being a CEO of a startup is very different to being a CEO of a hundred million dollar company. You need realistic self-assessment so you know when to step aside for the good of the company