Top Mistakes Made by Founders of Startups by Tony de Bree

Top Mistakes Made by Founders of Startups

There are an awful lot of ‘wantrepreneurs’ out there. These are people who want to be entrepreneurs, who maybe even tell people they are entrepreneurs, but who somehow lack that magic spark and the passion that they need in order to go out and change the world.

The question is: what is the difference between these people and those people who really do have breakthrough innovations and build successful startups? Often it comes down to a few simple mistakes they make along the way from idea to successful startup and scale-up.

Talking Too Much

A lot of people I meet who have exciting ideas for apps, websites or products, will make the mistake of telling a lot of people all about it. Which is not a problem because of intellectual property or anything like that. It’s a problem because I can tell they’re never going to make it happen. These are people who enjoy ‘playing business’. People who love talking the talk but don’t actually want to do the work. And that often is the case with people that have been working in large corporates for instance.  Instead of talking about it… do it.

Not Talking Enough

Then again, you also get the other type of entrepreneur who has an idea that they think is the best thing in the world and then they get incredibly protective over it. This person refuses to tell anyone what they’re doing and they have a very hard time finding co-founders or convincing customers and investors to be interested as a result.

You know what? When you tell a potential partner or investor that you can’t tell them your idea, that’s insulting. Ideas are a dime a dozen. Execution is what counts. So get over yourself: you need all the help you can get!

Being Perfectionists

If you have an idea that is a big risk, then you need to get out there and make it happen as soon as possible. What you can’t afford to do, is to spend years perfecting it and hiring designers and lawyers and anyone else you can in order to make it into something perfect.
This strategy involves investing too much time and money into an idea upfront. And when you do that, you have a break even that is years away and you run the risk of losing everything you’ve put into it.

Instead, release an MVP quickly – a Minimal Viable Product. This is a rough version of your product that you will then be able to test. If people start buying that, the you can invest more into it. And it will be easire to find funding for further development and marketing. If not, then you move on to the next project and don’t waste any more time. It’s what they call ‘fail fast’ in the business!

Thinking about technology instead of customers. 

Many founders of startups I meet or that I review during for instance the Dutch Fintech Awards are crazy about technology, about the Internet and about apps. But what they forget is to answer the main question: who has a problem and who will therefor want to pay for your ‘solution’? if you do not know the answer, you better do your homework again….or your startup will ‘crash into the trees’…

If you want to read more on disruption, entrepreneurship, innovation, new business models and marketing and financing your idea (in Dutch) and successful startups and scale-ups and investors in Fintech for instance, order this book (you can reserve it prior to the launch on the 18th of April 2017 or buy it directly after that date). Or you can bookmark ‘English blogs’ on this site.

Let’s connect!

If you want to learn more about the sharing economy, startups, scale-ups, innovation, Fintech, RegTech and much more, then follow Tony de Bree on Twitter : @tonydebree and on LinkedIn here.

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