A few fragments:
- Acquiring talent in the startup phase
- Retaining talent in startups
- Getting initial customers (some times the first customer)
- Finding good designers
- Finding co-founders with complementary skills ( a designer wants a technical co-founder)
- Too many requests for customization from early customers
- Awareness of certain sectors (from a hobby robotics startup)
- People steal ideas
- Challenges in going to products from services
Some advice the audience got:
- People want to join causes (so if you try to articulate your cause, you may have better chances of finding talent)
- Persuasion skills (you need it to persuade co-founders to join you, to get initial employees to sign up, for getting initial customers and for almost everything else)
- Listening skills (very important in selling)
- Personal charisma (initially) and transforming it to a company wide common goal
- Irrational optimism (everything takes a lot longer than you think and you need to hang on)
- If you have no tech skills, find a tech co-founder
- Find the one guy who believes in your product and supports you (initial customers)
- Try to find an under served market and start there
- Learn to Sell (an essential skill) – Find good books and learn from them
Find technical ‘co founders’, don’t ‘outsource’ it.
Thanks Yuvi. Yes. That is basically the advice given at the event. There were certain messages that were pretty clear throughout the conference.
1. The most important skill for a startup is the ability to sell. If you don’t have it acquire it.
2. The founding team needs to have the core skills – technical, marketing/sales
There were a few other (and I will blog about it too) that included one (from Sramana):
3. The deeper your knowledge of a domain, the higher you can charge for your product/service. So going from the most horizontal to the most vertical, the pricing would be going from low to high.
Some of the sessions were awesome. When the videos are put up, will write another post pointing to some of them.
Damn. Being in college seems to make me miss more education than gain it.
Out of my experience I will say outsource or find full time technical co-founder.
I failed in my first attempt because I got part-time technical founder. It didn’t worked out. It almost an year, by the time it was ready, recession hit.
Thanks for sharing that. I think equally important is to have founders with complementary skills. For a technical co-founder it is marketing/sales. These are the two essential ones. All the others can come later once the company starts to scale.