Josh Melick has had his hand in several startups throughout his career. As the Co-Founder and CEO of Broadly, Josh was involved in all aspects of his business, from writing code to speaking with investors. Now, as a business consultant, he’s kept busy helping new startup founders create better products. So we asked him what ten things all startup founders should do.
“Startup founders should…”
1) Get organized
Too many things compete for founders’ time and energy. When things get busy, allocating the right amount of time for each task is challenging, so it’s important to keep a schedule.
2) Protect their product
Having a backlog of tasks for your startup is not enough. Without proper protection, ideas can walk out the door in many ways: employees who feel undervalued, investors who want to influence your business in undesirable ways, or even by simply observing other companies innovating in the same space.
3) Get feedback
Be it from friends, advisers, mentors, or customers – soliciting and responding to feedback is vital for success in any endeavor. Everyone has an opinion about your product! Make sure to listen to all of it, even the parts which are difficult to hear.
4) Failure is not an option… but it should be analyzed
People often avoid failure. This can be crippling for your business’ growth. Failure should be embraced as a learning opportunity and used as fuel for future decisions.
5) Be willing to pivot. If you’ve tried something and it doesn’t work, you should at least analyze why and see if there’s a way to turn it into a successful product.
6) Hire slowly but fire quickly
You’re going to need help at some point in your startup journey – whether from investors, employees, contractors, or suppliers. It is essential to find good people, but it is equally important to get rid of them if they’re not working out.
7) Don’t be afraid of big numbers
It’s easy to get caught up in small numbers thinking that bigger numbers are unattainable. More prominent companies have more challenges – but they also can come with more opportunities and resources. So be willing to go big!
8) Get your hands dirty
There are a lot of distractions along the way to building a product or startup. Don’t be afraid to get your “hands dirty” with tasks that might not be directly related to what you consider your core competencies. One day you’ll look back and realize how important all of these things were.
9) Keep a journal
Record everything! Whether it’s customer feedback, product changes to make, or exciting milestones – good and bad – keep track of it all. The memories will go away quickly, and you’ll be happy that you can look back at your “journal” for reference later on.
10) Educate yourself
Every day there’s something new and exciting that you can learn to improve your product or startup. Whether it’s a new technology, skill, or business tactic: Make time every week (if not every day) to learn something new!
He concluded by saying: “It’s worth the effort to take your startup from good to great. The best way to do that is by working on all these things and anything else you can think of, one day at a time.”
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