Building a startup is tough. Because it is so hard, it makes sense for entrepreneurs, founders, and VCs to trade advice. We see advice everywhere. The blog posts. The essays. The coffee meetings. It is all useful. Yet, it kind of isn’t.
One of the things I’ve begun to realize is that there just aren’t any hard and fast rules to building a successful startup.
OK, there may be one: create value in the world which can scaled and captured.
That seems true and obvious, but unfortunately isn’t very actionable. Other than that, I’m not sure I can give you a rule which is 100% true.
You may hear that design matters, but I can point you to successful website that are ugly and janky.
You may hear that you should raise as much money as you can, but there are successful companies which have been bootstrapped.
You may hear that the Lean Startup movement is the way to go, but I am show you many of the Alexa Top Sites that didn’t follow the principles.
You might hear that you need a cofounder, but there are startups which have succeeded with a single founder.
You may hear that these accelerators and incubators are great, but many great startup successes have been built outside of these communities/ecosystems.
You may hear you should move fast and break things, but there are other successful startups that don’t seem to move fast on product at all.
You may hear about the benefits of a private beta, but other founders have found success just getting their stuff out there.
I could go on and on.
For any piece of advice, you could follow it and be successful.. or you could not follow it, and be successful.
How do you proceed?
Too much analysis results in paralysis. And, at any moment, there are a ton of decisions to make. For each one, you can deliberate and ask for advice, but at the end of the day, you have to make a decision and run with it. If it is a mistake? Change directions 😉