Lessons Learned for Startups

Chris Herot’s post on Zingdom Communications, formally Convoq, closing its doors recently is a must read for anyone in a startup. While the news is bad, the lessons learned should be posted on every wall. The same mistakes get made too often – especially iterating in the conference room instead of the marketplace. Don’t ever forget the customer! Too often we forget that.
Lessons according to Chris:

  • Just because you are using agile methods doesn’t mean you don’t have to plan. Write your stories before you begin an iteration, but don’t waste a lot of time on the details that aren’t needed until later.
  • Don’t spend a lot of time and money naming the company until you have the product and positioning figured out.
  • If you are depending on paid search to generate traffic then your marketing is broken.
  • Raising too much money is almost as dangerous as raising too little – it sets high expectations which then drive high expenditures to deliver the results on time.
  • If you want to do a consumer-facing product on the East Coast, stay engaged with the community in Silicon Valley. By the time you read about something in TechCrunch it’s too late.
  • Remember the three stages of building a web property: 1. Attract, 2. Engage, 3. Monetize. Don’t skip a step.

Print it. Post it. Remember it.






One response to “Lessons Learned for Startups”

  1. Michael Kreppein Avatar
    Michael Kreppein

    I thought Chris’ posting was long but well worth the read. And Dharmesh over at HubSpot had similar lessons to post after reading about LinkedIn’s API.
    “I have just six words of advice for LinkedIn: Release early. Release often. Engage passionately.”


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