What I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Company
What I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Company stories

danieljacobsCommunity member
Autoplay OFF  •  3 years ago
Daniel Jacobs is the CEO and cofounder of Avanoo (http://avanoo.com/), which creates three-minute-a-day online employee training videos. Avanoo's content is created with support from over 200 of the world's most renowned experts, and their clients include Kaiser, KPMG, Cisco, NBC, and other industry leaders.

What I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Company

by Daniel Jacobs, CEO Avanoo

I've started 4 companies over 12 years.

Here are a few things I wish I'd known before starting this amazing journey.

1. If You Wouldn't Fight Monsters in a Dark Alley

to Protect Your Business, Don't Start it.

It will be harder than you think!

The only way you will see this journey through is if your vision is aligned with who you are.

2. Survive First: Start with a Business Model in Mind

Everybody hears the stories of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. These guys are the exceptions, not the norm

No business model means:

1. you must be beyond extraordinary to survive, 2. survival will cost you a lot more money than you think, and 3. you will not have paying customers to guide you towards sustainability.

3. Paying Customers are God. Non-paying are a Gamble

Take feedback from people not willing to open their wallets with a grain of salt.

I wish I'd known this!

The gap between quality of feedback from nonpaying and paying customers is enormous: when people love something... it still doesn't mean they will pay a dollar for it.

4. Find a Cofounder That Makes You a Better Business Person

It's all much easier when you have someone by your side with a similar vision + complementary skills

We all have gaps

When we can lean on a cofounder whose skills and perspective naturally fill those gaps... it changes the game!

5. A Conclusion of Sorts

Figure Out Which Rules to Break and Which to Follow

When should i separate from or join the crowd?

This requires knowing yourself and knowing your business. Business mastery happens when we figure out how to stand on the shoulders of giants... with a message that is still uniquely our own.

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