by Kyu (Daniel) Lee
I built a company immediately upon graduating.
To become an entrepreneur without a complete understanding of what that meant. I can safely say it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made.
This is a list for first-time founders.
It’s very elementary and you’re going to come across many more lessons on your startup journey. *Not in any particular order
1. Don't wait for perfection
Just launch something… unless you are manufacturing airplanes or developing a cure for cancer or something along those lines… then you should aim for perfection
2. Don't be afraid to share your ideas.
Nobody will care enough to steal it. And even if someone does, just do it better.
3. Ideas mean NOTHING.
Execution is everything. But ideas are still very important. (wait….what?)
4. You've got to become a good networker.
Your network is important. Network often and strategically.
5. Get LinkedIn Premium
It’s like 25 bucks or something. It’ll help you find people you need to meet.
6. Learn how to find people's email
Hint: Download rapportive
7. You will get a lot of rejections
Learn to deal with it and don’t let it get to you.
8. Your cofounders will make or break your company
9. There is good advice, and there is bad advice.
You've got to learn to distinguish between the two.
10. Never go into a meeting without a specific purpose
“Wanting to connect” is not a specific purpose (at least not a good one).
11. The ability to bootstrap is important
If you are a first-time founder, I’d argue that you should build your first product with no money.
12. Don't try to raise $ until you have a product built
If you just graduated college and this is your first startup, nobody will trust you with money until you can at least prove you can build something.
13. Don’t ask people to sign NDAs
Especially investors. It makes you look amateur. Exception: If your last name is Zuckerberg. Or if your last name is Gates. Or if you are a Nobel-Prized Scientist
14. Make sure to have a ‘no-shame’ policy.
15. Do fun stuff outside of work.
But not too much.
16. Talk to your users as often and early as possible.
And when I say ‘early,’ I mean before you start working on your startup.
17. Know a thing or two about data analytics
And make sure to track all your analytics.
18. Try to get into a startup accelerator.
Y Combinator. Techstars. AngelPad. 500 Startups. Boost. There are tons more. I can grow your network and give amazing advice.
19. But accelerators aren’t everything
Don’t depend on them. If you get rejected, you got to keep moving on. Accelerators don’t invest in companies who need them for survival anyways.
20. Don’t spend too much time on business plans.
In college, I took a business class that said that a business plan was the single most important aspect of a company. With all due respect, I disagree.
21. Build good relationships with journalists.
22. Figure out who you need to win over.
Hint: It should not be everybody
23. Don't obsess too much about your competition.
Just build an AWESOME product.
24. Making an awesome product that you love is cute
Making an awesome product that others use is AMAZING.
25. Be nice.
You can find my new company here: https://wiselike.com/