Launching a start-up isn’t easy, especially for non-technical Founders. During this exciting and challenging journey, any advice is valuable - but when it comes from someone who has been through a similar path, even better.
We’ve asked some of our Founders about the best piece of advice they’ve received during their start-up careers. Here’s what they have to share, from Founders to Founders:
“It’s tough to choose the best advice when I’ve had so many great learnings down the years. But one I’d highlight is: don’t be afraid to fail, to rip up the MVP and start all over again. Most companies never get it right the first time, and you’ll be surprised to learn that often what you think is the right product from day one, never actually is. We, for instance, started as a publisher - now “KidsKnowBest 2.0” is a data and media company.”
Joel Silverman, CEO & Co-Founder KidsKnowBest
“A piece of advice I have received and which I still think about every day is to always work with the best people your organisation can afford. Keep that in mind!”
Guillaume Descottes, Founder & CEO Vialma
“For B2B SaaS, in your early months (and, in some cases, years), sales are more important than a perfect product. A good sales team and process can get you places the MVP on its own never will. So never underestimate the importance of sales.”
James Ward, Managing Director & Founder Clientshare
"The thing you learn when doing start-ups is that nothing is ever going the way you would expect (and hope). What makes you strong through the long nights is resilience and patience. If your idea is good, you’re able to motivate the team and make the investors dream - but, most importantly, you are really delivering value and advancement... Then you may get to the next billion-dollar unicorn (but this is the boring part!)”
“If you look after yourself, you can look after your team; if your team are looked after, they can look after your customers - and if your customers are happy, then your investors will be too.”
Paul Conway, Founder and CEO Yuno
“Building your start-up to be resilient is crucial with today's climate: being able to listen and learn from what the market is doing and adapt so you can bounce back quickly. This may include pivots, making hard decisions with the team/staff employment quickly and may even include merging your business with another.
Things that have helped Lyfe:
Having a trusting and supportive leadership team.
Focusing on a single goal can really bring the team together.
Making hard decisions quickly, committing to those decisions made and focusing your energy on it.
Communication, open conversations with the team of the highs and the lows as they happen as things can change quickly.”
Ash Dey, Co-Founder & COO Lyfe
“Get to revenue asap. It’s only when someone buys your product you know for sure it will work - the ultimate validation. It also makes it much easier to grow (and raise money) when you have sales!”
Matt Jonns, Founder and CEO Founder + Lightning
What's the best advice you've ever received? What did you wish you knew before? Where do you need more support right now? We would love to know your thoughts - feel free to reach out to us on Twitter or directly!