Startup Myths – I shall not be fooled again by gurus

Business Guru Advice For Startups

Being a guru is a real balancing act…

Waqas Ali, a Pakistani based startup entrepreneur made the new years resolution not be fooled by bad advice. He pledged:

“…I shall not be fooled again by gurus…”

It got us thinking about the massive volume of startup guidance and advice being published and preached. How much can be relied on? How much can be applied to your startup?

The usefulness and accuracy of advice varies greatly. One size does not fit all. What worked for one business may not work at all for another. Another problem is that bad or misleading guidance may lead you down the wrong track and waste your time and efforts.

We certainly praise those that share their experiences and enjoy the open discussion. However one must be aware of the dangers of taking advice that is not tailored specifically to your circumstances. Ultimately careful judgement is required to pick out and implement the best and most applicable advice for your own startup. Ensure any advice can be actioned and be measured.

Below is a sampling of commonly shared cliched startup advice, inspired by the Quora question: What popular startup advice is plain wrong? How many of the above do you full/partially agree of disagree with? Do you have some more quotes to add to the list? Leave us a comment below.

On Motivation:
+ Don’t give up too easily
+ Never give up
+ Be Careful
+ Take the plunge
+ Quit your day job and throw everything you have into it
+ All you need is passion
+ Do what you love, the money will follow

On Success:
+ You need to fail first before you succeed
+ Some startups are successful after long periods of failure
+ They were lucky by being in the right place, at the right time

On Being an Entrepreneur:
+ Being an entrepreneur gives you freedom, free from the constraints of working for others
+ You have to be in silicon valley
+ Join an accelerator/incubator/academy
+ You do/don’t need a qualification

On Advice:
+ Ignore all startup advice
+ Follow all startup advice
+ Don’t blindly believe another successful entrepreneur
+ Advice from the more technical team members is going to be technically biased
+ Advice from consultants is going to be focused on consultant deliverables rather than real deliverables

On Business Development:
+ Build it and they will come
+ It’s already been done
+ It’s impossible to compete with Microsoft, Google, Facebook…
+ Be first
+ Don’t worry about learning the ‘business’ side of things because you can bring on a partner to handle that
+ Start business development as soon as possible
+ You don’t need a business plan
+ Do your homework and make sure that the problem you think you’re fixing really exists

On Technology:
+ You need a technical co-founder
+ You need to know how to code
+ You can’t outsource the product
+ Do/don’t outsource
+ Keep technology and business separate

On Launching:
+ Just setup a landing page and collect emails
+ Launching is an event
+ Iterate rapidly and don’t worry about scaling

On Funding:
+ Startups have to raise venture capital in order to succeed
+ Your time (sweat equity) doesn’t have any value
+ Do not raise funding as great businesses are all about bootstrapping
+ Venture Capitalists have an interest in big exits and therefore will mislead you
+ Take lots of debt now

On Revenue:
+ You don’t need revenue
+ Go ‘freemium’

On Lean:
+ Lean startup means keeping costs low
+ Lean startups change their business plan every five minutes
+ The first thing to validate is your solution
+ Lean startups are internet Startups
+ Quality is not important in a Lean startup
+ First build a Minimal Viable Product

Hacker News Discussion
More Startup Posts


You might also enjoy:
+ The Startup Dictionary – Learning the Lingo #3
+ Learning From Other Startups – 6 Real Life Stories
+ Samsung’s Pivot From Dried Fish to Smartphones
+ The Bootstrap Challenge – Walking the Talk

Welcome new readers! If this is your first time here, you might want to start with a new article or read through our older submissions.

Where to next? Check out a random article.

Stay in touch: Check us out via RSS Feed, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

Join the conversation: Leave a comment or this post.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

About Spark N Launch

4 responses to “Startup Myths – I shall not be fooled again by gurus”

  1. duggiwuggi (@duggiwuggi) says :

    tell me what to do! validate my thoughts with your own!

  2. Scott Burson says :

    Another one, after “Be first”: “Don’t be first. Watch the first ones fail, and learn from their mistakes.”

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Taking My Own Advice « The Library of Narcissism - 9 August 2012

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: