Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs - East Message Board › Gems from JJ @ 4/15 Meetup
San Jose, CA
JJ, an Associate of 5 Star Startup Services, talked about his experiences of starting 10 companies in the past 30 years. Among the gems he divulged were:
Don’t’quit your Day Job, because you’ll need the income while you’re trying to form your company. It always takes longer than you expect to get revenue flowing. Have some contingency plans, so that if your 1st plan doesn’t work you have options.
Vision: have a significant purpose & passion for your product, then the money will follow.
Even if you haven’t completed development, get a Foundation Customer, so you can develop and test your concept on them, to see if it works and if they like it. Listen to their feedback.
It’s better to have good Functionality, than a product that looks good.
Focus your Energies on one product. Once you have a little extra bandwidth, experiment on ideas where you can be the best.
Choosing a Partner is extremely critical to your success. You should get to know them well, to determine if you’re compatible and you can work well together BEFORE making a partnership. Draw up a good contract, doing business on a MoU is a No-No, do a Non-binding Trial Partnership at arms length for at least 6 months and see how it works. Before discussing “binding partnerships”.
Look for Leverage Opportunities with other organizations, (ie, Reseller channels), so that you can multiply your efforts.
Hiring: Use written questions to be more objective in your interview process. Use due diligence in all your actions & decisions. Don’t hire anyone that is not passionate about your product. Get good Marketing & Sales personnel (who can close deals). Never settle for “less than the best” when hiring.
Don’t try to be too “friendly” with your Staff, because you have to be objective to make the best decisions.
You can’t startup new Staff in a remote location. Make sure the staff is working well before you put distance between you.
Direct help or support of your significant other is important to building your business, because they must share some of your passion and understand all the time that you spend with your other love.