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Sunday, October 16, 2011

How not to start a startup

Xconomy San Diego offers a provocative post by Joe Chung about how not to start a startup. Below are his five bullet points and my interpretation of each:
  1. Don’t start a company in an ebbing tide. (Find an unmet need rather than one that's being met)
  2. Don’t do something you know 20 other startups are already doing. (Most of these 20 will be losers.)
  3. Don’t think too small. (You’re more likely than not to fail, so if you’re taking a big risk, shoot for a big reward.)
  4. Don’t think too big. (Focus on something close enough in that you can see the path from here to there.)
  5. Don’t build a product without a distribution plan. (When you pick from among multiple ideas, try to target something that has a ready-made channel.)
Of course, read the original posting for the full arguments.

As Chung notes, rules are made to be broken, but these rules will keep you away from common sources of startup failure.