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Startups
Like,reallyhard.
arehard.
69 Startup and Life Tips for Entrepreneurs
@luketucker
This list is more or less a curation of tips I've surfaced from
my reading or research and from what I've observed from
be...
1Tellalotofpeople
aboutyourideas.
I see too many people that are afraid to talk to
others about their ideas.
"Don'tworryaboutpeoplestealing
youridea,worrythatnoonewillcare."
- Dharmesh Shah
2Chooseanideayou'repassionateabout.
Life is too short to spend your time building something you don't have a passion for.
The Ycombinator maxim is brilliant and words to live by for any maker and entrepreneur.
3Buildsomethingpeoplewant.
4Findoutifpeople
wantsomethingby
interviewingthem.
Not a novel idea anymore, but the lesson is
don't just stop at the init...
It's so much better when you
can empathize with your users.
Not 100% necessary, but helpful.
5Whenpossible,
solveyour
ownp...
6Tacklehardproblems
thattheworldisfacing.
Please don't build just another Social-Mobile-Local app.
For more on this, read Peter Thiel's Zero To One book.
7Focusonmarkets
thatyoucandominate
early(monopoly).
8Knowthepotential
growthmarkets
ofyourcompany.
You should be the expert of your market.
Show off big picture thinking and ...
Self-awareness is a trait that
shows maturity and humility.
9Knowyour
strengthsand
weaknesses
asafounder.
10Findaco-founderwith
complementaryskills.
Kind of obvious, but once you know your
weaknesses, choose someone that has a s...
You can have "too many cooks in the kitchen" and
too many shares spread across the large founder
group making it harder fo...
12Getaccountabilityearly.
Noah Kagan recommends setting a goal and emailing a
friend every day to benchmark your efforts a...
Seems obvious, but often times I think
it's overlooked and/or undervalued.
13Pursueadvisorsand
advicefromthosewho
havecome...
14Readlotsofcontent.
Knowwhothebestare.
Curation is king. Knowing where resources
can be found and having "a guy" (or gal ...
Someone is building what you are building,
you probably just don't know it. It's
shocking how little people actually
spend...
16Payattentiontoyour
competitorsearly.
They impact your customers. I think this is more true
today than maybe 5 years ago....
It's called the lean startup methodology, you may have heard of it:
applying the scientific method to startups. Instead of...
18Pivotbeforeit's
toolateifyouhavenot
validatedyourhypothesis.
Set go/no-go criteria for testing. Can't over emphasize
tha...
Best way to see if someone really wants
to use your product is to ask them for
money. If they're willing to pay, others
wi...
20.Trynottohaveamarketing
budgetforaslongaspossible.
Do your best to let the product speak for itself. Focus your time on
...
Control your own destiny, utilize revenue to grow
your business. Shows you have a real business.
Gives you leverage as the...
22Ifyouhavetopursueinvestment
capital,fundraisewhenyoudon'tneedit.
Ideally, you have the leverage when your company is doi...
Investors see too many deals and are in no way
interested in having to sign an NDA to have a
conversation about your busin...
24Readpitchhacks
beforeyoupitchyour
ideatoanyinvestor.
90 or so pages of this e-book by the
guys behind Angel.co. Great re...
Just seems a shystery thing to me. There's enough
opportunities to develop real relationships with
investors that this jus...
26Raiseatleast18-monthsofrunway.
Just a rule of thumb. Might consider getting more than 18-months
if you can especially in...
Read @Jason's post on Why investor
updates are really important.
27Updateyour
investorsmonthly.
28Treatyourearly
customerslikethey're
greekgodsorgoddesses
(conciergeservice).
I believe this was a Paul Graham, Ycombinat...
Everyone on the team should take
turns through customer support.
Keep your users happy.
29Beradicalabout
customerservice.
30CreatealistofKPIstotrack
(remember,accountability).
What gets measured gets managed is the old saying. How do you
measur...
Be HOT: Honest, Open, Transparent. Like Buffer.
31Betransparent.
32Determinewhatyour
onemetricthatmatter's
mostisandoptimize
everythingforthat.
The authors of Lean Analytics preach this h...
Fun project and something that has both
internal team benefits, as well as ease
of use when sharing investor updates.
33Cr...
34Conductdesignand
developmentsprints.
Just a plug for lean / agile development
of ideas and products. Google has some
goo...
Or maybe this is better put by Buffer
when they say in their core values "You
ship code immediately when what you
have is ...
36Carefullycraft
whattypeofcompany
cultureyouwant.
Some good stories from Airbnb Founder Brian
Chesky in Startup Class vid...
Early employees are like your co-founders / owners and are taking risks to
join you. They should believe in your vision an...
38Buysaidemployeescoolthings;
likecomputers,fitbits,andbeer.
Make people feel a part of the team, something greater than
t...
This I found in the Greylock Partners video on Technology enabled Blitzscaling
Lecture 01. Their Greymatter series is a po...
You're replaceable and likely will be.
The best know when to step down.
40Don'tthink
you'reirreplaceable.
Success in life will be determined more by
what you say no to, rather than what you
say yes to. A maxim my father taught m...
42Autoemailresponders.Usethem.
The technology deluge can take over your life. Don't let email control you.
Tim Ferriss has a good recipe for being efficient
and doing more with less. Read his book. Despite
it's over-marketed hype...
44.ListentoTim
Ferrisspodcasts.
Probably at the top of his game in terms
of value and quality in his long-form
interviews....
The ancients did it. The top performers do it. You should do it. A brief philosophical
point: I see prayer as a "checking ...
It's a discipline that teaches you to deny yourself of the luxury of eating food every meal.
46Fastregularly(foodandothert...
47Getagymmembership.
Gotosaidgym.
Basically this whole section is about taking care of your
mind, body, and spirit. Priori...
It saves money and will make you eat healthier.
Eat your lunch outside, weather permitting. Or you
can work for a startup ...
Hire people for their talent and passion for your company. Give
them a beautiful and inspiring place to work, but don't ma...
50Taketimeto
dothingsthat
makeyouhappy.
Take walks! Go to the park.
Explore your neighborhood. Treat
yourself every Friday...
Just something I've heard over and over that it's very gratifying to have a physical
thing that you've created. Near immed...
52Neverstoplearning.
Curiosity is one of the most important traits I think
all high performing entrepreneurs have in commo...
User OKR's. Google does this.
Originally introduced I think
at Intel, a framework of
accountability that works.
53Setgoals...
54UseGooglesheets
andlaughateveryone
whostilluses
MicrosoftWord.
I've developed an acute allergic reaction
to Microsoft Of...
For instance, "I'm going to work out of the
Tokyo office this week". Which is a personal
favorite of mine, and was origina...
56Taketheeffortto
buildapersonalbrand.
It will be more important than you realize. This is
just a general tip. It shouldn'...
Getting all spiritual on you again, but it's so
important to take regular times to review.
Reflection and introspection ar...
58 Spend quality time
withpeopleyoulove.
No matter how busy you are, and how crazy
things are; invest in people. You make ...
“Don'tlettheimmediate
crowdouttheimportant.”
I've been reading in Joshua in the Bible
recently, and in like 5 chapters there's
literally half a dozen references to
"An...
60Wakeupatthe
sametimeeachday.
We are creatures of habit, develop a
routine and stick to it. Test out
different times and ...
Get stuff done that's individually important to
you. I don't check email until after I've read
my Bible and prayed. I'm tr...
62Keepmeticulousrecords.
It will pay off. Setting up processes and structures
both in personal and professional record kee...
Both personally and as a company! If
you're not slightly uncomfortable and
scared at what you're doing, then you are
not p...
64Travel.
Ah, Venice! Travel provides
perspective and stories.
Irreplaceable, really. Now,
there is a time and season
so d...
By incorporate, I mean as a business. It's
such a small thing, just do it right, and
don't rush it though. When you take
i...
67Whenyoudoincorporate,
doaDelawareC-Corp.
Use a service like Clerky. Makes it pretty easy.
I listen to lots of podcasts
and talk to high performers.
Almost to the man, they all
do the 2x audiobook speed
and most o...
69Remember,you'renot
onthisjourneyalone.
Entrepreneurship and founding a company can be
lonely. Keep in mind many others h...
This list is more of a running note pad of things that
I've seen, heard, read, or observed. It's in no way
meant to be me ...
Bring your blog to life.
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60Wakeupatthe sametimeeachday. We are creatures Startups are Hard. Like, Really Hard. @luketucker

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60Wakeupatthe
sametimeeachday.
We are creatures of habit, develop a
routine and stick to it. Test out
different times and habits to see
what works best for you. Iterate your
life just like you iterate your product.

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