What they don’t tell you in startup schools
There isn’t a startup school. Not yet. Or not that I know of (and that just might be my next startup!) But one thing at a time. This is what I learned in the two weeks since we launched Memontage.
- Disney created Magic. It is nowhere to be found but in their movies (and merchandise). “Users” will not knock on your door without a notice and herds of people won’t click on your site or search your URL overnight. It doesn’t work like that.
This did not, in any way, stopped me from wondering what we did wrong over and over.
- Growth, user acquisition, retention,,, these are not just buzzwords. They are a blend between taking a deep breath and working really hard.
- Work-Life Balance is also not a buzzword and if you want to avoid the 3(!!) colds I already went through in the past 14 days — try somehow to take a rest.
- Ignore the point above: There’s no time to rest or waste! Startup (in its early stages but probably in every step of the way…I’d soon find out and tell you) is a pressure oriented sphere mixed with endless tasks. If there are two things they really ought to teach at startup schools they are — prioritizing and time management. Without knowing how to excel in both, I don’t know how one can stay sane.
- Find out how to stay sane otherwise you’ll lose it real fast. My way is to climb walls..
- Learn to say NO. We already refused two interviews. One did a piece on blond entrepreneurs and wanted brunettes to balance the story. The second was an unknown website with less entries than ours (before the launch) that asked endless questions. Just say no! Otherwise you’d be left with zero time on your hands.
- Time is the only asset a startup has in the beginning. It’s not a myth. Use it wisely and be stingy. Stop waving at friends you see on the street.Eat fast meals (not McDonald but food you don’t need to chew so much).
- Gotta admit that at times (rarely, but still) there isn’t much work to be done. I mean there’s always lots (see no.4) but sometimes, you just have to wait till things happen. At this point you must look very busy especially if you work in an open-space. Don’t want people asking for advice (see no.6)
- Make sure to mark small achievements. The smallest. We celebrate each completed task with a song of our choice. Good days end up with a long playlist (add “good taste in music” to the things you must look for in a partner) and bad days end with just the opening chord of “Time of my life”.
- Things go wrong all the time. I read that it’s not only my bad luck but just the startup life (thank god). So if you have some time before starting to startup yourself, do yourself a favor and learn some Node.js, Bootstrap, data analysis, photoshop, writing a press release. If you start without these/other similar skills, prepare to master them in anywhere between 10 minutes and two days.
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