Founder Feedback gives you insights from the startup trenches. In a story originally posted to his blog, Daniel Arroyo, Co-Founder and CEO of Flaretag, shares the three 'ignorant' assumptions he encountered in the early stages of building his first startup.
"It’s still fresh in my mind how naive I was about the way startups are built. Don’t get me wrong, I’m probably making many other mistakes every day but at least now I have put behind and rationalized the ones described here.
Chances are that, if this is your first startup, you think you have a great idea and, once implemented and launched, it is going to take off to the heights of Facebook. Trust me when I say that you’re going to need a lot more help than you think. Read on and see if you’re already making these mistakes:
1. Over-protecting your idea
If your idea is awesome, it’s probably already in the works or even launched somewhere. You might not have found it yet. Now let’s assume that you really do have a unique idea. If simply by telling somebody they can go off and implement it, forget it. You never had a viable business, and the competition would eat you alive at the start.
For an idea to become a product and for that product to become a business, you need the right team, advisors, mentors, timing, defensible technology and business model... AND a little bit of luck.
What to do: Share your idea broadly, get people excited, change your idea when needed. The idea is just the seed - the first step in a marathon. What follows is much more important.
2. Thinking you can do it alone
You’re probably a great engineer, marketer, or an awesome sales person, but know that one of the main disadvantages that a first time entrepreneur has (and there are many) is the lack of a network. A network will help you get investors, advisors and top employees - all needed when creating a successful business.
What to do: Go out and network - find mentors and successful entrepreneurs that like you and your idea.
3. Trying to have the perfect product
You have a great vision about what your idea can become but it’s probably abstract and only you understand it. Your idea needs to be explained as a product that’s concrete and a has a customer. You need to explain it in common language and using examples that most people can relate to.
What to do: Drastically trim your idea to a concrete product that you can launch in 1-2 months without outside investment. Get as close to the money as possible. Get trial customers and show it to people.
I hope this helps you breeze through this initial phase of ignorance. To speed up this process join an incubator or local entrepreneurship program. The Founder Institute did it for me. I highly recommend it."
Flaretag, a complete solution for Real Estate Mobile Marketing that allows you to create beautiful mobile pages, QR codes, sms, email and social marketing campaigns, has launched in private beta. Sign up here, with the code BETA100. Flaretag is a Graduate of the San Diego Founder Institute. Follow Daniel Arroyo on Twitter at @CoDanny.