The 10 Biggest Mistakes Made by Startup Founders

These are the top 10 things that newly-funded founders do that make them look like complete knuckleheads. You can watch the full video here:

If you want to start off on the right foot, try to avoid doing these things:

10) They sign office leases, buy matching furniture and everyone in the company new computers while zero money is going into the product. It’s unnecessary (and silly) to buy all of this stuff at the start of a venture.

9) They hire employees right from the start. Look, you don’t know exactly what you’re doing just yet. Employees are more of a burden than a help right at the start.

8) They focus too much on the positive. Now, being positive and having a positive attitude is fine, but when all you’re seeing are the positives you’ll miss what actually needs help. Maintain focus on the things that need help, work, and growth.

7) They broadcast company to anybody with a pulse. You can have your pitch and presentation, but make sure the details are kept private to yourself and to your team.

6) They ignore mentors and advisors like they’re diaper-wearing burdens on the verge of death. Look, these folks have been through it all and can offer the kind of insight you really can’t get anywhere else. Listening to them can save you immense amounts of time and energy.

5) They fight to remain CEO when it’s clear that they’re not right for that position or they’re actually really awesome at something else. Just because you came up with the idea for the startup doesn’t mean CEO is the best position for you. Try to see where your specific talents can serve the company best.

4) They keep lazy bros around because, “It feels good to be with my bros, bro!”. As much as I’m sure your friends are great, you need to make sure you’re keeping consistently solid people in your company. At the beginning (and always for that matter) you need to hustle, bustle and make things happen!

3) They passionately believe their own delusions behaving like newly-addicted crack enthusiasts. They have these grand plans and think they’re going to do everything. It’s important to look at things critically, focusing on the reality of the situation in your startup.

2) They expect their recently-developed product to completely sustain their company. Like, now. Just because you launched a product doesn’t mean it’s ready for the marketplace and it doesn’t mean people will buy it just yet. It could take six months to a year, you just don’t know.

1) They think that customers will magically appear. Look, your idea might be amazing or you might be divinely inspired somehow, but you just never know when customers will show up. You shouldn’t assume that they will just because you have confidence. So make sure you’re spending time learning about and developing your customer base.

There you have it. If you’ve read this, hopefully you’ve saved yourself some time and frustration by not making these mistakes. Do you have any other mistakes to share? Post them in the comments!