I noticed a lot of startup teams and ideas focused on winning competitions, getting funded or high fives from friends. I think this is all good, since this motivates the startup to move forward. This is social capital.
However, this is not in any way a validation of startup success. This is just chismis, just a compliment from the community that you have something great going on in there, who might possibly are not your customers. Do not stop here, do not pass go, and run straight to building and selling your product.
At the end of the day startups are measured by profit. Repeat after me, P-R-O-F-I-T. No matter what the founders say, either they do it to change the world, or to work with friends, or impress a girlfriend, at the bottom it is still about making money.
Money is important. But the key here is don’t do it for the money, but for what it represents. And what you can do with it. There’s another term for it, leverage.
If you profit, then you can grow your team, grow the business, build more products, or bootstrap another killer idea. And of course, with profit, gives the founders and employees the fuel to do more what they all want to do.
So i say, startups should focus on how to make money. Focus on the problem, solve it for people who are willing to pay for it, pay with either money or their time or both.
I’m including time here, since if customers spend their time on your product, i’m sure another set of customers are very willing to give you their money to be part of the other customer’s time.
Don’t waste time promoting your idea to people who’s not willing to pay, instead focus on those who will pay, and make profit.
All the startup events and competitions are great to do, they promote the idea of startups. It’s a marketing tool. And it should be viewed as just that. Join one, if you need to, but don’t let it get in the way, get out there and start making money.
If you look around, majority of startups that are successful in their business, did not start from a beauty pageant.
I’m sure i’m going to be excommunicated soon for saying these blasphemous things, but i think it’s important to not forget why we are doing startups in the first place.
If you want to change the world, you’re going to need profit to do it, and lots of it.