The last few decades have seen hundreds of laws, guidelines, and tips for young entrepreneurs, especially in the tech industry. Some are very good at identifying problems but often deliver contradictory answers when it comes to solving them (because they were written without collaboration).
Here is just a small collection of success rules I’ve followed during my entrepreneurial journey. Not meant to be comprehensive or definitive, just based on personal experience.
“Rules” rather than “guidelines” – because following these rules will definitely help you succeed. If you think this list is missing anything – please let me know!
Want to learn how tech companies get funded? You can find out here.
Feel free to comment below with suggestions for improvement/clarification/corrections etc.
1) Be obsessed with your customer’s problem
2) Make it ridiculously simple to use
3) Build a small team of A+ player
4) Go for ‘lean’ over ‘fat’
5) Don’t release software before it is ready
6) Embrace change
7) Focus on one thing only
8) Get money from customers
9) Pay your bills
10) Be transparent 1
11. Monetize products that can be monetized
12. Learn what not to do
13. Don’t mock the competition, outdo them
14. Do market research
16. Use metrics to guide product development
17. Test pre-release
18. Aim for “good enough” quality
19. Use guerilla marketing
20. Don’t give up
21. Make things happen – don’t wait for them to happen
22. Hire and fire well
23. Be true to your word
24. Take advice from mentors
25. Create a strong company culture
26. Get the f**k out of your comfort zone
27. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes
28. Invest in yourself
29. Trust your gut
30. Tackle weak spots
31. Cut costs, not revenue
32. Kill features
33. Keep customers close
34. Go global
35. Have a goal for your startup that is bigger than just being profitable
36. Courage of conviction
37. Focus on impact, not just success
38. Build something people want
39. People over product
40. Hire the best even if they don’t fit in
41. Don’t burn bridges
42. Do things you love
43. Surround yourself with the right people. Especially when times are difficult.
44. Be patient
45. Be grateful
46. Up skilling
47. Always be asking questions
48. Make adjustments
49. Stay lean
50. Keep dreaming
Here are some FAQs recently asked about this article:
Q. What are these rules? Are they true, false, debatable etc.?
A. The list is what I believe are some of the most important success rules entrepreneurs need to follow in order to succeed.
Q. Who should read this article?
A. Everyone (especially young entrepreneurs) who want to become successful!
Q. How do you know these principles work for everyone?
A. I don’t – but having seen tens of thousands of entrepreneurs fail and only a handful succeed – it’s always good to learn from those who succeeded 🙂
Q. Why are some rules in here seemingly contradicting each other?
A. Because not everything that works is black or white – there can be grey areas 😉
Q. How do I get updates when new articles like this one are posted?
A. Subscribe to the newsletters
How can a startup get funded? Here are just some of the ways!
It is not easy for a small business to get funded these days.
There have been numerous articles written on this topic by various experts in the past few years, but there hasn’t really been an ultimate guide that covers all aspects of raising funds in an easy-to-digest manner (and crucially – with links to relevant resources). Let’s solve this problem today.
If you don’t need too much money / your product is already making money – bootstrapping is probably your best option. But it is not easy! Read “the lean startup” book to learn how
2) Use personal savings.
If you have a millionaire daddy, that’s the easiest way in my opinion. You’ll need an asset-free cofounder and a business idea that can be developed with $1m capital (such as real estate).
3) Get small loans from family and friends.
Not recommended if they are not lending you their own money 😉
4) Crowdfunding platforms.
I won’t cover this topic here because there are too many of them out there.
Instead I will just mention two factors for success:
- Be very clear about what your funding goal is,
- Have a strong video on your campaign page that makes potential backers want to fund you – otherwise the success rate is low
5) B2B companies.
If your company will be funded by businesses rather than ‘average people’ in the future, it’s possible for early-stage startups in most countries to receive funding from business angels. It’s easier if the product solves their pain points 🙂
There are a few popular ways to get funded if you need a small capital boost for your startup’s success.