Startup Advice from Successful Serial Entrepreneurs

In 2019, the startup scene has seen millions of dollars raised, new, innovative ideas come to life, and some promising startups fail.

While that’s been happening, thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs have kept their heads down working, putting in countless hours to try and get their business off the ground.  The likelihood of failure not far from their minds, many startup leaders will go on to become healthy contributors to North America’s booming startup movement.

With that in mind, here is some of the best advice founders and successful entrepreneurs have passed on to new startups with the hopes of using experience as a guiding force.

Solve a real problem

“A common mistake I see many startup founders making is they aren’t solving a real problem. You should try to solve a real problem that people have or identify a much better way for people to do things than they’ve historically done before. That is often a good place to start…That’s why the motto of Y Combinator is: ‘Make something people want.’ If you can do that, you’re probably onto something,” says Alexis Ohanian, founder of Reddit.

Build the Impossible

Cameron Chell, serial entrepreneur and co-founder of ICOx Innovations explains: “When we experience impossible we are simply asking questions that are “bigger” than we can answer in the moment. Ask yourself: What is it about this problem that is most important to me.”

Cameron Chell also says “After you go through like 7 to 15 what-ifs on a project, you end up getting it boiled down to natural potential or possibility to build a project that was thought impossible, literally five or six hours previous to that.”

Think about financing

What are the important things that entrepreneurs should think about when it comes to financing their companies?

Silicon Valley executive Maynard Webb comments: It’s not only how to get the money in the beginning, but when you get the money, you usually have 18 months’ worth of runway, so you’re thinking about your next round and how you are going to do it. You’re either in a moment where everybody loves you too much and is willing to value you higher than you deserve, or nobody’s willing to give you anything. We’re trying to provide encouragement and advice on how to deal with both of those situations.

Hire smart people

Erica Brescia, founder of Bitnami advises new startups to hire people who have experience and that are better than you.  She says you need to invest the time to understand what a great VP of X looks like and then go and sell someone with that skillset on joining you. Trying to hire bright people with no experience and hoping they will “figure it out” will almost certainly slow you down and cause you a lot of heartache when those people don’t scale.

Remember, it takes a village to build a successful business. Surrounding yourself with a solid team of mentors, advisors, and investors is crucial when you are getting started.  Don’t be afraid to spend money to recruit competent people early on.  It’s a move that will likely pay off in the long run and keep your startup relevant for years to come.

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