Startup 101: 5 Crucial Mistakes to Avoid

Sharing your strengths and accomplishments is easy, rewarding and fun. However, sharing your weaknesses and mistakes, so others can avoid them,  can be painful but provides valuable insights for future Tech Founders.

Together, with the other Hango Co-Founders, Ryne Heath and Phong Le, we are sharing our key errors. They are as follows:

Team Pedigree

  • Find a relevant technical Co-Founder
  • If you outsource your development, do your homework
  • Find co-founders with startup experience
  • Always distribute equity with a 1 year cliff

User Problem

  • Fully understand the problem
  • User testing, market trends, competitive analysis is not trivial, it's crucial
  • Listen to seasoned investors, mentors and entrepreneurs, but don't forget your vision

Financial Commitment

  • Stay at your current jobs until all of the above has been vetted out
  • Seek advice at first not funding
  • Find an investor that has past success in your market
  • Make sure all founding team members are financially prepared for the rough times

Great Product

  • Build a product that has one of these 3 qualities: technical Advantage, first to market and/or unique solution
  • Build a prototype and test, iterate this process a few times before developing an app
  • Start with a niche customer base, kill it, then expand with the proof of concept
  • Don't be afraid to pivot

Revenue Model

  • Have a revenue model to sustain business after 12-18 months

On there own, a single mistake can't be blamed for failure, but collectively they can lead to disaster. Please be aware of these red flags. Attack and fix problems early and often. I hope sharing these mistakes provides new tech founders with a strategic advantage and a path to great success.