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Monday, April 03, 2006

Guest Blogger #1 - Harry Ross

I was recently asked one of those questions that at the same time is both incredibly simple and complex: In a few paragraphs what would you tell someone who is thinking of jumping in and doing their first start up company? Certain aspects are obvious. Do the appropriate research. Make sure what you are offering is not just unique (technology, marketing, price, IP, etc.) but realistically achievable in a realistic time frame with realistic resources.

Almost by definition, it has to be risky. If it was easy it would likely have already been done or wouldn’t have great intrinsic value. Accepting this risk doesn’t mean you can suspend belief on basics or be reckless. The risks need to be identified and mitigated as intelligently as possible. What if the technology fails its first (or second or fifth) trial? What if funding runs short or doesn’t materialize at the expected times? What if competition arises from an unexpected quarter? These all do and will happen. Expect setbacks and failure but resolve to overcome them. They may have to do with the technology; they may have to do with people.

Surround yourself with the best people possible. No company is built around a single individual. Mediocre partners or employees are often worse then leaving the position empty. Make sure that the individuals share enough of the common goal to avoid conflict on direction. Independent thought is critical with the understanding that it facilitates not distracts from the process. A good team can overcome technology sets backs but the inverse is rarely true.

1 Comments:

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7:08 PM  

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