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11 Learnings for the Startup Founders!

Source: Brent Annells.


1. Focus is a big bet, and it's often the hardest one to place particularly in terms of target market and the business critical need to prioritise product, sales and marketing.


2. PR/publicity isn't a growth driver: it's important for visibility and credibility for customers, recruitment and fund raising but it won't drive material growth in the B2C/B2B space.


3. Most founder stories aren't helpful, unless the story is directly relevant to the problem your company is solving and can bring it into sharp focus.


4. Enterprise partnerships are almost impossible for startups and if your success is based on whales, you are + 95% likely to fail inside 3 years.


5. Marketing on Google and Facebook (CAC) will always be costly, you cannot game the algorithm and whatever you pay in year 1 will exponentially increase in the subsequent years.


6. Domain experience trumps everything, notably the B2B startups will fail in the absence of a visceral understanding of the buyer, this is usually borne out of deep personal experience at a leadership level.


7. Narratives aren't product and the gap between selling a vision and delivering an intuitive product experience is what makes most startups fail.


8. Culture isn't MOAT, it is a by-product of a strong vision successfully executed.


9. Momentum alone isn't market fit. MOUs, Partnerships, PR and Awards are too often mistaken for market validation.


10. $5Mn ARR guarantees nothing, although its VERY impressive but it is at least 10X harder to reach $20Mn ARR. Growth requires genuine Product/Market Fit as well as a scalable growth engine!


11. Sell in 90 seconds or go home. Every startup founder should get good at pitching in less than 90 seconds.

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