Dear SaaStr: What are some things that unsuccessful entrepreneurs do that successful entrepreneurs don’t?
Some habits of unsuccessful entrepreneurs:
- They complain. Yes, it’s hard. Yes, you don’t have enough money. Yes, it might seem impossible. Complaining does not help.
- They let the company run out of money. No, this isn’t “no one’s fault”. The best founders always make sure the company does not run out of money. Even if it comes pretty darn close one or two times.
- They don’t iterate and innovate fast enough. Almost all of us have competition. If you just plain move more slowly than they do, you often get left behind. Even if you have some early traction.
- They feel too sorry for themselves. A tiny bit of this, from time to time, is OK. We’ll all human, after all. But less successful founders often pity themselves. Related to first point.
- They can’t recruit great talent. You can’t scale if you can only recruit “pretty good” but not great folks to a startup.
- They don’t visit enough customers (or any). You aren’t always right about what to build.
- They fight too much internally. Internal founder squabbles can wreck a startup, or at least maim it. A little of this you can get past, but not if it festers too much.
- They hide stuff. Mediocre founders hide bad news, they fudge the numbers, they manipulate the data. The great ones don’t.
- They are too short-term focused. They want to sell the company immediately. They are too concerned about another $10k in salary, not making another $10m on an exit or $100m on an IPO.
- They can’t see the future. The best entrepreneurs know the space so well, they can see the future. Most of us can’t, however.
And an example here of great co-founders:
(Out of time image from here)