While some people
make it look easy
, building a startup is no simple task. Startups are
. To succeed, entrepreneurs must build a compelling product or
is always helpful, but it won't guarantee a company's success.
There are countless pitfalls that could
a startup from succeeding.
Some entrepreneurs may be tempted to hide their shortcomings
bunch of overused buzzwords
. However, they need to remember that there is a fine line
between "disruption" and "interruption," the latter of which will
only serve as an annoyance that is quickly ignored.
Before entrepreneurs can even attempt to disrupt an industry,
they must first attract the attention of potential customers.
That takes time, dedication, perseverance -- and in some cases,
Moses Lee, co-founder and CEO of
, is fully aware of that last point.
"It's less like manual labor [now]," Lee told Benzinga,
referring to Seelio. "Early on it was manual labor because people
had no idea who we were. You have to hustle. There's so much
mileage put on our cars. Late nights, cheap hotels, McDonald's
) -- [all] the things to get the process going."
It All Starts With the Team
Every entrepreneur says the same thing -- great companies must
begin with a great team.
"Find a team that can support one another, because it's very
lonely if you're doing it by yourself," said Lee. "The great
thing is, if you can get a few committed people to join you, like
co-founders, that's going to help tremendously."
Easily embarrassed or thin-skinned individuals need not
"You've got to be shameless in promoting, pitching and getting
feedback from people," Lee advised. "You cannot feel like you're
Don't Take Money From Everyone
There's no such thing as a free lunch. Every cent an
entrepreneur receives will come with a price.
"Early on I think you're desperate so you want to take money
from anyone, so find people who are going to add value and not be
a distraction or hindrance," said Lee. "There are a lot of people
who just want to give you money and take up time from you, but
you gotta find people who will buy into your vision and your
Not Everyone Will Like Your Product
Lee said that there were times when he wanted to "kill" Seelio
before it got off the ground. The work can be overwhelming, so
listen carefully to the feedback -- the good and the bad.
"We knew we weren't going to convince every single person,"
said Lee. "We needed to be really discerning about what we heard
and process the feedback we were getting.
"You gotta be able to take time to process what you're hearing
from all these different people to understand if you really have
a disruptive idea or it's just something that only a few people
are going to want. We always take time to process all of the
conversations and what we're learning in the marketplace. I think
you gotta be very thoughtful and reflective as an entrepreneur
even though you're racing so fast."
Build Your Network Today, Build Your Product Tomorrow
It's never too early for an entrepreneur to build up his or
network of valuable contacts.
"Leverage what you know and who you know," said Lee. "The
network I have built up over the last 10 years became an asset
for me as we were building this company. If you're young,
continue to build your network. Even if you don't yet have an
idea, just continue to build your network of people that you
know, that you're connected to."
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer
of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or
louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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