This post is part two of a three post series.
1. Manage Your Own Expectations.
If you are just getting started with your new awesome idea, the tendency is to think that you will launch the product on day one, have enough users to pay the bills on day 30, hire a team within 90 days and sell the company for $23MM on a 5X revenue multiple by year-end. It isn’t going to happen. Within our company, which has passed the startup stage, we had very consistent and positive growth from day one…but it still took more than 18 months to sustain even one employee. That said, I wouldn’t discourage the attitude in place that keeps you thinking you could be Indy’s next Exact Target.
2. Embrace Change.
If you look back and remember your past, the way you have previously thought about things, or even the decisions you made last month- they were all based on factors very different from where you are today. When you make decisions, remember that everything is up for change. Sometimes, you need to create change just so you remember why you liked things the way they were. By small example, Formstack attempted to gain more collaboration by placing a few people in an office together rather than our ‘one person to an individual office’ past. After a few weeks, I was extremely frustrated and returned things to normal because the specific concept didn’t work. A few weeks later, we tried the same concept, but grouped cohorts together based on their individual departments. The experiment is receiving better results, and office morale has increased exponentially.
3. Your First Idea is WRONG.
Let’s say you’ve started your company, released your software, and have begun to market your first idea. That idea you had is why you have a start-up in the first place. The problem with that idea is that it is all wrong. Maybe the market is wrong, maybe the timing is wrong or maybe the product itself is all wrong. If you look at our history here at Formstack, we started as a custom software development shop. From there we actually launched a number of products. Of those, we killed a few and kept two alive. One of them is our form-builder which took some time to see its value, and the other is no longer marketed and is only serving the few customers that remain. That said, from a custom development shop to the incorporation of Formstack was a good 4-year process.
We hope Byers’ advice was enough to make you re-think your strategy as well as encourage you to continue on the journey to developing your start-up. Stick around next week for Part Three as Byers continues dishing out his top five tips on starting a successful start-up.
Formstack LLC., is an Indianapolis, Indiana located company with a mission to give businesses and organizations of all caliber a solution to their online needs. Formstack provides a way for companies to develop, design, create, and manage online forms with little to no knowledge of HTML coding or programming. Users can create any type of form desired including surveys, contact forms, event registrations, and more. These forms are used by companies with a desire to collect data in a smarter, more convenient and stress-free way. Formstack’s online forms can also be integrated with multiple third-party applications. Check out Formstack athttp://www.formstack.com.