Start-up Secrets: Tips from America's Coolest Young Entrepreneurs
Stick With ItSimplify Your MissionDitch Your Safety NetExceed ExpectationsDo More With LessDon't Go It AloneBe NimbleHave a Plan for Actually Making MoneyDo Your HomeworkBe PreparedStay GenuineSend In The GeeksDon't Manage AngryDon't Be AfraidYou Can't Mask MediocrityDo What You Love
"Start-ups don't die, they commit suicide. In other words, 90 percent of start-ups fail because the founders get bored, discouraged, or something else, and they move on to other things, not because of some catastrophe. No matter how dark it is today, things will always better tomorrow."
-- Justin Kan, Justin.TV
"I would encourage other entrepreneurs to spend a lot of time boiling down what their business is, what it does, and what it represents. If you nail down a 60- to 90-second synopsis, that will pay a lot of dividends throughout the life of your business."
-- Eric Koger, ModCloth
"As a senior at Babson, I lined up a job at Goldman Sachs. I thought I was pretty smart since this would give me a backup if IdeaPaint wasn't working out. Looking back now, I realized that having that in hand was a reason not to push harder and higher. The day before the job started, I told them I wanted to pursue IdeaPaint. They thought I was crazy, but I think it has worked out pretty well."
-- John Goscha, IdeaPaint
"We knew we only had one shot at this, so there was nothing throughout our start-up that we didn't purposely over-deliver on -- from the way we pitched our distributors and investors to the way we rolled out in the market. If you always over-deliver, it is going to draw attention and you will likely be successful."
-- Jeff Avallon, IdeaPaint
"That is something we've definitely exemplified. When you have limited resources, you constantly have to be really creative about the way you can make things work."
-- Morgan Newman, IdeaPaint
"Surround yourself with an awesome team because you're going to need them to overcome all the obstacles that come with starting a company. Lots of people have great ideas that they try to tackle by themselves, but I think it's almost impossible to do everything by yourself."
-- Emily Olson, Foodzie
"The landscape no longer changes every two, three, four years like it did in 2002. If you're not quick on your toes, you will miss opportunities."
-- Tristan Harris, Apture
"We are no longer in an era where potential investors or acquirers go after companies who focus on their user count."
-- Kyle Vogt, Justin.TV
"Be really clear about the assumptions you're making about the business you're going into, and check those assumptions as quickly as you can -- whether it's building a prototype and testing it with people, or just talking to other people in the industry.
-- Can Sar, Apture
"Educate yourself on whatever you're going into. If you don't know what you're doing, people will take advantage of you. Exercise your right to negotiate, especially as a woman; don't be afraid to walk away from an opportunity that you don't think is right for you; and be realistic about your budget. Figure out how much you need to save and then try to keep yourself on a strict budget."
-- Kyle Smitley, Barley & Birch
"Do what you know… and love! It will resonate with your customers, employees, and potential investors. And make all the hard work worthwhile."
-- Susan Gregg Koger, ModCloth
"Starting with a highly technical founding team is the key to being a flexible web technology company."
-- Michael Seibel, Justin.TV
"Be as stern as you need to be, but nothing good comes from you bringing your lack of emotional control into the work."
-- Adam Rich, Thrillist
"If you have an idea, do it. When you're in your 20s or 30s, that's the time where you can be aggressive and be a risk-taker. That's the beauty of youth."
-- Michael Nardy, Electronic Payments
"Steve Martin said it best. Be undeniably good. No marketing effort or social media buzzword can be a substitute for that."
-- Anthony Volodkin, Hype Machine
"It's a common saying, but vitally important. The more you enjoy your job, the easier it is to work, and that's important, especially when starting up your own company. You will be amazed at the amount of time and energy it will take to make your company successful."
-- Jamail Larkins, Ascension Aircraft