If you could go back five years and tell yourself all that you know now, where would you even start? One entrepreneur did just that in a stream-of-consciousness-style blog post found on Reddit Tuesday.
London-based author and Ruby/Android developer Ben Dixon is the co-founder of Make It With Code, an online developer workshop course from the Google Campus in London's Tech City. Dixon shares 63 pieces of advice on his blog talkingquickly, he would tell himself about startups if he could go back five years.
“This is most definitely not advice,” Dixon warns the reader at the top of his blog entry. “The ‘you’ here is directed at me. So is ‘I.’ Grammar is hard.”
Take a look at a few of Dixon’s best edited and condensed tips below (in no particular order) or head over to his blog to view all 63.
- You're definitely going to end up building too much and shipping too late. Be obsessive about avoiding this.
- Always refuse if someone asks you to sign an NDA (nondisclosure agreement) before hearing their idea... People don't steal ideas. Tell as many people as possible. Never ask someone to sign an NDA before hearing your idea; you'll instantly lose all credibility.
- It's really easy to become hypercritical and respond to every idea with "yeah but that won't work because of x." This is lazy, don't do it.
- Constantly exaggerating how well you're doing can be very tiring. It makes it harder to publicly celebrate the real victories.
- It's really hard to build a product if you don't have a big personal investment in the problem it solves.
- Overnight success isn't a thing. The Social Network is still a great movie.
- Get really good at asking for things. Most people will give you a discount for no reason other than you asked. If you see someone important and influential, introduce yourself
- Get good at saying no to things, from people asking you for discounts to interesting projects you really don't have enough time for.
- Only say you're going to introduce someone or send them something if you're actually going to do it. People quickly get a reputation for never following through.
- Most startup advice is terrible and the good advice is usually obvious. Everyone will give different advice. Trust your gut… Except when it comes to what your customers want, then ignore your gut and trust them.