Don’t “do” a startup.

Look, you’re either building a business or you aren’t.

There’s no in-between stage and this is true whether you decide to raise other people’s money or you choose to bootstrap things yourself.

When you say things like “doing a startup,” you’re undermining your own credibility.

If you can’t describe your exact customer in a sentence, you probably don’t know¬†your customer at all. (Dead giveaway: “anyone that needs [X] will need us.”)

If you can’t figure out how to make your first $1 of revenue within the first 30 days, consider doing something else. (Dead giveaway: “we need to spend the next 6-12 months making the app and then we’ll launch big!)

If you’re reading this from a bigger tech hub — like SF or NYC — all of the above is obvious to you. If you’re reading this from anywhere else, please share this advice with every entrepreneur you meet.

The most common complaint I hear from local community leaders across North America is that they can’t get coastal investors to come to their cities¬†and they can’t get the local investors to open their wallets. The problem isn’t the investors, it’s the founders.

If you want to make yourself more successful, pay attention to the details — all of them. If you want to make your community more successful, teach them the things that the coastal entrepreneurs are told every day.


Also published on Medium.