Entrepreneurship · Entrepreneurs

What do you wish you would have known before launching your startup?

Richard Tan Internet Marketer, Social Media Manager, and Freelance Writer

September 11th, 2016

I know this may be a tricky question but I am sure your answer will provide some perspective to many of us.

Ted Weverka License Manager

September 11th, 2016

I wish I knew my cofounder better. Sent from my iPhone

Sam McAfee Business model innovation and digital transformation

September 11th, 2016

  • You don't have to do it alone.
  • Partnerships can be useful or a distraction.
  • Execution is 10,000 x more important than the idea.
  • Someone needs to know how sell.
  • Perfect is the roadblock of the good.

Mike Moyer

September 11th, 2016

There is an old saying, "success is like being pregnant, everyone says, 'congratulations,' but nobody asks how many times you were screwed to get there."

In startups, bad partnerships are the rule, not the exception. At the root of a failed partnership is how equity is split. Most often, equity is split in the beginning in fixed, equal chunks. This sets the stage for a series of unavoidable fights because things never turn out the way people think and the equity must be renegotiated over and over again. I call this the "Fix & Fight" model for equity splits. Each round of renegotiation embitters participants and can easily lead to the demise of the company.

I now know what I wish I had known before a number of failed ventures. Conventional thinking about equity splits is very, very bad for partnerships. Don't succumb to equal splits, "51%" splits, time-based vesting and all sorts of other standard practice equity agreements. 

Instead, think of your startup for what it is: a high-risk gamble. Just like in a casino game, players place bets in hopes of winning more than they bet.

In a startup, bets consist of time, money, ideas, relationships, supplies or anything else someone contributes in hopes of "winning" a share of the future profits or proceeds of a sale. The value of these bets is equal to the fair market value of the contribution. 

Betting continues until the company reaches breakeven or Series A investment. After that, the company starts winning.

A person's % share of the equity (or winnings) should be based on that person's % share of the bets.

This model, called the Slicing Pie model, will give your partnership the best chance of success because no matter what happens, each partner will always get what they deserve to get.

This is what I wish I had known.

Paul Loeb Founder, DropTrack

September 11th, 2016

People are willing to pay for something that provides them value. Don't give it away for free

Rafael Lamardo Founder CEO at Brained, MSc

September 13th, 2016

That things take much longer to happen than you imagine.

Ansar Hafil Business Consultant at Winning In Business

September 11th, 2016

Your number one focus must be on providing a solution to the customer that matches his needs, goals, problems, challengers,...i.e a good market and competitive study is needed.

David Grebow CEO at KnowledgeStar

September 11th, 2016

Wish I knew what the winning lottery numbers were the week I made the decision!

Marcelo Torres Business (re)Designer

September 11th, 2016

How to better identify potential real partners from thousands of people with whom I spent time in the early days. Marcelo Em domingo, 11 de setembro de 2016, Richard Henry Tan < reply+dsc+5884@founderdating.com> escreveu:

Richard Awni Project Management | Clean Energy | Solar | Go-To-Market | Emerging Technology | Branding I Marketing I Non Profit I HR

September 11th, 2016

I love the advises here..
Keep me coming.
My input is about Big Moe. Once you get your momentum going you need to keep chugging along and building and watch the lulls. 

Thomas Sutrina Inventor at Retired Pursue Personal interrests and family

September 12th, 2016

I agree with Mike Moyer. 

As a person that was an inventor for hire for corporations that required proof and provided the means to achieve it.  I was not experienced in a start up.  I found that the lead player wanted to be the only one that chose the bets and he was driven by a personal expenses burn rate, a completion date not driven by the product mile stones.  That turned out to be the disaster of the venture.