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Another Failed Startup Lessons Learned in the B2C Space

Another Failed Startup Lessons Learned in the B2C Space

  1. Start by solving a problem with a well-defined customer first
  2. Don't rebuild what already exists
  3. Don't spend time budget-gaming ec2 instance types
  4. Publish a site that allows signups immediately (before anything else gets built)
  5. Buy a simple web app package that bundles a ton of pages for example: http://lit-coast-9918.herokuapp.com/react12/index.html
  6. Focus on just one customer type and just one problem (KISS)
  7. Engage 100 journalists 2 months before you launch (muck rack / pressfriendly.com and or pay someone to do it). Figure out and pitch the story to them before you reach out to them.
  8. Use fiverr and pay a bunch of bloggers/copywriters to publish and blog a ton of stuff and budget it for at least 6 months
  9. Start using adroll sooner
  10. Minify and compress your javascript (I used http://django-compressor.readthedocs.org/en/latest/)
  11. Test your site on something like Moz
  12. Build a pitch deck for funding more than 6 months before you need it
  13. Set up vesting schedules and well-defined cliffs for everyone
  14. Have everything in writing whenever discussing equity (seriously)
  15. Remove toxic people - have a cliff that defines how to do this
  16. Remove non-dedicated people - have a cliff that defines how to do this
  17. Be highly critical + skeptical about bringing people on (I have a penchant for looking only at the best in people. It is hard to fire people when you have 0 experience doing it.)
  18. Setup sales and commission tracking tools that empower a sales team to get more done (they're a competitive bunch)
  19. Talk to customers as much as possible
  20. If it makes sense for the product, build what they want as fast as possible
  21. Don't stop building what they want (momentum is huge...they love seeing new stuff and thats how I got a few of them to sell by word of mouth...that was a huge lesson)
  22. Don't stop talking to customers (they are paying for you to be able to keep doing this)
  23. Experiment with campaigns and marketing A/B tests a ton https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1033867?hl=en
  24. Prioritize your sales channels, mediums, and vehicles to find and drive customers to your site
  25. Make it a goal to find the deepest customer channels with the lowest amount of effort to succeed
  26. Test your theories about getting new customers all the time to optimize your: delivery, presentation, prioritization, messaging and impact
  27. Fail-fast, fail often, and don't stop trying new stuff to get more customers
  28. Stealth mode was a waste of time for me
  29. Integrate google analytics and use google events to link your goals to track customers across your product
  30. Don't spend time making the site fast when you have less than 100 customers...instead use that time to go after customers (wait to hear if anyone even wants the product before you optimize)
  31. Follow the 10-20-30 rule for pitch decks and include a slide about the 'Special Sauce' why it matters like never before
  32. Angels don't come to you, you have to find them
  33. The pitch deck alone isn't going to get your angels so don't waste too many cycles making it perfect
  1. And the most painful one is don't hire or expect an engineer to get sales volume for a new product quickly (womp womp)
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