Sunday, December 7, 2014

Six Habits of Highly Successful Founders

Six Habits of Highly Successful Founders

So what did I learn in 2014 from some on my start up investees? In this post I share are some of the things I have seen six companies I have invested in do especially well. 

Typically posts on what makes a great founder/entrepreneur expand on lists of keywords, most pretty self evident and also often contradictory when you compare different versions! 

Rather than repeat that exercise I tried to identify more concrete and actionable “habits” These are nitty gritty execution tactics and strategies that have taught me, as an investor and advisor, a lot of practical startup wisdom.

In no particular order here are my Six Habits of Highly Successful Founders:

1. Be the Wizardess of Oz – Kathryn Minshew of The Muse
Lesson: Smart startup promotion is a core skill, use it or lose it

2. Never, never, never give in – Allison Dorst of Pinks and Greens
Lesson: Be super persistent and always be learning

3. Pitch, pitch and pitch again – Erika Trautman of Rapt Media
Lesson: Pitching is a core function of the CEO - but only pitch as the real you

4. Build to scale, before you scale – Lisa Xu of NopSec
Lesson: Don’t just be hands on, be hands ahead

5. Win the game of “whack a mole” - Kelsey Recht of Venuebook
Lesson: There is always a new mole. Whacking it and moving on is a team sport.

6. JFDI - Julia Shapiro and Jules Miller of Hire an Esquire 
Lesson: JFDI - it’s as simple as that!