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Lessons on starting, scaling, and surviving in the world of start-ups

Friends, girlfriends & family should not be your early users for the validation exercise

Vivek Singh | Tech In Asia 

start-ups
Illustration by Binay Sinha

Beginning with a start-up can be a challenging task. Here are some crucial lessons for all start-up aspirants across the globe:
 
On starting up

 
Friends, girlfriends, and family should not be your early users for the validation exercise.

Build what your target customer will not hesitate to pay for. Do not build and look for paying customers.

You need to start as lean as possible. Your MVP could just be a WordPress landing page or a WhatsApp number.

Some may have managed to get beyond the first stage by holding a day job, but they had to work doubly hard. So, either you are all in, or you are not.

If your product is tech-heavy, move code as often as possible

On revenues
 
Traction or sales are as important as the product itself. Iterate as you build based on customer feedback. Don’t wait until after the product is ready.

Gross merchandise value (GMV) is not the real revenue for a marketplace, transaction commission is the actual sales.
Facebook or Instagram likes are all vanity metrics unless you are building a digital content distribution platform.

Acquiring new customers will always be expensive, but your existing customers will eventually become your evangelist if they love the product.

Viral growth is essential for platforms that are heavily dependent on network effects such as Facebook or LinkedIn. However, if you are selling a product or a service, always get your economics in order.
The dos and don'ts for start-up aspirants

On funding
 
Funding is not the measure of your success. On the contrary, it sets the clock ticking. You are required to deliver on those investor-set targets.

Remember, you are not in the business to be funded, you are funded to be in the business.

Always prefer terms overvaluation in the early stages.
Investors should bring more than just money to the table. Their value lies equally in domain expertise, growth, and their access to higher distribution channels.

This is an excerpt from the article published on Tech in Asia. You can read the full article here

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