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Top tips and myth busters for startup founders

Derek Watson
Derek Watson

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Top Tips and myth busters for Startup Founders

💡 Solid advice
✅ Something is alway better than nothing as a startup, don’t procrastinate or get stuck in the weeds, just get shit done.
Lets go 🚀 for the ❤️ of startups

Be this founder and don’t ask any experts to advise you on fundraising, coz it’s you #1 job.


Good luck with that!

for the ❤️ of startups

💡 Your startup needs these five things to succeed:
1️⃣ A solution to a real problem – the world doesn’t need another useless app clogging up their phone.
2️⃣ A business model that actually makes money – because let’s face it, that’s what a business is.
4️⃣ A team that can execute – because it’s not just about having a good idea, it’s all about making it happen.
5️⃣ Cash – because let’s be blunt you need to eat, without it, you’re screwed.

Got all that figured out? Great! You got this, let’s go 🚀

for the ❤️ of startups

💡 Don’t let Kakorrhaphiophobia get in your way
➡️ You know, that irrational fear of failure that plagues us all from time to time. But let’s not let it get in our way! After all, what’s the worst that could happen? We could fail miserably, lose all our hard-earned money, and become the laughing stock of the startup world. No big deal.
➡️ But seriously, let’s not let our fear of failure hold us back. We started our businesses for a reason, and we can’t let a little thing like fear stop us from reaching our goals.
✅ So let’s embrace the uncertainty and risk-taking that comes with entrepreneurship, and remember that even the most successful people have experienced failure at some point in their journey.
You got this, let’s go 🚀 for the ❤️ of startups

➡️ How founders try to secure funding for their Startups is just so …. painful and time consuming.

The results of our recent poll showed:

1️⃣ Cold outreach to Angels and VCs. 48.83%.
2️⃣ Networking events 23.01%
3️⃣ Social media outreach 20.48%
4️⃣ Pitch competitions 7.11%.
➡️ While these results don’t reflect the effectiveness, they do provide insight into pretty much the only approaches available to the startup community.
It is my mission to change this and build Investors and Startups an efficient and effective solution, you know, something that actually reflects that we are living in 2023.
You got this, let’s go 🚀 for the ❤️ of startups
⚠️ Unpopular opinion: This is the best hack of #chatgpt for all startup founders.

💡 If you want to know why your startup is / maybe struggling to work ask how it would solve the problem you have set out to build.


📣 The new generation of crazy ones, misfits, rebels, troublemakers, round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — the ones not fond of rules or the status quo…
✅ But now you will know, and with human ingenuity and critical thinking you can figure out how to break the mould.
You got this, let’s go 🚀 for the ❤️ of startups
💡 For all the founders out there looking to raise capital.

✅ Don’t beat yourself up about this funding winter, your chances of raising capital from VCs was only 0.6% in the crazy times.

The needle has not really moved for you your chances are still really small.

What has moved is that your need to be
➡️ Uber prepared
➡️ Have a sustainable business
➡️ A demonstrable route to profit with growth

✅ Don’t beat yourself up about this funding winter, your chances of raising capital from VCs was only 0.6% in the crazy times.

Don’t stop, dig deeper, level up, let’s go.
🎄🎄 As we approach the festive season and maybe even a few days off, I just wanted to share a little gift for any Startup founders who plan to fundraise in the new year 🎄🎄

🎅🏽 Watch this video over and over again, it will help you build the resilience you’ll need.

💡 Do you know what PRODUCT MARKET FIT really is?

❝ When the cost of repeatedly acquiring paying customers drops significantly below what the customer pays because organic acquisition has kicked in. ❞

💡 When founders say they are the “Uber of X” this is what investors hear 👂🏼

1. A huge amount of Venture Capital will be needed to keep the company afloat.
2. You are prioritizing growth and market share over sustainability, ethics, or customer satisfaction.
3. You are going to have a lot of negative kickback from workers and local authorities.
4. You’re not going to make money and don’t have a plan to profitability.
5. You don’t have a moat and first-mover advantage is meaningless.
6. What you are solving is not a “problem” but an “inconvenience”.

⚠️ Careful what you say you may be driving the wrong pattern matching

💡 When Investors ask Seed stage founders “What’s your exit plan?” try not to yawn 🥱

➡️ If you don’t have a concrete exit plan like 99.99% of Seed stage founders, here is the default answer to this default question. 👇🏼

❝ As mission-driven founders, our main goal is to create a successful and profitable company. This will give us many options in the future, including the possibility of being acquired, merging with another company, or going public through an IPO. If you’re interested in an earlier exit, we’re open to discussing secondary transactions ❞
If you are pitching an investor and they say these words 👇🏼
“ahhh, so you are just like xyz startup” and in your head you know you are nothing like them, it is time to get up and leave.
➡️ Two possible reasons this happens…
1. They are pattern searching / thick
2. Your pitch was shit
Don’t hang around to argue the toss, just move on and level up
Peter Thiel doesn’t mince his words….
❝We believe that the shift away from backing transformational technologies and toward more cynical, incrementalist investments broke venture capital. ❞
❝VC has ceased to be the funder of the future, and instead has become a funder of features, widgets, irrelevances.❞
💡 If an investor tells you they’re in if you get a lead investor, this is what it means.👇🏼
1. They are not in, even if you have it in writing.
2. They need validation from someone else.
3. They’ll invest in FOMO.

4. They just got you on the hook for zero. (free option to them)

➡️ If you land Sequoia, A16Z or Bessemer or another whale they will probs follow
➡️ If you land Tom, Dick or Sally they probs won’t.
✅ There is nothing to celebrate about hearing this, move on, level up, next meeting, keep them updated but expect nothing

💡 It’s been said a million times but needs saying again.

Here are the reasons why an investor will not sign your NDA:
1. Legal. A professional investor who spends a lot of time finding suitable investments inside a particular industry is severely constrained by signing an NDA.
2. Trust. Trust is essential for building a successful connection with your investors. Asking to sign an NDA is not a sign of trust.
3. Expenses. The investor and your company must pay legal fees to draft and review an NDA. Why would you even do that?
4. Reputation. A professional investor who is notorious for leaking sensitive information can soon lose the trust of the startup community, suffer a tarnished reputation, and may miss out on possible investment opportunities as a result.
5. Idea. No one wants to steal your idea. They want you to execute your idea. There are many ideas in the world and chances are your idea is not unique too.
6. Secret sauce. You don’t have to give away your secret recipe and no one is even gonna ask you to do that. There are undoubtedly exceptions to the rule.
There are undoubtedly exceptions to the rule.
💡 When Pitching your Startup don’t use passive language like:
➡️ We hope
➡️ We could
➡️ We / I think
➡️ It’s about
Be confident and positive…

💡 Don’t get high on your own supply, founder bias is real, keep it in check

Overconfidence bias: Founders may have an overly optimistic view of their abilities, the potential success of their idea, or the potential market for their product. This can lead to poor decision making and a lack of realistic planning.
Anchoring bias: Founders may be overly attached to their initial idea or plan, and may be unwilling to consider alternative approaches or pivot when necessary.
Confirmation bias: Founders may seek out information that confirms their initial beliefs and assumptions, and may be less likely to consider evidence that contradicts those beliefs.
Groupthink: In a small startup team, the need for cohesiveness and agreement can lead to a lack of critical thinking and a reluctance to challenge the dominant viewpoint.
Self-serving bias: Founders may attribute successes to their own abilities and efforts, but attribute failures to external factors beyond their control.
Illusion of control: Founders may believe that they have more control over events and outcomes than they actually do, leading to a lack of contingency planning and a lack of preparation for potential risks.
Hindsight bias: After the fact, founders may believe that they could have predicted or avoided certain events or outcomes, even if they had no way of knowing about them in advance.
Survivorship bias: Founders may focus on successful companies and overlook the many failures and setbacks that are an inevitable part of the startup process.
Status quo bias: Founders may be reluctant to change their initial plans or approach, even when faced with evidence that it is not working.

Social proof bias: Founders may be influenced by the opinions and actions of others, and may be less likely to take risks or pursue unconventional ideas.

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