Be honest with yourself to succeed as a startup founder

May 08, 2024

Yaakov Karda led a well-funded, highly innovative startup, which came crashing down after failing to compete in the market. He put his learning into writing and used his conclusions to start over. This second time around, he and his co-founders bootstrapped a software company named Chatra. It quickly turned into a profitable business and was finally sold at a high multiple. Today he helps startup founders build successful businesses, at Co-Founder.cc

 Yaakov was our guest at the Meet.Capital Startup Podcast, where he shared 5 tips for startup founders: 

1. Be Honest with Yourself

You have to be fair with yourself, honest, absolutely clear, and resist the temptation to lie to yourself. If you have a gut feeling that something is wrong or will not work out, admit it to yourself and start doing something about it without delay.

2. Write Down and Formulate All Your Business Assumptions 

These are assumptions about the product, marketing, users, financing, team, and any other key component of your business. Consider using the lean canvas framework to ask the right questions and work with the hypotheses that you formulate.

3. Do Your Customer Development Early and Keep At It

You must engage in customer development very early on, and continue doing it all the time. Superior knowledge of your customers and their needs is key to making them satisfied customers who will promote your service to others.

4. Invest in Experienced and Autonomous Employees 

Invest in higher demanding but more experienced and autonomous employees. People who don't need a manager will save you a lot of time and headache. As founders we always looking to cut costs, but it’s better not to try that with your hires. 

Focus on Achievable Goals

You don't necessarily need to aim for the stars. You should aim for something very concrete. It can and should be a moving goal. So first you aim for a first sale, then for a certain level of income. Keep it real and work towards milestones that help you pay the bills and have a good lifestyle. Your goals and milestones will keep going higher as you progress. 

* Listen to our conversation on the MC Starutps Podcast, and on our YouTube channel

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