1) When you are young you can do something that people who are older cant: work incessantly on very little income. The truth is though, that older startup guys do better at it. We just are more interested in young guys. but they have to give away a lot of the company because they can’t work like you can. So use it.
2) Ideas are not scarce. Customers are scarce. whenever I start a business I know who I will sell the product or service to, and who I will sell the company to. I am usually wrong about the specifics but the general idea works out.
3) Create something that a bigger company wants to buy from you, by collecting customers that they cant reach.
4) Get into a house with other guys who do the same work, and save some money.
5) Work at a larger company for one year so you understand the value of process. Then move to a startup so that you understand how to actually get something done – most people in large companies don’t actually do anything of much value. Everyone in a small company does.
6) Never expand early. It is an excuse to focus on internal organizational development rather than customers, service and product. Humans possess this cognitive bias. And it is a startup killer.
7) There isn’t anyone enough smarter than you to create a marginal difference. Don’t expect there to be. And they won’t come work for you anyway. That means you have to solve a lot of problems on your own. That desperate need to understand is what makes one an entrepreneur.
8) take the first two basic accounting classes if you haven’t. That’s all you’ll ever need to know. but you need to know it.
9) Your job is to sell. Sell ideas. Sell products. Sell Services. If you are doing something someone else can because it gives you a sense of accomplishment then you’re wasting your time. Nothing that produces significant returns has a short production cycle, and sales are frustrating. So spend your time on the long term, hard stuff, and get the admin folks to do the rituals.
10) Good salespeople won’t work for you. But you can buy good marketing. The number of companies that think 300K of ad budget is out of the question yet blow twice that on non-performing people never ceases to amaze me.
I tried for 10. Hopefully there is a gem in there somewhere.