Getting your tech start-up off the ground can be daunting. Sit down with dozens of entrepreneurs who’ve been there. In this article, a team of First Round Review reporters compile a list of entrepreneurs, who – looking back on their path to success – share the lessons they learned along the way. Packed full of concrete tips and examples, the advice can help any new start-up founder or manager.
Scale your new start-up and teams at a conservative pace.
Grow your new company sustainably. To allow your idea to mature, wait a while before fundraising venture capital. In the meantime, attract your first customers, who can then support your pitch. Hire a growth designer who can focus on user experience.
Don’t jump at every opportunity. Before expanding to 100+ locations nationwide, the fast-casual restaurant Sweetgreen refined its supply chain and real estate strategies in Washington, DC, for six years. Limit the amount of opportunities you’re working on to no more than three to five. Pursue an opportunity only if you can’t do it later, if it supports the strategy and if it gives you a competitive edge. Ensure that you have the right amount of people with the specific skills you need at your current stage of growth.
Be vulnerable about your current struggles, and focus on what you can control.