Today marks the 1 year anniversary of my latest company, fab.com.
Here are some of my thoughts on the difference between year 1 and year 2 of a startup.
Year 1: Ideas & Faith
- Get something out there as fast as possible and iterate like mad to try to find some market traction.
- Try stuff! Throw a lot of shit out there and see what sticks.
- Don’t be afraid to jump from new thing to new thing.
- Do it all yourself.
- Try to figure out, “Is this thing gonna work?”
- Watch out for false positives.
- Be willing to be hunch driven, then measure to see if the hunches were right.
Year 2: Facts & Focus
- Boil everything learned from year 1 into simple fixes/changes you must do right in year 2. Get these facts right.
- Focus, focus, focus.
- Pick 1 thing and just do that 1 thing better than anyone else out there.
- Don’t be afraid to pivot: change course to pursue a singular focus, without it being a company-wide crisis.
- Cancel projects that aren’t in line with your focus.
- Know who your customer is.
- Get out of the building
- Invest in customer development.
- Know your acquisition model.
- Understand your cost structure.
- Figure out repeatable processes. Turn hypotheses into repeatable, scaleable facts.
- Eliminate distractions.
- Don’t stop learning and don’t stop making mistakes, just make smarter mistakes and more calculated mistakes than in year 1.
- Raise capital to help you capture your market.
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