Weekly 22: Here’s to making more mistakes


Welcome to another edition of our newsletter! You’ll receive practical startup advice straight to your inbox every week.

In this week’s edition, we discuss

Doing the opposite of everything you’ve learned in entrepreneurship
Hard lessons learned from entrepreneurial failure

Let’s do this.

Do the opposite of everything you’ve learned in entrepreneurship

Al Anany has spent 10 years consulting. But blindly following some of that advice led him to multiple failures. So now, he’s trying the opposite —a slowly growing solopreneurship with no profit, funding, or exit strategy. The 5 bits of advice he’s going against?

“You need to grow fast!”— Hiring driven by the desire to grab talent before your competitor does rather than customer demand? Wrong move. Ideally, startups are hiring based on necessity, driven by customer demand.

“You need a CTO and a strong team!” — Rather than immediately find others to do the things you can’t, learn about every aspect of your business.

“What’s your revenue?” — The best products of our generation don’t revolve around revenue; they’re all about the value being added to the customers.

“You need to raise funds” — Using and managing other people’s money isn’t always a welcome stressor, and natural, bootstrapped growth is a perfect play in the early days.

“What’s your exit strategy?” — Rather than focus on your out, why not aim to keep adding value to people’s lives as long as possible?

👉 Read more about Al’s unorthodox approach: After 10 Years of Consulting, I’m Doing The Opposite Of Everything I Learned in Entrepreneurship.

OMG WTF, FTX?

This week, the crypto world has been dealt a hammer blow, with one of its golden boys and his exchange going insolvent almost overnight, leaving behind a total wreckage.

In his latest essay, Speechless, Arthur Hayes narrates a play-by-play, built around tweets and public statements, to explain how this all came to be and what the future holds.

Read more on the FTX drama here.

Hard lessons learned in entrepreneurship

We love when entrepreneurs talk about failure. Why? It’s full of learning for those aspiring to do the same. When Ai Peng, Lee opened a restaurant, everyone told her it would fail. And… it did. And she learned a lot of lessons the hard way, all of which she applies to her life today:

Always read the fine print — Whether it’s a contract signed with an employer, business associate, supplier, or investor, poke, prod, and interrogate until you’re satisfied with everything. It could mean the difference between survival and death.

Too many cooks spoil the broth — If things aren’t broken, don’t force yourself or others into trying to “fix” them.

Don’t run your business like a sprint — People often say entrepreneurship is a marathon, and for good reason: slow down once in a while for the good of your health, business and soul.

You can’t always pivot your way out of trouble — changing too much, too often, will leave employees and customers confused or looking for other services. Sometimes tweaking is a better option.

👉 Dive deeper into these lessons: My Business Failed (But Not For The Reasons Most Think It Did)

Sweet Tweets

Nikita Bier on Twitter: “For the love of God, stop raising venture capital for your social network. Don’t hire anyone except the bare minimum. Monetize 5-10% of your users. Not everything needs to IPO. / Twitter”

For the love of God, stop raising venture capital for your social network. Don’t hire anyone except the bare minimum. Monetize 5-10% of your users. Not everything needs to IPO.

Alex Friedman 🤠 on Twitter: “One of the most common mistakes I see early stage founders make is doing way too much, way too early.Start with 1 business with 1 core feature for 1 demographic.You don’t need to start with an all-in-one platform for everyone and likely won’t get far if you try. / Twitter”

One of the most common mistakes I see early stage founders make is doing way too much, way too early.Start with 1 business with 1 core feature for 1 demographic.You don’t need to start with an all-in-one platform for everyone and likely won’t get far if you try.

Chris Bakke on Twitter: “I’m sorry.I can’t stay quiet any longer. The lack of VC diligence around FTX was breathtaking.I get how you could miss the fraud.Or the Ponzi scheme part.Or that all the employees were dating.But they used Microsoft Teams.How do you still write a check? Shameful. / Twitter”

I’m sorry.I can’t stay quiet any longer. The lack of VC diligence around FTX was breathtaking.I get how you could miss the fraud.Or the Ponzi scheme part.Or that all the employees were dating.But they used Microsoft Teams.How do you still write a check? Shameful.

Weekly 🔥 22: Here’s to making more mistakes was originally published in Entrepreneur’s Handbook on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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