Unlocking Your Startups Recipe (Hint: It’s Not a Playbook)


Figure out your approach to business building first. After spending a week in Peru (an emerging startup community with a ton of potential) with a bunch of new entrepreneurs, I came away with a thought about those troublesome formative days/weeks you agonize over while building your company. This thought is intensified in new emerging startup communities where there are not as many teaching moments for new founders to easily discover. The first sign of a good entrepreneur is their willingness to find ways to learn the rules of the game. These include: Socializing your idea without fear or inhibition Networking to find informal advisors Meetups to share best practices with fellow founders Baking in a customer development over a product development approach Gathering crude assets in order to test your idea All of these activities represent a startup attitude of "discovery" rather than building. As a serial founder and investor that regularly meets with entrepreneurs, most of them just beginning to convert their idea into a company, I get the feeling that these founders are asking me for the secret playbook. If only I would share with them the book we ran at MapQuest more than 20 years ago, they too could create a blockbuster.

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