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This article was published on May 24, 2011


    5 months, 45 startup lessons learned

    5 months, 45 startup lessons learned
    Tomer Tagrin
    Story by

    Tomer Tagrin

    Tomer is a young and highly motivated entrepreneur. The co-founder of Yotpo- Social Reviews platform for e-commerce websites.Tomer is an Int Tomer is a young and highly motivated entrepreneur. The co-founder of Yotpo- Social Reviews platform for e-commerce websites.Tomer is an Internet junkie, a dog person and a computer geek. Follow @Yotpo

    It’s been 5 months from the first day we came up with the idea of Yotpo.

    We’ve gone through endless changes, happy moments and a lot of tough ones. If 5 months ago you told me our dream would become a userreview distributor, I would tell you that you’re nuts.

    I know it sounds like a very short period of time, but when I look back, it seems almost as if we’ve been on this roller-coaster ride for 3-4 years … and boy, it’s been one hell of a ride.

    Actually it was quite fun to run in my head all the things we been through. That said, there are 45 lessons that I’ve learned on the journey up until this point.

    Here is the important stuff (order is irrelevant) that I wish someone had told me 5 months ago:

    1. If you are not working on your best idea right now, you’re doing it wrong. (David Hansson)
    2. Startup is 10% idea, 90% execution
    3. Execution is 85% the people who execute
    4. Your co-founder should be better than you
    5. Distinguish between core issues and just noise
    6. A technological barrier is not enough, create a marketing barrier as well
    7. Maximize your potential before raising money
    8. People care about their problems, not your solutions. (Dave McClure)
    9. Raising money sucks
    10. Closing an investment round doesn’t
    11. Don’t do it alone, just don’t
    12. Consume every piece of relevant data out there
    13. Hire great people and give them the freedom to assume. (Andrew Mason)
    14. Know how to prioritize your time
    15. Pivot, iteration and adapting is part of your startup DNA
    16. Just be, there are no excuses
    17. The number one priority is production
    18. Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning. (Bill Gates)
    19. An article from a tech site is not a marketing plan
    20. Distribution is your biggest problem, think of a solution
    21. Enjoy those small victories, you need it
    22. Learn from those small failures, you need the lesson
    23. Get along with your investors, they are part of the family!
    24. Whatever you think … Think bigger. (Tony Hsieh)
    25. Blog before you have a product
    26. Don’t torture yourself on every mistake, even if it’s the same one
    27. If the founders can’t build and manage the idea, switch the idea
    28. Meet with customers before you have a product
    29. Geeks are the new rockstars
    30. Master your domain
    31. Be a true member of your customers’ community
    32. Be confident, don’t let anyone mess with your dream
    33. Listen to other people -you don’t know everything
    34. Sell before you have a product
    35. If you can’t sell the idea, you won’t be able to sell the product
    36. I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work. (Thomas Edison)
    37. Words to keep in mind: Customer, Sales, Production, Customer
    38. Words you can’t ignore: Mobile, Tablet, Social, iPad
    39. Track your data, learn from it, improve from it
    40. Most things take 3-5 times the amount of time you planned
    41. Viral is a tough nut to crack
    42. Visualize what you want to achieve and go for it
    43. Always move forward and know how to measure it if you’re not
    44. Your success = the value you give a segmented sector of people
    45. Be amazing, Be everywhere, Be Real (Jason Calacanis)

    And to think this was only 5 months, what do you think will happen in the next 5 months?