Can You Take The Heat?

This post is a bit off-topic. Instead of our usual writing on insights concerning the mobile app industry, we wanted to pause and discuss entrepreneurship. What does it take to be an entrepreneur?

Before we dwell into that, we’re happy to announce the latest good news. After over a year of working bootstrapped, we closed our seed round investment. We’re now officially a member of The Time Incubator. Reaching this milestone led us to ponder on some of challenges we had to cope with so far.

Disclaimer

This is not a magic recipe “how to become a successful entrepreneur”, and I do not pretend to be a Mr. Know-it-all. We’re merely a young start-up company that has recently completed its seed-round investment (I like the sound of that…), and wishes to share some thoughts about it. The road laying ahead of us is long and bumpy, and we barely know the half of it.

The P Word

So, you wanted to found your own start-up company… Welcome to the respectable club of entrepreneur-wannabes. Many like to play with the thought of entering these gates. Not many of them do, though. There are plenty of great reasons not to — ranging from self-deceit (“I really like my boss”) to genuine concerns (“I have little kids to provide for”).

The way I see it, it’s all about willing and being able to handle pressure. Pressure of jumping into the freezing water of something brand new and totally insecure, of (probably) having to face failure, of not getting paid for an unknown while and more. The list goes on and on. As one of my previous employers once hissed at me angrily, when working on a big project: “tell me why we should go for it, instead of why we shouldn’t”. I say, Go for it!

Investors

Have you ever been in a room, speaking for an hour only to find out that everyone present completely disagrees with you? If not, you should try it some time. There’s no better way to develop a thicker skin than that.
I guess that being rejected is perhaps one of the most primal human fears. “What if they don’t like me or what I have to say?”. Well, you’d better get used to it, as this will be the reaction of most investors you are about to encounter. It is not an easy task to persuade someone to jeopardize good money and spend it on your idea.
If I may, a humble plead to all investors out there, please avoid asking the most annoying question possible — “what if Google/Facebook/[choose your giant] decided to start developing what you’re suggesting?”. My answer was usually, “Well, they haven’t till now, and we truly believe we’re on to something, regardless of what they do”. What I really wanted to say was “I have no idea, and neither do you. Therefore, we must act fast before they do”.

Recap

As the old saying goes, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen”. I know that founding a start-up company is one hot kitchen. Yet, if handled properly it allows producing the finest delicacies.
In order to succeed with your venture you must want it bad! You must remain convinced that starting your venture was the right thing to do, while constantly asking the right questions along the road. This doesn’t guarantee success, but it’s a must-have ingredient to prevent failure.
Again, I’m no guru, just a guy who co-founded a start-up a year ago and writes about it.
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