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unCon 2013 Session: Startup Mistakes to Avoid unConference Blog – Caitlin Cheng

In
this session, attendees engaged in a lively discussion about a few startup
mistakes that every entrepreneur should avoid. The conversation flowed fluidly,
incorporating key advice from experienced entrepreneurs, quick tidbits learned
from past failures, and even intriguing questions asked by aspiring
entrepreneurs- all of which were sparked by Jeff Solomon’s first and foremost
advice: Figure out what you’re doing.
All
in all, the session was very much focused on the participants’ interests and
questions regarding the do’s and don’ts of basic start-ups, really tackling our
curiosity and pinpointing what exactly to avoid. Some key takeaways from the
conversation were:
There
is no “right” model. When starting your company and dealing with the company’s
finances, your decision really depends on what your company requires and what
best fits the structure of your company. This may entail that your startup
would best fit a C corporation, as opposed to LLC or S corporation; or that you
choose whether or not to hold shared equity among your employees.
Know
your employees. The hiring process should not be regarded any less significant
than any other processes that you must undergo. Even as early-stage startups,
it is crucial to hire reliable people, whether they were closely referenced, or
found through contract-based sites such as Elance or LinkedIn. Your employees
represent and maintain your company so you want to develop that personal
relationship early on.
Firing.
Make it as quick as possible.
“Dream
big, execute small.” As vital as it is for the CEO to always “think big”,
equally as important is the team’s stability. Keep small but clear milestones
along the way to keep your team focused. It’s all about working effectively to
achieve the ultimate goal. Remember, failures only exist as a result of bad
execution.

Find
a mentor. You don’t get second chances with venture capitalists. 

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