Startups magnify minute details and force you to think and work like you never
have. There are many things you will need to learn and learn quickly.

Define Your Ethics

Define your absolute do’s and dont’s. Some examples are,

· Keep your word, even if it means losing something

· Respect other people

· Self-respect

· Accept your mistakes

· Be forgiving

And
the list can go on. Important thing is that you MUST have some values.
These values are the foundations of every decision. Do not

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Lessons about Startups – Part II

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This is the second post by Adil Saleem – founder of 2’s Complement (now 3 founders).

The first post can be found here.

Startups magnify minute details and force you to think and work like you never
have. There are many things you will need to learn and learn quickly.

Define Your Ethics

Define your absolute do’s and dont’s. Some examples are,

· Keep your word, even if it means losing something

· Respect other people

· Self-respect

· Accept your mistakes

· Be forgiving

And
the list can go on. Important thing is that you MUST have some values.
These values are the foundations of every decision. Do not let your
values be defined by the world. Never compromise on your values. The
stones with no weight are swept away with the waves and turned to dust.

Learn to say NO

During your journey, you will get a lot of opportunities. You will find people
who will offer you money, support and contacts. What you must realize
is that you do not and should not accept every offer. This means that
you have to accept some and reject others. Remember that you have as
much right to say ‘YES’ as ‘NO’. But how do you know you are making the
right choice? This you do by going back to your values. Evaluate the
person making the offer on your values. Look at the person not just the
words. To define your answer, you must have already defined yourself.

Do not be Apologetic

There is nothing conventional about startups. Being unconventional leads to
uncertainty and you tend to get apologetic. You can get over this
feeling by building confidence. And confidence comes from believing
that you are doing something great. Take pride in your company, your
product and your working 80 hours per week. You should not be ashamed
of your desire to change the world.

Be Yourself

It is generally believed that companies are run from huge, well decorated
offices by grey-haired managers and MBAs. This thinking is so
dominating that the startups also take to be true. So they feel
inclined to pretend like big companies. They pretend to sound and look
conventional. Because if they do not, they look out of place and
exceptions just look silly in the first glance. Do not be afraid of
looking silly. Part of entrepreneurship is learning from your mistakes.

Do not pretend someone you are not. People laugh at monkeys who pretend even though they pretend very well.

Do Not be a Whiner

I hate whiners. Not just me, but every sensible person hates people who
whine and cry. Your server crashed; fix it, you are out of money; find
some way to earn more, aliens kidnapped your pet cat; get a new one.
But do not cry and blame the world. If you are not used to accepting
and cleaning up your own mess, stay in your cubicle.

Make your own decision

Making a decision is difficult. Decisions are just another name for well
thought out guesses. These are based on your past experience, your
judgment of future, your fear of failure and your intelligence. No one
else can see these things as good as you. Do not take the easy way out
by following someone else’s decision. No one is going to take the blame
if the decision goes bad. It is better to fail on your own rather than
succeed on someone else.


It seems impossible to remember and follow all these guidelines. Yes, it
IS impossible. Nobody said startup was going to be a walk in the park.
This is one reason why you should have multiple founders. Make sure
that if you forget, someone from your team remembers.

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2 Comments

  • This is a pretty insightful article but I’m not so sure how correct this particular line is (not ignoring the context it has been written in):

    “It is better to fail on your own rather than
    succeed on someone else.”

    Kinda suggests that rigidness should always be the order of the day. Whereas, I believe there’s really nothing wrong in taking someone’s advice if it makes sense!

  • great got all the points
    :)

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