A red flag to avoid

>> Friday, October 16, 2009

Very good. Do you know what you are doing?

"When you’re an early-stage startup that hasn’t raised any institutional money you end up doing almost every job function of the company yourself.  But some companies have entrepreneurs that seem talented on paper, are in a space that seems interesting to investors and are able to raise venture capital early in the company’s existence.  This can often happen when there is a good product built but no real customer adoption yet.  This is what happened to me.
One the one hand I feel great because we went out and built software that solved an industry problem.  Many companies in this era literally handed over $3-4 million to Ariba or CommerceOne and set up “exchanges.” 
On the other hand, I had never had to do the detailed work to get an intuitive feel for what customers wanted or how to train and service them.  I taught me an important lesson: it’s very hard to run a burger chain if you’ve never flipped burgers yourself."

Startup Founders Should Flip Burgers
By Mark Suster, Both Sides of the Table

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