Do Not Be Secretive About Your Startup!
And more advice from Eman Pahlavani, Co-founder of Hungry. Hungry is an online catering service that connects businesses directly to individual chefs who join the platform. Their goal is to provide chefs with an opportunity for significant income and to build a personal brand while delivering unique, delicious food for offices. Investors include JAY-Z's Marcy Venture Partners.
1. Don't be secretive about your startup!
There is an idea around keeping your startup super secretive. You don't share it with anyone because of the worries that someone will copy you or take your plan and run with it. I think that is entirely backward. As an early founder, share your concept with as many people as you possibly can. The more you are out there talking about it, the more you will get feedback in real-time. You will get other people motivated and excited, and you will start to build your team from the first people who hear about your company. People will say, "what can I do to get involved, help, invest,"and it starts to snowball. Spread the word as much as possible so that you can get as many people possible on board.
2. Don't go it alone!
Early startups need to have a couple of founders at the top. It is hard to run a startup, and the days that you are down, a partner will help to lift you up. When they are down, you can help to lift them up. Flying solo is tough. Most startups that fail are usually run by a single founder. My advice is to find someone you work well with and bring them in to help you build the business.
3. Don't wait to get into the market.
One of the early learnings that we had at Hungry was don't necessarily wait for your product to be perfect. I am a big believer in getting your V1 out as early as possible to get feedback, to pick up momentum, to get some press and pr, and to get people on your team. You have to build momentum to get everyone moving in the same direction and to start to grow. Holding your idea close to your chest and not getting out in the market because you are a perfectionist will kill the business.
4. In the beginning, don't hire analysts, hire hustlers!
Look for people who are just willing to hustle and put in a lot of hours and who are excellent at following instructions. You need a lot of people "TO DO" in the early days. There is just so much to do when you start a company and lots to build. You don't need people to sit and analyze; you need people to get out and do whatever is required.