1. Seven days thou shalt labour + do all thy work, for the startup life knows no sabbath.
That includes holy days. All-night coding sessions, missed meals + triple espressos are the order of the day.
2. Thou shalt not torture thy customers with an endless beta.
To a customer, the “beta testing” label doesn’t mean much. If you keep making mistakes + your buttons don’t work + their password gets leaked, saying that you were “in beta” isn’t going to make them feel better – or stick around.
3. Thou shalt not take thy competitors’ names in vain.
Badmouthing competitors sounds a little too much like gossip. “We’re very careful: we don’t talk about competitors, we don’t slag them, we don’t throw them under the bus,” says Dave Olson, VP Community at HootSuite. The point is to focus on building a better product. “We don’t compete against people; we compete against ourselves,” he explains.
4. Thou shalt practice humility + not compare thyself to Mark Zuckerberg.
If you have to compare yourself to Mark Zuckerberg, you probably shouldn’t be compared to Mark Zuckerberg. Brian Wong, the 21-year-old founder of Kiip, complains about this phenomenon: “This is giving birth to a generation, unfortunately, of extremely cocky, ego-driven young entrepreneurs that think that just because they’re young, they should be paid attention to,” he says.
“I am my own person, I am my own class of entrepreneur, and I will build a company without anybody asking me how I built it compared to someone else. I’m going to build it my way.”
5. Thou shalt confess thy sins with true contrition + then fix the problem.
Otherwise, your customers will be vengeful rather than forgiving masters. Social media has made business more + more transparent, so it’s hard to get away with apologies that don’t admit wrongdoing – “We are sorry if some were offended” – or apologies that skew the facts.
6. Honour thy investors, that their purse-strings may be loosened.
Zvi Band, the CEO of Contactually, recommends keeping in touch with current investors every 2 weeks + potential investors every week.
And while you may not always follow investors’ advice, show some respect + actually take it seriously. Even if they didn’t create your startup, they are helping it grow.
7. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s acquisition.
Holding out your hopes for a $1 billion acquisition like Instagram’s is foolhardy, to say the least. And even profit-hungry investors don’t want to hear about your acquisition fantasies. “If you show me a slide as an early-stage company that mentions your exit opportunities, and in 3 years you’ll sell to Google for that return to me, I’ll just laugh at you – but the laughing means you’re dead,” says Jeff Clavier of SoftTechVC.
8. Thou shalt not steal thy startup’s contact list.
In a recent scandal, one of WakeMate’s cofounders used the startup’s email list and Twitter account to promote his new product, MiLife+, and raise funds on Indiegogo. He claimed it was affiliated with WakeMate, but the other cofounder didn’t know anything about it. Here’s the full story. The Indiegogo project was eventually taken down due to the drama.
9. Thou shalt kill thy startup if thy money is gone + thy customers are few + thy website is ugly.
Closing down a startup may be a painful process + an admission of failure, but it frees you up to move on to the next exciting thing. “You got a lot of good guys running companies that are not doing well, when they could be joining forces and building a lot more value,” says Mohan Belani, the founder of Asian tech blog e27. “I call it a zombie. People don’t want to kill themselves.”
10. Thou shalt practice generosity if thou becomest a gazillionaire.
Virtuous choices including being a mentor or investor, opening an accelerator + donating pizzas to hungry entrepreneurs in your your community.
And that’s the way to startup heaven.
Thanks for this awesome article Tech.Co!
As a creative entrepreneur – artist, designer, actor, model, blogger, singer, freelance writer, editor, videographer, photographer (whatever it is you do) – there’ll be times you’re asked to work for free. Sometimes an offer of “exposure” is legit, but it’s up to you to vet every offer. As a business owner (your business being yourself), you’re tasked with sifting through all of the various “work for free” offers and ascertaining which ones are useless and which ones will lead to actual exposure for you and your brand. Exposure is good. We like exposure. Marketing leads to discovery which leads to business.
As you grow and your name gets bigger and bigger, people will begin to associate your name with certain positive or negative adjectives. These associations are not necessarily always because of what you do. Sometimes you make a name for yourself by just being in the presence of great (or sinister) people. So you need to monitor what brands you allow yourself to be associated with.
+ NEXT TIME YOU RUN BY A “WORK FOR EXPOSURE” OFFER, ASK YOURSELF:
- Will being associated with, and working with, this person/business/organization boost my authority in my field of expertise?
- Will I be in the presence of captains of industry which could grow my network and help me build business contacts?
- Will be doing this add valuable credibility to my brand for my audience?
- Will it offer me experience I would otherwise not get or could use more of (building on your skill set, learning new stuff about performing on stage for instance)
- Will I have direct access to an audience that will buy my [service, art, expertise]?
- Will I have fun doing the gig?
If the answer to all questions is yes, consider taking the offer and at the very least get all of your expenses covered. At most? Consider negotiating your way into a paid gig.
+ BLOG / WEBSITE
Your headquarters for content. The place you use to establish your reputation, share your expertise or portfolio, answer questions, talk in your natural voice, and wow your readers.
Your place to post text messages the whole world can see. Use it to share useful information, jokes, timely updates, anecdotes, quotes, inspiration, previews of blog posts, and your stunning personality. Engage in real conversations frequently on Twitter. Use Twitter for research, Twitter chats, and the power of lists (organizing connections into useful categories).
Your place to post everything visual that you want your followers to check out. Even if it’s information and not an image, you can make a beautiful image that goes with the information.
Your platform for connecting with people 25 or older. A great place to share visuals, links to useful information, promotions, and inspiration. Facebook has an affordable ad program that can help you target readers with specific interests.
Your place to share compelling, interesting, fun, meaningful, helpful, and inspirational photos and videos. Instagram is a great place to display some of your portfolio items and your behind-the-scenes processes and life. It is best used in a very interactive manner (leaving comments and responses often).
Your place to share longer insights and thoughts (that aren’t quite blog length), visuals, videos, tutorials, tips, and inspiration. Google+ is excellent for communities, deeper discussions, following key influencers, and educating your audience.
Your place to show your professional side, diverse capabilities and skills, and ability to provide useful information. LinkedIn is a great place to make connections for collaborations and to find talented individuals you might hire in the future.
Your place to share tutorials, product reviews, trainings, and your winning personality. If used, YouTube is best used consistently and strategically.
Skybok is handling the Social Media for Fashion Week Brooklyn in New York. Join our communities: Twitter, Facebook + Pinterest. We have the Denim Day NYC coming up + the shoots in Soho + Williamsburg were awesome. On April 29th, models, makeup artists, college students, hairstylists, bloggers + all fashionistas will walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall styled in denim for the cause of “SEXUAL ASSAULT/VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH”. City Hall will host the official commencement speech. The Denim Day NYC pre-event is tonight, photos from that will be up on our online platforms soon. Follow the story of Fashion Week Brooklyn + Denim Day NYC 2015 with us!
For best viewing quality, make sure to set the viewing settings to 1080p HD by clicking on the cog at the bottom right-hand corner of the video.
‘Breath-taking’ took on a whole new meaning for me recently when I arrived at a secluded spot on a mountain top overlooking Stellenbosch vineyards.
Here in South Africa we are very well-known for our gorgeous wine regions, specifically those in the Western Cape (where I live).
Tourists flock from miles around to tour the famous Stellenbosch wine route- the first and oldest wine route in the heart of the wine producing regions! The route takes you along several winding country roads and patrons stop over at various wine estates along the way. The route represents over 300 wineries. There are a number of sub-routes to make it easier for people to travel it. They are the Bottelary Hills, Devon Valley Vintners, Helderberg and Simonsberg-Stellenbosch. The idea is that people stop off at various estates along the route and enjoy wine tasting, cellar tours, picnicking on the lawns and perhaps a lunch at what is bound to be an award-winning restaurant on the estate.
While shooting a video profile for one of the estates – Warwick Wine Estate- we were given a complimentary gourmet picnic basket and a drive in a 4×4 up a vine-covered hill.
While driving up, all I could see were fields of vineyards stretched before me and stunning views.
It was a perfect experience.
If you don’t already, I recommend that you do more of this kind of excursion – nothing beats a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc and a killer view!
Go check out their website http://www.warwickwine.com/
And view more photos Skybok took while shooting the estate HERE
Skybok covered events for Rotary PE West as part of their “Medieval Festival”. It’s a whole weekend of festivities themed around the Middle Ages and it’s hosted at Victoria Park in Port Elizabeth. Their “Royal Banquet” is on a Friday night where everyone arrives dressed up in costumes from the Middle Ages. There’s a dinner and lots of entertainment! During the Saturday, they host an entire day filled with arts, crafts and activities that people used to play during Medieval times.
Here are the profiles of this awesome outdoor two-day event: