Startups: Dare yourself to be scrappy again. #startups #hustle #product #b2b #b2c

I’ve noticed that people get tetchy and nervous when I speak my mind.


And I for one, well I make no apologies. It’s needed me to binge watch the entire collection of “Halt and Catch Fire” (You can watch it now on Amazon Prime and Netflix US) to remind me how much I love being in a scrappy startup.  Introduced to me by a friend, “I cannot believe you don’t know about this!”, he suggested I watch it immediately, he was 100% right.

Scrappy startups are wonderful, exciting and should have you on the edge of your seat. How quick, how “get it out there” can it be done? Keep it in stealth, no one need know, not just yet anyway. Too many times startups are just announcements. I’ve been there I’m guilty of it too.

Startups that can’t be built until someone passes the money across are essentially dead on arrival in my opinion. “We’re waiting on POC funding before we build” basically says, we have no one who can, or is willing to, code. Be scrappy, buy a book and get on with it.

I love the scrappy, hurried and out there as quick as you can ideas. I miss the “WTF let’s try this!”. I miss the white board sessions in Santa Clara back in 1999, I miss the 11pm curry that would get us through the milestone…. though I’m not sure what my doctor would say now.

There are 24 hour in a day, use them (and reserve eight of them for sleep). Too much cold pizza and warm beer networking sessions keep you away from building, no point attending until you’ve built.

HaCF left me in tears at the end for various reasons. The one thing it did impress on me then most, I love being in a scrappy startup that just doesn’t care what the outcome is, we just tried. And revolving around it all is relationships, it’s not about the tech, it’s about how the tech brings the people together, whether that’s users, investors or the team itself. “We’re building the thing to get to the thing….”

The current state of the startup scene is all to safe, it’s all too samey, it’s about incubators and accelerators, the questionable story tellers and the ideas folk and their blue sky funding. It’s about accounting firms suddenly with startup areas, it’s not about what they have, your startup is about what you have and what’s in your heart. My thoughts here are hardly new, I wrote about it four years ago in “Startups: The Passion and the Paradox“.

And it all starts off with an idea and being scrappy.

Here’s to being scrappy, it’s nice to be back.

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