Saints and Startups
StartMate is over.
I read Alan’s post this morning and thought it is worthwhile dedicating some time to reflect on what has happened to our team over the last 4 months.
I’ve spoken to a couple of friends who have been in incubators and there are a few weird constants.
1. Incubators are investment vehicles that predominantly value teams.
2. Ideas are nearly worthless.
3. Execution is king.
4. The biggest thing to fear is that no-one cares about what you are doing.
5. Learn to test often and move on remorselessly when you fail.
When we initially applied to startmate we agonised over some of the most trivial things you can imagine - if our focus had been on the above points, we would have moved a great deal faster.
Our real focus from the outset should have been understanding the implication of these 5 things and whilst we did learn this, later than most, it is a revelation when you understand it.
The thing I have taken away from the experience is that businesses are built not around the greatest idea. But the team, its execution ability and the capability to separate shit advice from good advice.
We are lucky, we have worked with each other for years and had built a bond (whilst disturbing to outsiders) that is unshakable.
We are now a startup in the truest sense, our optimism borders on the delusional, our beliefs are religious, our focus on data points arrogant, and our need to create, prolific.
But the greatest thing for me is that people are starting to care about what we are doing and with that our work is being recognised. Our freedom is almost tangible.
So cheers to Startmate, the Mentors, the timewasters, the greats, the has-beens, the up ‘n’ comers, the machine that is Niki Scevak and our greatest supporters, our families.
Changing lives by creating businesses is what the program does.
So if you have the guts to change yourself and create something worth caring about, stop talking shit and dreaming big.
Stop reading Techcrunch, Inc.com and wasting your time doing something you hate.
Get the fuck up and take the risk. You’ll respect yourself and the world will respect your decision.
But if you truly believe you have what it takes, apply to StartMate.
They are not accepting applications at the moment. But that shouldn’t stop you.