My good startuppeur resolutions for 2017
That’s it, the end of the year is coming, and with it almost by magic the start of the next! It’s a symbolic moment, almost like a new beginning, that many of us choose to set goals and new directions in life. For this year, in addition to customary personal resolutions, I have made some entrepreneurial resolutions …
The vanity metrics, I promise, I’ll stop!
The advantage with metrics such as the total number of downloads of your app, it can only go up! Awesome, isn’t it? But be careful, if it is exciting to pass the milestone of 10,000, 100,000, or a million downloads, it should not be the tree that hides the forest. It doesn’t say much about the health of your project. If no one creates an account or actively uses the app, even massive downloads will not give you a viable business.
So in 2017, we’re focusing on two or three metrics significant, such as the activation rate and retention at 7 days, we set objectives as a team and we follow their evolution over the actions taken to improve them.
I talk to people, a bunch of people
If one thinks that it is necessary to arrive with a finished product and a tightly-knit proposal before starting the discussion with partners or potential customers, then one risks wasting a lot of time! It is often precisely when you are undecided and have several potential avenues for development that you have to talk about it with the relevant people. They can be part of the solution. They will tell you which option is the most interesting for them, and why. And if your offer doesn’t address any of their major issues, it’s good to know. Better a door that closes quickly than a door that stays ajar too long.
If your product is potentially aimed at players in this or that industry, talk to them, try to have about ten conversations for each track and the feedback will speak for itself. Maybe someone will even give you an idea you hadn’t thought of. If the process is transparent, you will be surprised at the number of people, even strangers, who answer you and lend themselves to the game.
After staying in my den for a long time, I started to talk a lot and we progressed much faster in our thinking so that in brainstorming in our corner. So there is no introversion that holds, in 2017 I exchange, I question, I answer, I listen and I share!
I choose and I focus
Having preconceived ideas is never a good thing. Especially in start-ups, where it is crucial to remain flexible in order to step into the breach as soon as it arises, even if it is not where we first imagined it. But be careful, being flexible doesn’t mean running two hares at the same time. If you leave too many trails open, you run the risk of exhausting yourself. Questions call for answers. Because a question is uncertainty, and uncertainty is stress for the team.
Even when you do not have the perfect information to make a decision, you have to make a hypothesis, and mobilize the war effort to test it. Engage in a path and move forward with all your energy, even if it means pivoting frankly later. You can reach the goal by zigzagging, but not by turning in a round. So that 2017 starts off under the best auspices, we stop juggling business models, we choose one and we go for it!
I even earn money
This start-up project was first and foremost a passion, a method of personal development that I wanted to share with others. It was not originally thought of as a business. Our approach, to summarize, was to build a product, improve it so that it pleases users, find the product / market fit, then graft a business model. Many start-ups on this path are entering a race for users and traction without considering monetization. We all know stories where it worked very well, but it’s not Facebook that wants. For a fantastic success story, there are many other lesser-known regular chess stories. The media, by focusing on the exceptions, would they not send us an overly angelic vision of reality?
For my part, I take for 2017 the resolution to be pragmatic by taking the question backwards: Who has a problem to which we can provide a solution? Who is willing to pay? How many and when? Money is the sinews of war. It’s survival! So in 2017, it’s decided, I even earn money.
When you are an entrepreneur, work becomes a personal project and at the same time the border between private and professional life becomes very thin! We often work from home, we talk to our friends about the latest feature we launched… We are so obsessed with what we do that it permeates all aspects of our life. However, the start-up adventure is more like a marathon – or even a long brutal trail! – than a sprint. It is necessary to hold out over time and therefore preserve a balance of life, a private space hermetic to concerns about the contract being negotiated or the last question from investors.
In 2017, I continue to pursue my passions. It would be a shame not to apply what we preach through our start-up, namely well-being and life balance, precisely because of our start-up! Play a little guitar, have a fulfilling social life, do some triathlon races, read something other than books on start-ups… Here are more classic resolutions but oh so precious!
I write a book
When you are the founder of a startup, the image you convey is an integral part of your project. Sometimes we tend to overlook it, but before joining your service, people will often buy into your vision and values. You are the first ambassador for your product. If you are in well-being and development, as is my case, it is about setting an example, inspiring the community, taking part in debates and building a place of opinion leader. And what better than a book to share with others what drives you?
Be careful, however, with resolutions of this type which lend themselves dangerously to procrastination. When the goal is ambitious, and it is a result, a output, we had better focus oninput, the process to get there. In this case, write regularly and publish an article every week. The feedback from the community will be invaluable and will allow us to offer something that effectively meets an expectation, in lean startup. For 2017, I therefore resolve to write this book and more generally to fulfill my role as the first representative of the service we offer!
Damien catani began his career in investment banking. He quickly becomes aware of the value of life balance and then develops a method not to lose sight of his personal goals. Then, a little over a year ago, he set up a small team and founded a start-up to share this method and this passion thanks to goalmap, a mobile application for setting goals and achieving them (available for free on ios and Android).