Vinicius Vacanti makes a great point about success in startups:
We launched the new idea in a three-day scramble, got some initial press, users loved it, and four months later raised $1 million from amazing investors. A year after that, we've raised $6 million, made real revenue, attracted hundreds of thousands of users, and recruited amazing people to join our team (we're hiring! join us!). And, best of all, we're just getting started.
So, what happened in those three days?
I'm convinced that if we had the idea for a daily deal aggregator back in 2007 or 2008 or even 2009, we wouldn't have gotten traction because we would have messed it up.
But, after two and half years of failing and learning, we knew exactly what to do.
Vin lists product strategy, coding, UI design, getting press, pitching investors and building buzz as key skills he and his cofounder acquired in the first 2.5 unsuccessful years of running Yipit. I think that's barely scratching the surface of everything you need to learn to be a successful founders.
Some people get very lucky, find great mentors, or happen to start just the right startup in just the right market at just the right time, and their first venture soars into the air despite their inexperience. Most founders, however, end up having to learn things the hard and long way, and crash a few times before finally taking off.
There's a lot to learn to go from zero to successful entrepreneur, and most of it isn't taught anywhere. What's the best thing you can do to maximise your chances? In my opinion, the best thing is to plug into an existing network of other entrepreneurs and use it to get advice, feedback, and hopefully to find mentors.
If you read this far, you should follow me on twitter here.