Seeing your first product launch is in many ways like the experience of your first baby being born. It’s an amazing feeling. After such a long time, so many difficulties and heartaches, hopes and dreams – it is finally out. Exciting, isn’t it?
There are two critical resources for startups: Time and money. Many startups think that money is their main problem, but they’re wrong: it’s always time. Even when you run out of money, it really time that was your enemy: it just took you too much time to generate revenue. If you were unable to raise money it’s because you didn’t finish your product, or don’t have enough users – both are a time problem.
It sometimes seems to me that Korean startup founders are always busy doing two things: raising money, and filling out applications. Whenever I see Korean startups they are on their way from an investor meeting or on their way to one; and when they are not available it’s because they are participating in some startup competition, a pitching contest or an exhibition abroad arranged by some government agency.
A frequent question I get from Korean startups is a request to connect them to some company. Everyone’s dream is to repeat the Microsoft miracle of having IBM resell their operating system to take them from a tiny company of two developers to the world’s biggest software company.
I was recently asked in a Q&A session about the importance of the business plan and financial forecast document when presenting to investors. I’m not proud of my answer, but here it is: if you are an early stage startup (before initial revenue), your business plan, and especially financial forecast, is totally fake. It has absolutely no value, because it’s describing something that is not true. It’s a made-up fantasy.
Many books have been written on how successful Israeli startups are compared to startups in other countries. There are lots of reasons that makes Israelis so successful in the startup game. Here’s one thing you can do like an Israeli that both easy and efficient: Make something before you start to optimize it.