Lattice is 6 years old today! 🥳 Here are 6 beliefs I have now internalized and hold dear about building a startup:
1/ The team you build is the company you build. A @vkhosla or @rabois ism, I think? The people at your company are your culture, your standard of excellence, your recruiting engine for the future…they are everything. People aren’t part of the game they are the whole game.
2/ You’re crazy to let customers make the plan. You’re crazy not to let customers help you improve the plan. Good strategic plans are formulated by ingesting lots of inputs, immersing yourself in your space, and thinking hard about how the world will look over time.
Once you’ve got a plan (read: start executing on product and GTM, not making slides and docs), customers are by far the most important source of guidance and truth.
3/ Follow the leads. In addition to PMF, there is also distribution fit. The way you get your product to market matters, and it’s different for different companies at different points in time. The way to find your distribution fit is to test everything and follow the leads.
4/ Customers, product, team. The only activities that really move the needle in the early days: talking to customers, building product, building the team. Everything else is a distraction. Even as you scale, this is still fundamentally true, although it looks different.
5/ Long term plans, short term actions. Time horizons are one of a startups greatest strengths, in both directions. A startup is brand new, and isn’t contending with quarterly earnings, and is setting out to change the world. You can and should have very long term ideas.
On the other hand, no one can move faster than a startup. And speed compounds; being 10% faster than anyone else, every day, compounds to 10x really fast. Move fast wherever you can.
6/ Be part of a movement. Every great startup is part of a big change in the world. This isn’t a coincidence. It’s what’s required to build a village of people around your company, which is what it takes to do something big.