Top mistakes made by Engineers-turned-Founders: Worry too much about scalability/fixing bugs..and more

Top mistakes engineers make when they become founders. (Can’t say I haven’t been guilty of these myself 🤐)

A thread 👇

1. Spend too much time building the product instead of talking to users. In the early days, the most important goal is to de-risk the market need for your product. You don’t want to invest a ton of effort in your product before you are confident it’s something people will want.
2.Solution in search of a problem. There’s a really cool new technology on the block like GPT-3 or Flutter or whatever and you just HAVE to build something with it.
3.Worry too much about scalability/fixing bugs. It’s unlikely that you fail because your product can’t handle scale from the get go or that it has rough edges. In fact, if customers are sticking around despite how buggy it is, that’s a good sign you’re making something they want
4.Spending time cleaning up technical debt. Your product will probably change so much in the early days it’s not worth being too invested in long term maintainability.
5. Build it & they will come. Many engineers who become founders worked at a successful company with thousands++ users, so it’s tempting to think once you build something people will come – but most startups don’t have preexisting audiences so YOU have to build the audience.
6. A corollary to #5 is thinking if only we add ONE more feature the customers will come…
7. Swearing by the first thing you work on for too long. The early days are an experimental process where there’s room to make mistakes and pivot. Being honest with yourself at this stage can save you from lots of pain in the future.
8. Thinking you NEED to have a “suave/charismatic” business cofounder. If you like to hide in your room and code you will need a cofounder who can do GTM, but oftentimes buyers (B2B SaaS) don’t want to be sold to – they actually want to talk to YOU because you are the expert.
9. Finally, just because people aren’t lining up to use your product on day one doesn’t mean it’s not valuable. It could just mean you’ve underinvested in sales & go to market, which is often the most difficult part for technical founders in the early days.
Any of these resonate with you? Share your experiences below 👇


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