When we popped the champagne bottles on the eve of 31st December 2019. None of us could anticipate what 2020 had for us in-store but then came the worst nightmare of any startup, with the economic slowdown and the changing ways of the world, it would be wrong if we did not admit that each one of us struggled to find a strong ground below our feet.
But now that we have come a full circle, with the vaccines in the market and companies starting to open up the question is what have learnt? And more importantly are we prepared if we are put in similar situations again?
Well, we are here to tell you what startups have learned in the past one year and hope that you take it consciously for a wise man to learn from the mistakes of others and not his own.
However there is one important thing to note. The initial setbacks that startups faced in the months of April-march have long gone, infact to be very honest the advice we give startups today is not radically different from what we would give earlier. So the three golden rules that we give you today are not some new found jewels but rather something that has always been around the corner, we just need to focus on them more in times of distress.
So let’s begin, the three important startup rules that a startup can focus on in times of distress.
Default Alive, the immunity potion of a startup
Paul Graham wrote in his essay a long time ago about being Default Alive, it’s always good to be default alive: to find a place where you can survive without raising more money. This money essentially comes from your revenues. Times of distress, such as the Pandemic makes the flow of funds close to redundant. In such times, one has to think harder about getting to mvp. Make sure you have an mvp, and try to get it to market as soon as possible.
Cash Conservation, the only thing that will come to you aid.
Remember when your father told you to conserve your pocket money back in your teen years, we can assure you that it really goes a long way. With the inflow of funds already slow you don’t want to waste the money you already have at hand.
There is a mantra in the startup world, Hire Slowly and fire even more quickly. Growth is essential for every startup. But the pandemic has raised important questions about how you want to grow and whether you are working more intelligently than ever before. The economy is uncertain and nobody really knows what 2021 has for us in store. In such an event, one needs to be more wary of potential pitfalls that one may find in the way.
So should startups get early on the revenue pedal?
As we mentioned earlier, one should be aware of potential pitfalls. This wariness encourages startups to get serious earlier about revenue growth. Market is uncertain and as a result this might pan out differently for different companies. So the answer to this question is both yes and no.Finally it all depends on where you are as a startup.
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Finally the good news about the pandemic and with the newfound optimism of going back to “normal” raises one final question? What does this mean for a startup? Should they start planning more bullish scenarios for the budgets or should they come up with a new hiring strategy? The answer is none. In Fact the advice we would give you is rather conventional.
If you are a new startup, focus on your MVP. That is the only thing that is going to help you. Hire people that are right for your startups and lastly, and most importantly, learn to take advantages of opportunities and adapt. There is one thing that the pandemic has taught us with the shift of the digital world is that the startup world stops for none and at the end of the day, it’s always survival of the fittest.