Stoicism is a great operating model for startups and high-stress environments.
Separate what you can control from what you can’t control.
Example: other people’s relationships.
Practice fear setting quarterly.
Ask “What if” and define several worst case scenarios.
Determine “what can I do” to prevent those worst case scenarios.
Problem solve “how can I” repair any damage that may happen.
Getting Into YCombinator
Do not be a solo founder. The road it too difficult to go it alone.
If you want investors to take you seriously most will only work with companies incorporated as a Deleware C crop.
Clerky is a tool that makes this easier.
YC takes 7% in your company for $120,000 of capital & advising.
Use YC to network & ask as many questions as possible.
YC wants startups to have at least 10% growth every week.
As a CEO ensure you give your co-founder a substantial stake in a company to keep them on board for the long haul.
As a CEO your first real test is to find talented people and sell them on why they should forgo their lucrative career to work with you on a startup.
Selling As a Startup
- Focus on selling to the innovators. The 2.5% of people who “get it”
It’s a numbers game.
Out of 100 sales, pitches expect 98 of those people to say “no”.
Or approximately 1/50 will say “yes”.
If someone says “I would, but it needs this one more feature” consider it a no.
- Go to conferences.
Line up meetings with attendees prior to the event & schedule 30-minute meetings with each prospect.
- Sales are about listening to customer problems.
Don’t try to convince the customer why they should buy from you.
- Be extremely persistent with follow-ups.
It could take 50 tries to land a large contract or sale.
However, if the sale is worth $100,000 it’s worth the effort.
YCombinator has a sales template:
- Don’t offer free trials.
Instead, of free trails, offer a 30-day cancellation policy.
You want the default option to be to buy into the product.
Sell few customers at a large price tag.
Sell many customers at a small price tag.
And anywhere in between.