Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Inside startup land

Hey there!

Can’t believe I actually won the listserve!

I’m a 22 yo marketer who moved to San Francisco last year. Startup culture is pretty amazing, but I think sometimes we get so wrapped up in ourselves that we miss the bigger picture.

Here are some of my ideas on running a great startup:

1. Make a 10x improvement. The world doesn’t need another messaging app. Sure, messaging apps like FB Messenger, Line, and WhatsApp are the craze of the moment, but I’d much rather start something like Theranos (their lab technology could save the US healthcare system ~$200 billion over 10 years).

2. Always put people first. Both for customers and employees, putting people first might be more expensive in the short-term, but it always pays off in the long run. It’s easy to focus on the numbers, but invest the time to build a humble, transparent company culture.

3. Don’t be mediocre. Lots of companies can build pretty decent products, but the really epic experiences are fairly rare. I recently had a problem with my GoRuck backpack, and they immediately sent me a brand new backpack under their lifetime guarantee (more than two years after I first purchased!).

4. Find a way to make money. Too many startups take a loss for years and run off venture capitalist investments. Sometimes that’s necessary (like if you need a large infrastructure), but cash flow is quite freeing.

Also, I’m a bit of a book geek, so I’d love to hear your favorite books! (My favorite lately was Red Notice by Bill Browder)


Nate Desmond
nate[AT]natedesmond.com
San Francisco, CA (SOMA neighborhood)

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