Before the glory, they say, there’s the story. So, when digital marketing whiz and former CNN Africa staff Ized Uanikhehi threw the question about mistakes made by startups at her Twitter followers, there was an interesting mix of responses.
Tweeting with her handle @zegbua, she asked:
Startup founders on my Timeline, what was one of the biggest mistakes you made starting up (or in your early days) and how did you “overcome” it?
If you could go back in time, what would you do differently? Why?
The responses ranged from regrets to apprehension and wisdom garnered from hindsight.
Too much focus on product early on rather that the market and a capable team.
And as regards to team, went after the shinny objects (“experience”), rather than focus on grooming a young team to grow with. This is our approach now and you can see it in our results.
Not letting people go even when they don’t fit in the organization.
Taking record. Starting up without without structure but pure survival in mind doesn’t really help your venture. Solution: Taking Record.
Doing a project for a client on credit based on trust. Midway, abrupt cancelation of deal. Monies expended couldn’t be recovered. Luckily, we had strong relationships with our suppliers. We found a way to compensate them from subsequent projects.
It was not pretty though.
Hiring people with “potentials”…now I need to see portfolio before blinking your way! Too many people telling stories they can’t back up with track record!
I won’t work with some of the people I worked with
Articulating early my EXACT target market.
Wow! What wonderful stories of near-misses as they climbed the entrepreneurial ladder.
Uanikhehi who says her life’s mission is to optimise digital marketing efficiency for organizations in Africa is CMO/Co-founder at TORA Drivers Academy and a former social producer at CNN Africa.