I take a lot of meetings from new startup founders. It is a damn exciting time in ones life and it is really fun to help out, play cheerleader and crush their dreams.
Yes, you read that right.
Most people hate the meeting they have with me. I challenge them on the hard problems that it is easy to gloss over. If you have a friend just starting out doing a startup, pass this post onto them. Hopefully it will save a lot of years of wasted effort. It isn’t saying “don’t start a startup” instead it is “lets talk about startups, you and me.”
Pretend you have a friend Matt you are pitching a startup idea. He likes his name so he needs the following questions answered:
Market. What is the market you are going into. Fashion? Enterprise tools? Italian restaurant in LA? Get as detailed as you want, but Matt wants to see that you know the market. Who else is in it? Does it have a good reputation? What do people that work in it say about it?
Acquisition. Do you know how you are going to get customers? Do you know who would buy a company like yours? Are you starting a small business to pay for a hobby or do you want to create millions in monthly sales?
Team. What is your team like? Have you been together through good times and bad? Do you complement each others skill sets? Do you have the same goals?
Timing. Is it right for this market with these customers to be lead by this team to give it a shot at your goal?
Trick question on timing. It is always the right time. If you want to give it another T it would be Talent. Are you talented enough to play on the stage as the players that are in the game?
Matt wants to know.