By Kevin Systrom & Mike Kreiger, Instagram
6 to 7 months after launching, 6 photos taken using Instagram every second. What are the Startup Myths? Let’s see what the Instagram co-founders have to share!
Myth #1: You can learn to be an Entrepreneur from a blog, a book or a talk.
- 1 day on the job -> 1 year in the book
- Experience teaches you to make better decisions with limited data
- Do many projects early, learn from them
- The truth: You are never ready, but that’s the fun part
Users care about the products they are going to use, not the events you went to or the Techcrunch posts.
Myth #2: Startups can only be started by Computer Science students
- Early Twitter Team didn’t go to college, Kevin & Mike didn’t major in CS
- Sink or Swim School of Engineering – MVP
- Generalists are perfect for startups
- Find co-founders that complement you
The people you meet before, during and an event matters more than the slides shown on the screen.
Myth #3: Finding the solution to the problems is the hardest part
- Finding the problem to solve is the hardest part
- It’s easy to build solutions to problems no one have
- How do you know if you’re solving the right problems?
- It’s ok to solve simple problems
Myth #4: Work for months building a robust product in secrecy, then launch to the world (a.k.a Stealth Startup)
- Make your product public quickly, test the hypothesis!
- Build the minimum viable product that answers, “Are we building the right thing?”
- Fail early and often, make failing as low cost as possible
Your first idea is no going to be your final idea.
Myth #5: Start a bidding war among VCs with a slick pitch deck
- Raise only when you need to get off the ground (not that much)
- Optimize for people, not valuation
- Focus on a prototype, and traction, not a fancy pitch deck
Myth #6: Starting a company = Building a product
- Starting a company is 50% building a product and 50% other stuffs
- Recruiting, building, and managing a team
- Raising Capital
- Insurance, taxes, etc
It is not all about a great idea, it is finding the right people to bring in to make that idea happen.
Myth #7: Successful startups come from a single great idea
- First idea is likely not the last one
- Your job is to explore the solution space
- Themes will follow you
- Sharing and Discussing helps!
Myth #8: Great startups happen overnight
- Overnight successes take 5 years
- Success comes from the foundations you’ve built along the way
- Even with the right idea, you’re fighting to the next hill
- Success can seem retrospect, but in reality, it’s never that easy