1. 12 dumb mistakes even smart entrepreneurs make — and how to avoid them

    12 dumb mistakes even smart entrepreneurs make — and how to avoid them

    No matter how much you prepare, there’s just no way to know what you don’t know when you launch a business. The smartest, savviest, most successful entrepreneurs make mistakes that, with the benefit of hindsight, are pretty foolish. That's because, even with the most diligent and thorough preparation, there are bound to be challenges that a startup founder isn't expecting in the moment. That's pretty much what an entrepreneur signs up for.

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    1. One dumb mistake I made is to underestimate the barrier and knowhow when entering into a new industry.
    2. My experience in software development taught me we can always rush to the deadline by pushing our limit. However, I underestimated the complexity of supply chain, the long leading time of components shipping, and the process of slowly marching to mass production on factory side.
    3. Irrelevant experience can be a burden.
    4. I hesitated to take action, instead holding out hope that somehow the individual would fix their behavior and get back on the right track.
    5. We got a decent product with sloppy code.
    6. We learned the hard, long, and expensive way that building a team is a massively important first step. We were pulling all nighters to QA the app and were working in opposite time zones.
    7. This hurts a lot because when we finally launched the service, we realized this isn't what the customers were looking for!
    8. When starting a business, you'll often hear the advice that everything takes longer and costs more than you expect. This is advice worth taking.
    9. A lot of my dumbest mistakes have come down to focusing on the wrong thing.
    10. Everyone is doing it, so of course it should work for us as well. Well, not really.
    11. Technology companies want the latest greatest products even if it means switching. This isn't the case in the higher ed industry where software is often bought by non-technical administrators.
    12. Listen to what people do, not what they say.
    13. I tried to make a product to please everyone. Ultimately, a startup is really resource constrained, and you need to focus on the thing you do the best, as opposed to going broad and trying to capture all demand.
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