Friday, October 14, 2005

Seven Founding Sins

David Beisel highlights common mistakes which often divert entrepreneurs off the path towards success in his post "Seven Founding Sins". I've excerpted some highlights below.

Extravagance. I see less of this these days though I have seen penny wise, pound foolish activity.

Taciturnity. Rapid progress and constant adjustment in a new endeavor requires continuous communication of these changes.

Greed. Holding too tightly to the percentage of ownership figure doesn’t allow room for a company to attract the leadership, employees, and investors that will maximize shareholder value – including the founders’. In a chat my partners had with Mark Leslie (Veritas founder/CEO) he mentioned that when there's a success it's rare someone complains they had 2% rather than 10% and conversely by not bringing in the right resources (while holding onto equity) companies often are doomed to fail and 10% ownership of nothing is exactly that.

Arrogance. There is a fine line between a beneficial pride of confidence and a dangerous arrogant hubris.

Indecisiveness. The beauty of a startup is that there are endless possibilities. The difficulty is to concentrate on one opportunity, not every opportunity. David saved his best for last -- I couldn't agree more.

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