Dane Atkinson from Squarespace ran through his experience launching, staffing, selling and raising money and when to change direction – or give up.
When to Launch?
- Ignore your competition
- Product is your only guide
- Narrow scope and iterate
What about staff?
Admin/support is key, should be your first hire
Management is a tricky job – don’t hire more than 4 people if you want to continue doing your job exactly as it is, the trick is hiring people that can manage for you.
- First hire for efficiency
- Hiring is not linear, skip 30
- Hire great whenever (don’t miss the opportunity if the person is outstanding)
Selling and raising money
- Don’t raise on your heels
- It’s either easy or impossible (it either flows, or it doesn’t – adapt it and try again)
- Proactive, not reactive
If your aspiration is far away from where you are, change what you’re doing (iterate – if it still doesn’t work then know when to give up). Changing is key to any kind of success.
So to sum up:
- Trust your instincts
- Sense for stagnation
- Not moving towards goal, pivot
- The idea is not the value, you are
The time is now – next 5 years is hot, VC’s are ready to invest, so the potential is now – build it!