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Startup Life

The Start-Up Chronicles: Chapter 2. Who, Part 1

Here are some lessons learned from past experiences and how I hope to do things a little different this time when choosing Who will be members of this tribe.

Here are some lessons learned from past experiences and how I hope to do things a little different this time when choosing Who will be members of this tribe.

A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.

Tribes need leadership. Sometimes one person leads, sometimes more. People want connection and growth and something new. They want change.

You can’t have a tribe without a leader – and you can’t be a leader without a tribe.

Tribes, Seth Godin

idea - who
idea - who
Background post

The Start-Up Chronicles: Chapter 1. An Idea, Five Ws and one H

Lessons learned

Back in Connecting the dots – Part 2, I mentioned my previous dot com experience. Looking back, here’s some of the lessons I learned;

  1. Having a great idea and the ability to code it is simply not enough. Like it or not, you need others. Others who understand things like marketing, sales, support, service, administration and more. However, you just may not need them all from Day One.
  2. Too many chiefs (partners): We had too many voices, too many opinions, too many circumstances requiring votes where majority rules and even Super Majority Rules. Oddly enough, most of these issues were valid & necessary – at some point in time. And that’s exactly my point. At some point in time, we would have to discuss these issues at length. But that time never came.
  3. The “What If This Thing Is Worth A Gazillion Dollars One Day” Scenario: A pre-condition to this scenario is that you have to deliver something that could be worth a gazillion dollars one day. We exerted too much time and energy discussing, fantasizing, negotiating, bickering and haggling over this scenario. We really should have poured that energy and passion into the pre-condition.
  4. Lawyers and accountants: You need these people. You not only need them, but you need to talk to them pretty much from the start. But talk first. Do your best to net-it-out as much as possible. If you’re lucky, you’ll know someone who’ll say something like:

    Drafting an agreement like this and getting all the parties to finalize, could cost you around $10,000 – assuming everyone agrees in principle. But even with that in place, it could be always be argued that … On the other hand, you could just write … on the back of a napkin and get everyone to sign it. Of course that could always be contested too, but at least you’ve got a signed agreement in principle and $10,000 to pay me when you at least have money coming.

And that is the final point. If you don’t have any money coming in then you would not be contesting a dirty old napkin.

How to choose “Who”

So now I needed a way to invite others to help me with my quest. But on top of all my above issues, I had one more whopper. I had no money to pay anyone. Offering equity in nothing would only condemn me to repeating my errs of the past. It would be like Groundhog Day, all over again.

Up next –The Unhidden Agenda

My next post will be about my Unhidden Agenda & how I hope it will attract community members and contributors.

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