A great thing is happening in Bulgaria: young people do their own projects; struggle to stay here and feel good at the same time. Last year was a complete startup explosion, supported by many opportunities like startup accelerators, angel investors and many events. Overall, it is the thing that happens around the globe, but when we check out the details, there are couple of things that are just not right and startups have to know about them.
+ When something is growing, there always some dodgers who are looking for an easy way to make money. Beware of those and be able to recognize them. As being a startup, you have very limited amount of cash and every single coin must go to the right place. If you need some business services, make sure the companies that provide them, do not overcharge you. Unfortunately, in Bulgaria there are many people who simply make that and used to live and work that way.
+ Team up with the right people. It is all about the people you work with. If you are looking for a partner or an investor, make sure they are the right people for your project, idea and mindset. Even when you are forced to get some money, do not sell your soul to the Devil – make sure you will be able to work smoothly with the guys investing in your project. When there is a big hype about projects, more sharks are coming to eat you alive, pretending they are helping you.
+ Startup events… Okay, here I can write a lot. However, let me stress on the most important thing: When you are taking money from a startup to attend an event, it is not normal to force them to buy expensive tickets! Think about it: a startup event needs to cover the expenses, not to make earnings on debilitating startups. If you are a startup, in order to get real results, you have to attend more than one event… So, imagine how expensive is to buy tickets, to travel… Unfortunately, most of the “great, big, amazing” startup events are also quite expensive and after all you most certainly go back home with less than invested. It is simply not okay.
If you decide to attend an event, make sure it is worthy. Let’s say it this way: everyone can decide to organize a startup event and pretend to be a great contributor to the startup community… but does he or she actually make a difference?
+ There is a very good quote from Ricardo Semler in his book “Maverick”: “only two things grow for the sake of growth: businesses and tumors.” I would add – today’s businesses. Everyone is constantly stressing on how much you have raised, how many downloads do you have… But what about the important metrics like how many people love your product, how many of them are using it every day or every week? Find out which metrics are important to you, your business and your belief. And stress on that!