Six Weeks In: Lessons Learned
As David and I finish up our sixth full week at Spogo HQ (a.k.a “the cave” or “the hurt locker”), I thought it would be both insightful to you as a reader, and beneficial to us as founders, to share some of our early lessons learned. Surprisingly, you can learn a lot in just six weeks.
Lesson 1: Stay Focused
Blindly leaping into the tech startup scene with a background in finance (or advertising) is intimidating. We have so much to do that each time a day starts, it’s hard to figure out where to begin. Being able to organize and prioritize, work together, and keep each other in check when we aren’t has been extremely important. No matter how much advice we get or how many crazy, huge, visionary ideas we dream up, we have to remind ourselves to stay focused on the goal for Spogo version 1.0.
Lesson 2: Confidence is King
After six weeks of pitching to and meeting with advisors, potential investors and partners, I’ve realized that confidence is king. If we don’t act like Spogo is the greatest thing that’s happened to Sports since ESPN, then it won’t be. To get the time of day from important people, you must be confident. Of course, there is a fine line between confidence and cockiness, and we’re still learning to walk it.
Lesson 3: Get Out of the Office
Contrary to the popular belief among tabloids, news outlets and bloggers alike, Team Spogo rarely spends a full day trapped in the allergy-enhancing basement that is Spogo HQ. We’ve learned that getting out and talking with people is our life-blood. It took a few rounds of potential partner meetings and Boston Tech Meetups to get comfortable, but what we’ve learned is that being shy can only hurt a startup (also see Entrepreneurial Paranoia). The Boston tech scene is small, and we’ve quickly discovered that there are rarely more than one or two degrees of separation between ourselves and the most important people in our industry.
Lesson 4: Fight with Your Co-Founder
There are few who can beat David in a fight. This includes intellectual battles, verbal arguments and physical fights. Unfortunately for me, I’ve only begun to conquer the first two. I’d guess that over 90% of the time, we are on the same page. That other 10% though, is spent in engaging, intellectually stimulating arguments (sometimes over who bought the milk last, but mostly about our business). We usually either come to a compromise, or one side wins over the other. In all cases, our arguments have led to personal and company growth. The importance of being comfortable enough to fight with your co-founder cannot be overstated.