|—||Ingvar Kamprad, Founder, IKEA.|
I watched an interview today of a small but growing and profitable startup, where the interviewer asked the Co-founder about how they have achieved this growth so far and what are their future plans? To that, he replied - “We haven’t spent anything on marketing yet, and we’ll continue to not do so for a long time.”
This is the biggest lie startup founders tell to the world - “We haven’t spent anything on marketing yet!”.
Of course I wouldn’t share the name of this company as I admire what they’ve accomplished so far with a small team. But this post is not about that company only. I’ve seen many startup founders tell this lie during their interviews and their startup’s PR outreach.
The reason why everyone is so tempted to tell this lie is - they want to tell the world that how awesome their product is and how fast they are growing, and that too all “organically”. You wouldn’t be surprised to see a below comment followed by above lie - “We’re just focusing on building the best product right now, the rest is taking care of itself.”
Are these founders mistaking Google AdWords or Facebook Ads as the only form of marketing? If that’s the case, then the correct statement would be - “We haven’t spent anything on Paid Advertising yet.” And I can buy that argument as it may be true for many early stage companies.
The key mistake these founders do is - they’re not accounting the time they are investing on all other marketing channels apart from these paid advertising channels.
Sure, you’re getting a lot of SEO traffic from Google for free, but haven’t you also invested your development time in building SEOable pages, URLs, etc. solely for marketing reasons?
Sure, you’re getting a lot of traffic from Facebook for free, but haven’t you also invested your time in building those viral features and gaming mechanics in your product for marketing reasons?
Sure, you’re getting a lot of word of mouth traffic, but haven’t you spent time in building that Dropbox like two-sided incentive referral program for marketing reasons?
Sure, you’re getting a lot of conversions from your site’s landing page, but haven’t you spent lot of energy in that content marketing blog post and having a kick-ass product demo video on your site?
I can go on and on, but you got the point. Next time when you hear someone says they are not spending anything on marketing, simply ignore that bullshit and make sure you don’t do the same mistake when you tell your story.
Success will come and go, but integrity is forever. Integrity means doing the right thing at all times and in all circumstances, whether or not anyone is watching. It takes having the courage to do the right thing, no matter what the consequences will be. Building a reputation of integrity takes years, but it takes only a second to lose, so never allow yourself to ever do anything that would damage your integrity.
Leadership expert Simon Sinek discusses the importance of trust, authenticity, giving and helping others. Sinek argues that as individuals and companies, everything that we say and do is a symbol of who we are. And it is only when we communicate our beliefs authentically that we can attract others to our cause, and form the bonds that will empower us to achieve truly great things.
This is a must watch video before you begin a new year as I’m pretty sure it will change your perspective of how you interact with friends, your colleagues at work, and also new people you will meet at different places.
How Bad Do You Want The Success?
A must watch video for all those people who are starting a startup or want to start a startup. You’ll need to watch this video not only once, but many times in your entrepreneurial journey.
Every single time you feel low, tired, burned out or want to quit, watch this video.
You may also want to watch this video every single time when you achieve something, but haven’t achieved your ultimate goal yet - as you don’t want to get trapped into a comfort zone.
Wake up early. Show up. Learn how to think. Be genuine, but appear nice. Use envy for motivation instead of destruction. Do what you say you’re going to do. Ensure balance in every area of your life. Confront repressed thoughts immediately. Surround yourself with people who are better than you (but remember the thing about envy). Work out every day. Be good at what you do. Make money doing what you love. Have good friends. Never settle.
This is my personal recipe for happiness and success.
|—||Chris Sacca (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDB8uVz7Voc)|
A team aligned behind a vision will move mountains. Sell them on your roadmap and don’t compromise — care about the details, the fit and finish. Only work with those that have (as Larry Page puts it) “a healthy disregard for the impossible,” and push everyone on your team until it’s uncomfortable.
- Your business has a high Life Time Value (LTV) per user, giving you the freedom to spend a significant amount of money in customer acquisition. High LTV can usually be found in transactional or subscription businesses.
- Your business has a high viral co-efficient (or perhaps even a network effect) that lets you amass users cheaply without worrying too much about the monetization per user or spending money on paid acquisition.
Now that it’s almost two years since I first had the idea for Buffer, and with the year and a half before that which I worked on my previous startup, I’ve started to notice a few patterns amongst the ups and downs that come with building a startup.
One of the most important things I’ve…