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Thursday, 15 December 2011 13:22

Tour de Startup

The time before launching a venture is one of the most romantic and exciting periods of a company's life. But the battle, like the Tour de France, is won in the alps and not the Champs-Elysees.


A pre-launch startup is often the most magical time. The dreams of the founders have not made contact with reality and anything seems possible.


During this stage it is tempting to stay tinkering away and to keep adding to the product and pushing back the launch date.


But the more you do, the harder the harsh reality of no one caring in the beginning will hit you.


One of the best reasons to launch quickly is that it is not as emotionally devastating when nothing happens.


People laugh at that comment when I say that but startups are more of an emotional game than you might think (hence why a co-founder is nearly always a good idea).


One of the most common misconceptions of a startup is that once you launch everything starts to go up and to the right.


That's nearly always completely wrong. Some things will work but most will not. If you've have poured your heart over the course of a year into it, it will hurt you really really bad and you'll think you've failed.


If it's just a few months it will hurt less, you'll get straight back to work and you'll be less likely to give up in the valley of despair.


Locking yourself up in stealth mode is akin to jumping out of the pack on the first stage (the big launch). The crowds may cheer but the riders who break away nearly always don't win the stage, let alone the race.


Startups are the same: they are a long battle up hill. The victory of the race is determined in the mountains not on the Champs-Elysees.


Launch now, stop wasting another minute and prepare yourselves for the alps of creating a great company!

Niki Scevak is the founder of Homethinking, a real estate startup based in the US, and Startmate, a mentor-driven seed fund that invests in small startups at the earliest of stages. He is based in Sydney.

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