Keep Your Startup Out Of The Sand
An Engineer’s point of view on Pitfalls for Startups and Product Based Ventures
Setting the Stage
This web feature is intended to be viewed in order — top to bottom in the menu. If you missed the Introduction, you may want to go back to start there.
There are three general business types:
- Service – Where the company provides a service.
- Resell or Distribution – Where a company sells the products of other companies.
- Product – Where a company produces and sells its own products.
This is over generalized, and there are many actual companies that operate in more than one of the above categories. In this article, we’ll focus on product-based businesses.
A business (or Startup or Venture) that is the source of a product, where that product is intended as a tool to create revenue. A product can be physical, digital, or conceptual.
Take a minute and list all of your entrepreneurial resources. Really, write them down.
Your list should include all the normal things like: Money, Time, Friends, Service Sources, Mentors, the Internet, this Article, etc.. But think a little deeper — how about Brain Power, Enthusiasm, and people your friends know.
What is a “Sand Trap”?
Anything that consumes resources disproportionately.
( especially Time, Brain Power & Enthusiasm )
Buttercup: We’ll never succeed. We may as well die here.
Westley: No, no. We have already succeeded. I mean, what are the three terrors of the Fire Swamp? One, the flame spurt – no problem. There’s a popping sound preceding each; we can avoid that. Two, the lightning sand, which you were clever enough to discover what that looks like, so in the future we can avoid that too.
The two responses are so different. As you enter your own fire-swamp of new product ventures, figure out the resources and learn where the traps are.
Have you ever spent hours fiddling with a slide for a presentation? Or on getting a web page to look just perfect? Have you ever looked up from your email and noticed an hour had passed? Do you ever wake up at night worried about details in your company? These are all evidence of “Sand Traps”.
These are some of the smaller ones, but they are still important. This article addresses some much bigger ones that can’t usually be solved in an hour. The first step is to identify them.