What single piece of advice would you give to entrepreneurs starting out with a new startup idea?

aztimesaver ‏@aztimesaver: What single piece of advice would you give to entrepreneurs starting out with a new startup idea?

ANSWER:

People always make entrepeneurship unnecessarily complicated. Here’s what people often ask me.

“I have an idea. Should I get a lawyer and incorporate?”

“I have an idea. Should I patent it?”

“I have an idea. When should I get an accountant?”

“I have an idea. How do I find a good business partner because I don’t know business so well.”

“I have an idea. How much equity should I give employees?”

“I have an idea. Can you introduce me to venture capitalists or maybe you can put in money?”

These are all bad questions.

The questions I always ask back is:

– is the minimal feature product built yet?

– do you have users or paying customers? i.e. does anyone even want what you have to offer?

So the best advice is to be able to answer yes to those two things before you ask any other question. And if you are doing a service business (i.e. there is no product), then the most important question to ask yourself is: do you have a single customer willing to pay for your service? That’s the only thing you need to focus on.

I think with my last company, I officially incorporated the day before I sold the company. And that’s the first time I needed a lawyer for it.

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