Starting up and staying up: Start-up Lessons 101


Does this story sound familiar? Someone is struck with a great idea. This great idea gathers a groundswell of support. Soon people are investing in the great idea and – in the time it takes to edit an Instagram photo – a startup is born.

But heed this advice, ye fledgling start-ups: There are many pitfalls you must traverse. In an informative article entitled “10 Startup Mistakes and How to Avoid Them,” Laurence McCahill explores ten rules to abide by in order for a startup not to go down in flames – taking everyone’s dreams with it.

McCahill’s list distills a lot of tedious business advice down to striking, common-sense rules. Common sense, as it has been proven, can easily be thrown by the wayside in the roiling excitement of starting a startup. He bolsters his rules with quotes from industry leaders and innovators behind some of today’s most successful companies that were once startups themselves.

The advice is solid. For instance, especially when it comes to startups, the plan is to, well… have a plan! Having a clear vision is numero uno. McCahill explains, “Having a clear purpose adds some real meaning to your work, and a cause that people can rally around. It can also give your brand real weight as it has a reason for being.” And the big trick is to make your vision about more than a product.

A few other startlingly simply yet hard-to-follow rules involve money (and how not to follow it), design (why its role is critical) and listening (to your employees, your investors, your customers), just to name a few.

The glory stories of startups who went on to become global powerhouses are everywhere. But, in contrast, the number of stories about failed startups make the odds seem miniscule. So, when it comes to launching a startup, it’s important to know the obstacles you face, stay informed, stay true to your vision and consider asking for help.

We at the Ocean Group know a little something about startup success. We’ve been following some of McCahill’s rules for years. So if you have any questions, we’re here to help.

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