7 Lessons Every Startup Should Know

Starting up can be as cool as you saw in the movie “Jobs” sometimes all you need is a dream and a garage.

Mashable’s Samantha Murphy Kelly posted an interesting article on start-up lessons. We hope you take time to read through, as we are all out for more start-ups to come on board in Zambia and the region. Furthermore, check out our Zimbabwean site for articles on the recent startup challenge, Surge 2013.


This got me thinking of seven different perspectives of the same tips on how a local startup can benefit from these hints. In a nutshell, we learnt from her and the other Startups meeting in Helsinki, that you have to be:

  1. Be Open – to criticism whether from online pundits or potential investors.
  2. Differentiate yourselves – by not looking at what’s hot or not hot. Focus on creating something new and exciting that will disrupt current trends and sets the next stage.
  3. Keep Being Selective – many including us will offer advice. Be selective as your own vision and goals should be over-riding factor in decision-making.
  4. Get balanced – a well-rounded (grounded) Founder Team is good for a startup as it benefits from a wealth of skills, expertise, and experience. Diversity can come from differences in opinion, temperament, age, career background, industry experience or pastimes.
  5. Think beyond the present – this not only means adjust as the years end, but if your vision is to exit with an IPO have it in mind that your present needs might change and so have you.
  6. Forget the Competition – focus on your own internal strategy, execution and how you measure yourself. Keeping a thermometer on your competition every day will only burn you out.
  7. Market yourself – this not only means to users of your product, but to everyone your business will come across in the daily business of cracking it as a startup. They might be Government officials who sign policies, big Executives who allocate advertising Kwachas, or maybe they might be the next door neighbours who know a potential investor in technology who just happen to be throwing a braai. So have that elevator speech ready for any moment.

We hope you have additional comments or insights, especially if you are a Zambian Tech Startup and looking to grow your customers, investment or influence in the market. Leave your comments on our blog, we would like to hear from you on your unique perspective and experience.

Image Credit:  ‘Jobs’ movie screenshot