In life we are taught to learn from our mistakes, and if possible, learn from others’ mistakes (and success) so we don’t fall in the same hole. Many entrepreneurs try to gain insights on successful entrepreneurship from friends with experience, and then check into the blogs (the many of them on the web) to see what is being recommended or warned against. As much as some of the blog content can be helpful, many times it just isn’t that useful or insightful – because the person writing it hasn’t gone through the experience, and hence something is missing from the post becoming “amazing” and viral.
If you are not on Reddit yet, then now is the time to join and make sure you subscribe to the subreddit Entrepreneur and Startups. Below are recent examples of content and threads that were discussed over the past weekend – and taught me more than most of the posts that I have read in the last month.
Honestly, for YouTube being as great as it is, I have yet to run across a great video series on entrepreneurship, and even if you or I were to find something on YouTube, beating Mr. Altman’s wisdom would be one tough cookie. Altman once lead a startup through Y Combinator and beyond, and is now one of the driving forces behind one of the most successful startup programs in the world (they don’t call themselves an accelerator). On Reddit, you tend to have fewer shameless shares of links for clicks to the person’s personal site, and more sharing just to share great content – like this must-watch series.
Content isn’t shared for clicks – but to spread the wealth
Personal stories – they are irreplaceable. When marketers talk about content marketing or story telling, this is what is being referenced to. The first thing is this is valuable information on many levels, and not only is it great content, but with Reddit, unlike with many blogs and sites, you can interact with the person behind the story. See how the person that posted does not disappear after posting, rather he/she sticks around to keep spreading the wealth.
Read the thread – understand a bit more about being an “entrepreneur”
Here is a case of someone sharing their own content (as can be seen in the comments), but it is also a case in which it isn’t “shameless self-posting” as loathed by Reddit users. Where else can you find people working together – that don’t even know each other – to improve on something.
If you have this question or anything similar, you’d probably go to Google. Not that doing that is a mistake, but asking this question and similar ones in Reddit gets you answers from people with insights. You don’t need to bother with weeding out answers that are not relevant and only appear because they know how to work against the system.
Get answers from those that know a thing or two
Spending money is a tough task and the difference between the right and wrong burn rate can be one of the factors that play a role in the company’s growth. In this post the OP (original poster) shares the different steps in their startup’s journey to success. In each step their is an explanation as to what took place and funds spent. The OP also shares lessons – good and bad ones – from each step. Yet again, something that we more than likely won’t be seeing on any mainstream entrepreneurship blogs.
The thought that an entrepreneur thinks to himself, “I can’t share my idea with you until you sign an NDA” is very overrated. It is difficult to copy an idea from the original person unless the copy-cat has just as much passion for the concept. In any case, no matter your stance on the topic, as you can see in this thread, the feedback available is awesome. Where else can you get so much honest feedback – and from people that have gone through similar experiences?
It’s tough to validate ideas without trying but this could be a first step
Ever felt as if you’re failing or that you are the only one with low revenues? Get insights from other people in the same situation. It may not help you overcome your own roadblocks, but it’s probably going to make you a little less tense – which is definitely a good thing. In this thread OP tells his side of the story of being part of 2 startups that seem to be slowly disappearing.
Words of wisdom from someone reacting to the story:
If you can’t pivot the companies, give up. Cut your losses and get out of there, because there’s no point wasting your life trying to keep a dead company alive. It’s like trying to save someone who got bitten by a zombie an hour ago. It’s understandable why you’d try to save them and hope they won’t turn, but realistically, they’re going to die and become zombies. Accept it and move on.
A good pitch, scratch that, a great pitch can get almost anything funded. At the end of the day even investors are human beings and can make decisions based on one factor and not another. Like in r/Entrepreneur, this is just a case in which someone shares something very useful (that should be saved on your computer for whenever) to everyone in the group – not shameless spam.
Every startup that is just being born needs beautiful landing pages. Who’s going to give their email address to an average landing page, when the name of the company does not strike chord with the person? Not only can you get a glimpse at a nice landing page, but you can also take note as to some of the feedback that OP is getting from the crowd. Note what he takes into account and what isn’t as crucial.
So really, start signing into Reddit on a daily basis and get feedback to your questions or just sit and suck in all the information like a sponge.