Suhail Doshi

Suhail Doshi quotes on startup Insights

Founder MightyApp + Mixpanel. Pizzatarian, programmer, & music maker.

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1

Startup vanity: Valuation, Press, Funding, # of Employees, Offices, Meetings w/ famous people, Meeting to give lots of advice Success: Revenue, Users, Word of mouth, Retention, Servers on fire, Emails asking for features, Meetings w/ users

2

Founders: we need the best engineers to work on our hardest problems! Engineers: I want to work on AI, interesting hardware problems, and scaling! Reality: hey, so can you make a landing page, make forgot about password, and fix these 3 bugs customers are complaining about?

3

The highest honor while building a startup is when people put your product in their resume as a skill.

4

I am pretty sure the biggest difference between a startup and a large company is the anxiousness one feels if they haven’t shipped something meaningful in a week. In a large company it is totally acceptable for an 6+ mo project to not ship. That cannot happen in a startup.

5

Startups vs 1K+ company: Two co-founders: “Hey, what you do think of doing X? Sounds good but maybe tweak it by doing Y?” Bigger co: Write internal doc Send doc to mailing list Everyone from mktg to legal chimes in VP reviews Features get added Re-org occurs Ships 1 yr later

6

One reason you cannot easily part-time do a startup is that so many of the best, clever ideas occur somewhat spontaneously. You sort of look at all the possible angles over a span of 12-18 months and one day, while looking at a tree, the proverbial apple bonks you on head.

7

Speed is a near universal value in most startups: speed to ship, speed of initial ux, speed of the app loading, speed of decision making, speed of hiring or firing, speed of customer support. Speed is your best defense while you have no moat.

8

The first 12 mo of a startup can be compressed to: 1. Is there demand & does anyone want this? 2. Is it useful & will they keep using it? 3. How do I get more people to keep using it? Interspersed w/ periods of irrational conviction & temp sadness despite nothing having changed

9

Every startup has a few seemingly impossible walls they hit: it could be churn, a deep technological limitation, a seasonality problem, no market upmarket, rising user acquisition costs, a new giant competitor, political regulation, or worse. It’s your boss battle to win.

10

All startups pursue one or more of these categories in the end: they (1) make you more money, (2) save you time, (3) entertain the hell out of you, (4) get you laid. The best ones are able to accomplish as many of the four as directly as possible.

11

All startups constantly go through waves of uncertainty ranging from does anyone want this to how will we make money from all these users? What I’ve found helpful is focusing on 1 problem at a time & commensurately doubling my focus on each sub problem as I go. This is all normal

12

The happiest moments of starting a company, for me, have often been (1) having no clue how to solve some challenge, (2) the momentary feeling of uncertainty/death if we don't solve it, & (3) the solution being discovered together with a few smart people. Have faith.

13

One of the advantages of a startup is you can focus all your energy into "Does anyone want this?", "Does it solve a valuable problem" instead of "How will this scale?", "Will the mktg team be happy?", "How do we price it?", "Is this consistent?" that larger co are encumbered by.

14

If your company becomes incredibly successful, you're now responsible for running a digital country. Your next stage of growth is attaining the skills of a politician. Engineer -> Manager -> CEO -> Politician

15

One tell-tale sign things are starting to go well in a startup is when you finally have users using the product more than you do. Particularly when the product is something you want too.

16

Note to self & future applicable startup advice: What do we say to the God of death? Not today.

17

One of the best parts I've had starting a company is in the first 12 months: you go from a casual observer of an industry or technology to understanding just how far the boundaries have been pushed to date. Then, you graduate into being forced to find a new way to bend things.

18

The great advantage of starting a company that has hard technical challenges is it’s much easier to attract the best talent later. The disadvantage is most people probably think you’re going to fail early on so it requires a great leap of faith from the first 5 people.

19

With schools, blog posts, programs, & videos, people are overwhelmed & over think the starting part of a startup. Just get going & do it! When you run into a problem reference the resources & use your network to guide you to overcome it. The self-imposed structure is a crutch.

20

Startups have these sweet moments where you step into a challenge, you have no idea how you're going to solve it, & you spend days/weeks trying everything you can. Then, a few clues & insights from helpful people create a solution. And all you want to do is a cartwheel after 🤸‍♂️

21

Every startup in the world has an incredulous moment where their viability is at risk due something inefficient but solvable due to licensing, pricing, archaic laws, or artificially limited tech. It’s still, however, a good filter amongst founders that are resourceful or aren’t.

22

I hope with more programmers, more funding, and more competition to build the same mobile/web app, that it will move the momentum for great engineers to work on harder problems previously seen as too risky due to longer time horizons. Being easily copied might be higher risk now.

23

When I go on a vacation/trip while building a startup, I often feel anxious: it’s hard to be present when you have clear & present danger that will imminently kill you. Conversely, I find that if all it took was those extra few days/weeks to kill the co, it was already dead.

24

Waitlist-ware: Software announced to the public that sit behind a waitlist but have no intention of releasing any time soon, if ever.

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