The highs and lows that come with being an early stage startup. This is your chance to get a sneaky peek into what it is like to be part of Collider accelerator programme and even grab a chunk of wisdom on the way. Written by Hue Painter, the COO from Unrival.
RIDING THE WAVE
As first-time startup founders, it’s the emotional journey that makes it memorable for us at Unrival – Super highs, and of course those painful lows, that we often experience in the space of a week, sometimes even within one day (or hour!).
But it’s riding this wave that keeps us going. The biggest challenge we’ve found, is staying focused, when everything around us can seem to be in a constant state of chaos.
We’ve found that as a tech startup, you are a beacon for everyone wanting to give you advice on what you “should do” which can become overwhelming (advice overload).
So we’ve found surrounding ourselves with a small, trusted group of coaches and mentors, helps to keep us somewhat sane and on track. This guidance has hugely helped us to filter the noise. You could almost call it personal counselling.
But and there always is – with serious reflection over the journey so far, 3 key lessons/pieces of wisdom that we have learnt so far – LISTEN NOT PITCH, THINK BIG and FEAR.
LISTENING NOT PITCHING
The Collider process so far has provided an intense number of opportunities for us to meet, and engage very senior people from brands that we never would have had the chance of meeting – if not for the programme.
The immediate thought on meeting these people is “OMG, I have to tell them everything about what we do, and show them how great it is”. The lesson learnt here is, that we have two ears for a reason, as doing 2x more listening than talking – leads to a better result for all these meetings. Internally we now call this “don’t show up and throw up” – sorry if this isn’t a lovely visual.
Definitely has been hard for us to digest, as you can have such tunnel vision and be so purely focused on solving the problem for one area that you miss the opportunity of widening the scope of your proposition. This is where talking to lots of people and listening can really broaden your horizon and actually uncover new concepts that you may not have thought of.
It’s good, but make sure it doesn’t stop you from taking risks. In the business we’re all in, we have to make tough decisions. The best piece of advice we’ve received on this is:
“Whatever you decide, as long as you can look back and for whatever reasons for that chosen path, you can be happy and confident in your choice at that time.”
The worst thing you can do is not make a decision because of the fear of failure.
So here we are in the middle of the Collider programme, and we can honestly say, we are excited by the next challenges that are most definitely going to be thrown our way. Bring it on!!!