New Year's Resolutions for a Start-Up Founder


What are some new things that a start-up founder should do next year?

If I was making a start-up checklist for 2010, what would you put on it?

  • Things you absolutely must do
  • Things you should avoid at all costs
  • Crazy ideas to try to see if they stick

Founder Ideas

asked Jan 1 '10 at 00:12
Even Mien
131 points

6 Answers


3 things: 1. Pick up the phone EVERY DAY!! (This is my ONE most important NY resolution) I'm in the enterprise space and each sale is sacred and is fully reliant on the phone for closing. However, I believe all web entrepreneurs should start using the phone more often to:

  • Call complimentary startups/businesses
  • Check in on customers/clients
  • Create relationships with key people at key vendors

etc, etc.

I spent too many years hiding behind a computer. There is tons of money to be made on the phone! *Never sit and wait for the phone to ring.

2. Engage in the conversation Use twitter, facebook, etc to engage in conversations relating to your business.

3. Be everywhere in your industry Write articles for publications, blogs, newsletters. Host teleseminars. Use twitter. Blog.

Some items specific to my business that might be cool for others too... 1.Ask for the sale and reverse/eliminate the risk This is killer in my business (only try if your product saves/makes your client money 100% of the time!). "Bob, I'm so confident that my product is going to save you $X in administrative billing fees every month, I'm going to overnight you a real check this afternoon, post dated 90 days from now for $1,000. If I'm wrong, go ahead and cash it. If I'm right, shred it and enjoy your extra $X every month.

2.Purchase 10 flip cams and send to clients for testimonials My competitor has testimonials from happy clients written on his site. In my industry, this is HUGE. A potential client sees big names, etc and figures it must be awesome. In order to outdo them, I'm going to send a video camera to clients (with return postage paid) and have them record a short video testimonial...then I'm going to lather them on my site. *First ask for written testimonial...then, include that in package as "teleprompter/guide".

3.Stand out to my clients When I signed up with PaySimple, they sent me a thank-you card and a $10 Starbucks card. I love those guys! I'd like to do something similar. Cards, gifts, thank you video? I want EVERY client to recognize my face and recognize my voice. period. (This will be hard for more mass market stuff...I charge a lot for enterprise billing solutions and have few clients)

Ok thats all I can think of. :)

answered Jan 1 '10 at 13:35
21 points
  • This is a great comment - wish I could vote it up even more. I'll borrow this as my new years resolution too if thats OK :) – Benjamin Wootton 14 years ago


Here is a checklist of 10 things you show probably do every month ; now is a good time to start.

In general, if you're in a reflective mood, it's a good time to challenge your own assumptions. Go find a bitchin' Devil's Advocate to argue against you.

answered Jan 1 '10 at 01:34
16,231 points


Delegate. Most founders understandably have trouble delegating. If you don't start delegating tasks, the business will start to implode because you cannot possibly do it all. You should start to delegate sooner rather than later, since, usually by the time you realize you need to delegate serious damage has already been done.

answered Jan 1 '10 at 04:24
649 points
  • True - especially for single founder. You have to delegate some work to contractors on oDesk or eLance to make more progress. I am still learning that :) – Web Thinker 14 years ago


Say "no" more often. No to complexity. No to new projects that are likely distractions.

Your biggest constraint as a startup is time. Guard your time maniacally.

answered Jan 1 '10 at 11:37
Dharmesh Shah
2,865 points


As a startup, it's not so much about New Year's that you should be focusing on, but every month and every week you should be asking yourself several questions, best outlined in the following two articles:

answered Jan 1 '10 at 01:43
4,692 points


I'm re-evaluating how I spend my time on the web. In a typical week, I'll read hundreds of articles and spend hours on social media sites etc, but looking back, I only took away a few core ideas which I'll be implementing in my business / life. Not the best use of my time at all on a purely productivity measurement.

On a related note, I really like this Lean Startup meme which I'm starting to see around the web. I'm going to be putting this into practice this year.

answered Jan 1 '10 at 02:04
Benjamin Wootton
1,667 points
  • One of the problems with saying you will only read useful material is that you don;t know until you've read it... As for social sites - they are all probably pretty useless and big time wasters. – Tim J 14 years ago

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