Matyas Mandik co-founded the software development company Pixelmate 6 years ago. The company focuses on custom-made applications and websites. He spoke about 3 most common mistakes from his experience with startups at TOA conference in Berlin. According to him, you should avoid following traps.
The Magic Triangle: Marketing - Product - Sales
Even though this might be a well-known and basic scheme, often happens that startups forget one of the triangle sides. For example, they have an essential marketing plan and they focus mainly on the product. But that is not enough. You might be successful with a low-quality product that is professionally promoted, but it rarely works the other way around.
When you are thinking about your customer, go in-depth. It is not enough to know who he is, you have to know how he is thinking, his age and what he is doing in the free time. The product itself should be simple, so you can explain and describe it in one sentence. The more functions, the less likely you will be to get it close enough to the people and at the end of the day, the less likely to actually sell it.
Small but Powerful Team
Most of the founders start with a small, powerful and consistent team. At the moment when the startup starts growing, they hire anybody who appears at the interview - simply because they are afraid not to have enough employees (especially with the current labor market situation). And then they end up with huge offices and massive payrolls.
Build the team smaller and rather strong, full of competent people. Give them all your energy, and instead of hiring average workers just to meet the numbers, pay training and seminars for those who are actually pushing the whole company forward.
The distracted attention
When the startup grows and its profit goes up as well, the founders will put more energy into analyzing different activities of the company. They focus on competition, their productivity and it can happen that they forget why they founded the startup in the first place.
Exaggerated racing and analyzing your performance compared to competitors usually distracts your attention from the important things. You should continuously realize that you build the company for yourself, your team and your customer. Not against the competition.