The first two years of a startup are a grind, and that’s if it’s successful. If things aren’t going well, the grind can continue on indefinitely. Startups take a tremendous amount of time and energy to get off the ground, and it isn’t glamorous.
Here are a few things that are part of the first two years of the startup grind:
- Repeated customer discovery interviews
- Multiple pivots and iterations in the search for product/market fit (see Pivoting is More Common Than Expected)
- Tons of administrative tasks like getting a business license, health insurance, general liability insurance, and interfacing with lawyers
- Finding an office and getting furniture, internet, phones, and more (it’s a strange rite of passage many entrepreneurs go through dealing with the challenges of finding a good office with a short lease and flexible terms)
- Fundraising trials and tribulations to raise money from investors (raising money by selling products to customers is always best but sometimes it isn’t possible)
- Signing the first 10 paying customers that didn’t come from friendly introductions (think about doing Cross 10 Out of the Gate)
- Hiring a sales assistant and acting as the lead sales person, product manager, and CEO
- Achieving product/market fit and having confidence that it’s possible to build a repeatable customer acquisition process
This doesn’t include any personal challenges, hiring/firing issues, and more. Startups are a grind and the first two years are especially difficult.
What else? What are some other things that are part of the first two years of startup grind?