I love it when entrepreneurs discuss what went well and what didn’t with their startup. 10 lessons from a failed startup is a public service to everyone who is thinking of going out there on their own, so kudos to the guys from PlayCafe for being open, transparent and honest. I disagree with those people who think there is nothing to learn from failure, and anyone telling you about mistakes you can avoid is helping you out.
- Find quick money first.
- Content businesses suck (or: do it for love and expect to lose money).
- Know when to value speed vs. stability.
- Set a dollar value on your time.
- Marketing requires constant expertise.
- Control and calculate your user acquisition costs.
- Form partner relationships early, even if informal.
- Plan costs conservatively and err on the side of raising too much.
- The key to negotiating is having options.
- Knowing isn’t enough.
Along with this, check out the excellent post from Guy Kawasaki’s blog on the first year financial estimates for Redfin (dead link)