The Antler program is awesome. With each day, I am more and more impressed by the cohort, the Antler team, and the program overall.
Here are some of my takeaways so far:
- A framework for creating and testing a new business
- The best entrepreneurs are those that are dedicated to solving a problem and are thus rigorous about continuously testing their assumptions and hypotheses.
- Idea conflict vs person conflict: Arguing over ideas is good and healthy, but fighting personally is bad.
- Consumer behavior is incredibly hard to change, so starting a startup that relies on behavior change is very risky.
- Investors want to invest in crazy, ambitious, disruptive ideas. So that if they do succeed, they succeed big.
- The criteria for investment differ from investor to investor, but among
the most important factors are:
- A great team (will they work together for the next 4-5 years? Do they have the experience to do this?)
- Market size for the startup (and market growth)
- Traction, particularly stickyness of users (do they come back? How much time do they spend on the platform/app/…?)
- The investor-entrepreneur relationship should be on an eye-to-eye level. You are not (just) asking the investor for money, you are providing them with an opportunity to be part of an incredibly exciting startup.
- Speaking of exciting, it’s incredibly important for early-stage startups to evoke emotion and excitement for their vision. It’s very difficult to tell if these early-stage startups will succeed, and so the investment is partially made on the excitement.
- More on excitement: Make sure to work on something that excites you. When you start a startup, you are committing yourself to that startup for the next 4-5 years. And you should be waking up excited for work every single day of those years.