Building a startup is daunting, especially when you're all alone in the monstrous ocean. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the challenges. So, it’s important to stay motivated and inspired.
I’m presenting a list of startup related quotes I picked from the book Build, by Tony Fadell. These powerful quotes for startup founders will sure give you the much-needed motivation to achieve your goals. Click here for Build book summary
Build is one of the best startup books. And this is a collection of quotes on startup from the book to inspire you and keep you motivated.
Time to dive in.
Table of Contents
1) When you’re early in your career (or life), the worst that can happen is probably moving back with your parents.
2) To build something meaningful, you have to try and fail and learn by doing.
3) You won’t really learn until you start walking down the path yourself and seeing where it takes you.
4) Follow what you’re naturally interested in, then take risks when choosing where to work.
5) Follow your curiosity rather than a business school playbook about how to make money.
6) If you’re going to throw your time, energy, and youth at a company, try to join one that’s starting a revolution. Take whatever job you can at one of those companies.
7) You have to get your hands dirty. You have to care about every step, lovingly craft every detail. You have to be there when it falls apart so you can put it back together.
8) If you’re passionate about something, something that could be solving a huge problem one day, then stick with it.
9) The only thing that can make a job truly amazing or a complete waste of time is the people.
10) Focus on understanding your field and use that knowledge to create connections with the best of the best, people you truly respect.
11) Make a connection. That’s the best way to get a job anywhere.
12) You can always trade and barter good ideas; you can always be kind and find a way to help. The key is persistence and being helpful.
13) Don’t focus only on the work. Look beyond the next deadline and forward to all the milestones coming up.
14) Get out of your comfort zone and away from the immediate team you’re on.
15) You’re not on a self-serving mission to understand how quickly you should cut and run. You’re trying to understand how to do your job better.
Build Your Career
16) You don’t have to be a manager to be successful.
17) Becoming a manager is a discipline.
18) Honesty is more important than style.
19) Don’t worry that your team will outshine you. In fact, that’s your goal.
20) The outcome is your business. How the team reaches that outcome is the team’s business.
21) Every decision has elements of data and opinion, but they are ultimately driven by one or the other.
22) It’s not data or intuition; it’s data and intuition. You need both. You use both.
23) When you’re making something new, there’s no way to definitively prove that people will like it.
24) Storytelling is how you get people to take a leap of faith to do something new.
25) Stick-to-it-iveness is an important value. However, sometimes you just need to quit.
26) Once you do decide to quit, make sure you leave in the right way. Find a natural breakpoint in your project – the next big milestone – and aim to leave then.
27) Finish what you can, clean up what you can’t, and transition it to the next person.
28) People won’t remember how you started. They’ll remember how you left.
Build Your Product
29) The actual product is only one tiny part of an intangible, overlooked user journey.
30) Each phase of the product journey has to be great in order to move customers naturally into the next.
31) Your product, marketing and support have to continually communicate and connect with your customers.
32) Prototype the full customer experience as much as possible. Make the intangible tangible.
33) Every product should have a story, a narrative that explains why it needs to exist and how it will solve your customer’s problems.
34) A good product story appeals to people’s rational and emotional sides, and it focuses on the “why.”
35) Once you have a strong answer for why your product is needed, then you can focus on how it works.
36) Product’s story is the sum of what people see and feel about this thing that you’ve created. Its design, its features, images and videos… everything.
37) If you’re going to pour your heart into creating something new, that should be disruptive.
38) But it shouldn’t be so disruptive that you won’t be able to execute, and not so easy that nobody will care. The key is to find the right balance.
39) Refine what you made, using data and insights from actual customers and double down on your disruption.
40) And when the competition starts nipping at your heels, you have to do something new. You have to fundamentally change who you are. You have to keep moving.
41) There’s always a chance that the vision you valiantly clung to turns out to be wrong. At that point go back and, as painful as it is, honestly and thoroughly analyse why you failed.
42) You may not come back from the disaster. But the only way to move forward is to do an honest accounting of the past.
43) You need constraints to make good decisions and the best constraint in the world is time.
44) The way you keep everyone moving is by creating strong deadlines.
45) Each team’s deadline will be different, whatever works for them. And to keep the project going, every team will need to produce its own deliverables at its own pace.
46) It takes longer than you think to find product/market fit, to get your customers’ attention, to build a complete solution, and then to make money.
47) No matter what you’re building, you’ll almost certainly not make any money with V1.
48) Until you optimize the business, not just the product, you can never build something lasting.
Build Your Business
49) Before you commit to executing on an idea, commit to researching it and trying it out first. Practice delayed intuition.
50) To make better decisions, you need to slow down.
51) If an idea is going to eat up years of your life, you should at least research it, build out enough business and product development plans, and see if you’re still excited about it.
52) You’ll uncover all the ways it can go wrong; you’ll know the million things that might kill this idea and your business and your time. Knowing what can kill you makes you stronger.
53) You'll never know if you're ready until you take the leap and try.
54) There’s nothing that prepares you for starting a startup except working at a startup.
55) You need a working knowledge of each discipline; not to be an expert in each, but to understand who you should hire, what their qualifications should be, where to find them, and when you’ll need them.
56) Your founding team should be anchored by great people who are so good and so well loved that they can almost single-handedly build large parts of your org.
57) Every time you raise capital, think of it as a marriage.
58) Once you take money from an investor, you’re stuck with them. A VC can fire a founder, but a founder can’t fire their VC.
59) Start the pitching process when you don’t actually need money.
60) The bulk of your focus should be for consumers or business. Not both.
61) When you’re creating something disruptive and new, you will at some point face a complete disaster.
62) When the time comes, focus on how to fix the problem, not who to blame.
Build Your Team
63) Breaking down who you need, how to hire them, how to build team processes and ways of thinking is just as important as building the right product.
64) A near-perfect team is made up of smart, passionate, imperfect people who complement one another
65) The best teams are multigenerational. But that doesn’t mean hiring should be a free-for-all. You need a process.
66) At some point, growth will break your company.
67) To keep breakpoints from actually breaking your company, put management changes in place early.
68) The only way to make a really good product is to dig in and explore all the possible options.
69) There are no perfect designs. There are always constraints. But you choose the best of all the options – aesthetically, functionally, and at the necessary price point.
70) The ultimate job of marketing is to find the very best way to tell the true story. The best marketing is just telling the truth.
71) Building a product is like making a song.
72) Everything is connected to everything, so everything must be understood together.
73) Building culture in a startup should be based on relationships rather than transactions.
74) A great lawyer will help you identify roadblocks, then move around them and find solutions.
75) When considering your first legal hire, hire for specific legal specialties, for what's at the core of your company.
76) Some days, it's high school. Some days, it's kindergarten.
77) If you want to build a great company, you should expect excellence from every part of it.
78) You don't have to be an expert in everything. You just have to care about it.
79) The job is to give a shit. To care. About everything.
80) As CEO, you set the tone for the company.
81) Everyone needs a boss to be accountable to, and coaches who can help them through difficult times. That's why businesses have a board of directors.
82) Sometimes, a board does its most important and least pleasant job: they remove the CEO.
83) You want board members who are truly deeply excited by what you're making. You want a board that loves your company. And that your company loves back.
84) Getting benefits right is crucially important for your team and their families. Perks are a very different matter.
85) And if the primary way you're attracting talent is through perks, times will absolutely get tough. As the number of perks increase, people's reason for being at their job can blur.
86) A CEO is not a king or queen. It's not a lifetime appointment. At some point, you have to step down.
87) In the end, there are two things that matter: products and people. What you build and who you build it with.
And those were all the startup founder quotes I have for today. These are some of the best startup quotes I found in the Build book
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