1. Don’t hesitate to bootstrap. Prototype the product and find a paying customer. That is the best validation of the idea and the product.
2. Raise funds to scale, not for the luxury of it.
3. Focus. Be something crucial to some people, instead of trying to be everything to everyone.
4. Hire people you can respect. Get the right team from the very beginning. Be ruthless about it and don’t compromise. It is better to slow down than to be saddled with a sub-par team.
5. Know your strengths and play to them. It is a good idea to keep an eye on competition, but don’t get distracted by that.
6. Get your hands dirty. Go out in the field and sell. Write the code. Do whatever needs to be done. It will instill confidence in the team you need to lead.
7. Have a handle on your intuitions and use them. You won’t always have the luxury of data to make decisions.
8. Don’t be afraid to make and admit mistakes. Give yourself and your team space to experiment.
Author Bio: IIT Kanpur alumnus Piyush Agarwal dropped out of his graduate program at Stanford University to return to India and start Aurus Network in July 2010. The Bangalore-based company is engaged in the area of SaaS-based learning and publishing and raised an undisclosed amount from Indian Angel Network last September.
Editor’s Note: This post is part of the Success Mantras series, a non commercial, editorial initiative with Indian Angel Network’s portfolio companies.
Top image credit: Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net