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Flying Animal

My Mistake Before With Build A Startup

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People like to talk about success, talk about how to succeed, and talk about how to achieve success. But few people talk about failure, talk about mistakes, and talk about how to avoid failure. Because failure is not something that people want to talk about, it is something that people want to avoid. But failure is an essential part of success, and we cannot succeed without failure. Today, I will share with you some of the mistakes our team made when we started a startup.

We have had great and excellent ideas and teams, and we have experienced very successful times. But why we can't continue to succeed? Today, I will share a few stories with you. I hope you will learn some lessons from the mistakes our team has made in the past. I am sure we have spent a lot of time and effort on the things we pursued, but we could not continue to thrive as we had hoped. It is truly unfortunate.

I hope that the lessons we have learned will help you avoid the same mistakes we made and make a difference in the world.

Find the right people

Choosing the right people is one of the most important factors. I selected good people but not the right ones. They did not share the same goals or vision as I did. When goals and visions do not align, we cannot go far.

The incident with Ilya Sutskever leaving OpenAI, in my personal opinion, also partly fell into a similar situation. However, it cannot be denied that changing perspectives can create something new. When your partner leaves the team, it is time to review the product, vision, and goals.

Adding a new person to the team is not necessarily the best way for a team to accelerate the development of a new product. It is very easy for conflicts of interest to arise during the core development stages of technology products. This can lead to some people leaving the team, and others staying with dissatisfaction. It is a really bad thing for a startup.

Everyone on our team was excellent, but they did not have enough time to dedicate to a startup outside of their main jobs, which prevented us from growing as strongly as we wanted.

Customer is the King

We Never assume that you understand your customers completely. Customers are not you, they have different needs and different problems. Listen to them, learn about them, and solve their problems.

A previous mistake our team made was not trying hard enough to understand what our customers truly needed and wanted. We focused solely on our product and forgot that our product needed to solve problems for our customers. We also neglected to consider how a product could address urgent issues and provide significant benefits to users.

Additionally, we were not aggressive enough in pursuing customers who were willing to pay. We dreamed too big and forgot that a startup needs revenue to survive. This was our biggest mistake. Pursuing a few paying customers to generate revenue is essential and urgent to help sustain a startup. Money isn't everything, but without it, a startup cannot survive in the long term. I am sure we lost a lot of money because of this mistake, as we did not have a stable revenue stream to cover costs such as servers, hosting, software, etc.

Technology is just a tool

The choice of technology is not as important as whether your team can use it to solve customer problems. Technology is not the goal; it is merely a tool that helps us achieve our goals. If we focus too much on technology and forget our objectives, we will not get far. Furthermore, a technical person lacking a specific technology skill does not mean we should not choose them, look at their problem-solving abilities and their capacity to learn.

Gartner hype cycle
Gartner hype cycle

Our team could have built an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) in 3 months with the technologies we knew, but at that time, we chose to follow the latest technological advancements we were unfamiliar with. It took us 6 months to build an MVP, which is too long for a startup to achieve a small value.

General hype cycle for technology
General hype cycle for technology

Build the culture

One of the most crucial factors for a team to thrive is its culture. A team with a good combination and a strong culture, ready to share, learn, and help each other, is the soul of a startup. While replicating a successful business model for a startup is possible, replicating a successful culture is challenging.

Retaining those who have been committed to the team from development to success is challenging but crucial for a startup. A team cannot thrive without the stability provided by those who have been with the team from the beginning.

Technical do technical

It is best for technical people to do technical work and business people to handle business tasks. Never let technical people do business work or business people handle technical tasks. Each person has different goals and visions, and if they work on something that is not their goal or interest, they will not excel.

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak are prime examples. Steve Jobs was the business person, and Steve Wozniak was the technical expert. They worked together to create a great product, one that a business person alone could not create, and one that a technical person alone could not create. This is the best combination between business and technical expertise.

But at that time, our team did not have a clear division of labor. We did not have a business person to handle business tasks, and we did not have a technical person to handle technical tasks. This led to a lot of confusion and inefficiency in our work.


Sign contracts and set clear conditions. Never rely solely on promises; trust in contracts. While a contract is not everything, it will help you retain some of your rights. Some contracts you might consider include:

  • Contracts regarding research and development conditions
  • Contracts concerning product ownership.
  • Agreements on profit sharing, non-disclosure, and non-compete clauses.



Each of us faces times when we encounter difficulties, failures, or even make the most wrong decisions. But the most important thing is what we learn from those mistakes and failures. Reflect, learn from experience, and start again.

The mistakes we made when we began are numerous, and we cannot detail them all in one writing. It is through experience and the practical failures that we have learned the most valuable lessons.

Albert Einstein once said :


Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.