Top 10 facts about running a start-up: MEST guest lecture series

admin | Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Each year at MEST, 4 times in a year, guest lecturers (mostly global entrepreneurs and business executives) fly to Ghana  to share their experiences – both successes and failures with the MEST community.  Last weekend (2nd  & 3rd March 2012) we were privileged to have had 3 entrepreneurs in the persons of:

Mr Ravi Agarwal – Founder of 2 multi million dollar software companies

John Hoffmire, Director of Säid Global Entrepreneurship Network, Oxford University

Jorn Lyseggen, CEO & founder, Meltwater Group

In no particular order, this post is a collection of some of the most tweeted about ‘tips & lessons learned’ shared by our speakers from the MEST community during last weekend’s guest lecture… I hope you enjoy them and let’s know what you think 🙂


1. Resource management: Founding members may have to go without salaries for sometime, with or without funding – managing resources is critical.

2. Idea execution: Ideas are not worth much, EXECUTION is everything!

3. Sales: Get beta customers! and find out if you can use them as references for real customers later on.

4. Sales: All founders need to  sell – no sales person may have as much passion as the founders would for their product.

5. Staffing: If you have to ‘let people go’, do it early, don’t wait too long. By letting people go early, you save each person the time and resources.

6. Staffing: You shouldn’t fire somebody until you make him or her feel there’s a possibility for him or her to be fired.

7. Value proposition: Have a very clear value proposition. What problem are you solving? Painkiller vrs Vitamins, which of the 2 describes your product best?

8. Team: Have a contingency plan if things do not work out between co-founders.

9. Culture: With the right culture, you can tap into other people’s capabilities.

10. Experience: Worthwhile things (such as starting a company) are never easy to do.

  • dinesh kumar

    By letting people go early, you save each person the time and resources. this is really very interesting Top 10 list, which is all time helpful for every age group.