Marcus Robinson is the Chief Experience Officer of an interactive software company, Monscierge.
His startup is still alive, but like many companies, it had to overcome its fair share of near-death experiences and mistakes.
Robinson reflected on four big things his company did wrong along the way that are mistakes most startups make. He shared them with Inc:
1. "We made it about us."
Initially, Robinson's team wanted to create one cookie-cutter app for hotels to offer to guests. He learned instead to cater to the hotels and use their branding instead.
"No hotel will ever say, 'Valued guests: Download our mobile app. It's called Monscierge,'" he reflects."We realized we just want to play in the game…and are happy bo be a (paid) cog in the machine.
2. "We hired 'star' industry leaders"
Sometimes, corporate executives don't add as much to a startup as you might think, says Robinson. They might not understand the grind it takes to make a startup work, or which tactics work in a startup versus a larger company.
"Don't ignore the inner voice inside saying, 'That doesn't sound right, but this industry cowboy must know what he's talking about,'" says Robinson.
3. Lack of focus
It's easy to get distracted when you run a startup and try to build too many things at once. This hurt Robinson's company. "Stay laser-focused--don't let compliments and a little up-front cash veer you off course from the bigger payday," Robinson writes.
4. "We assumed we knew our customer's problems."
"Sell yourself and you'll also sell your products."
For more mistakes that sink startups, check out: 33 Major Fail Tails from Startups That Died >
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