Learn from Others, Then Build

A friend talked to me about an early-stage start-up because I’m familiar with the space. He asked my opinion. The space has lots of downsides, the main one being the small size of the market. And it’s complex, which makes completing transactions difficult, labor intensive, and expensive. He said he wished the founder had chatted with me before starting the company. I agreed. I learned a lot about the space the hard way and would have happily shared what I know.

Something for founders to consider doing before building a new solution is seeking out founders who’ve already built in the space they’re entering. Lessons can be learned from the successes and failures of other founders that can save lots of time, energy, and money. Oftentimes those founders are excited to share what they learned with someone who’s equally passionate about the space. It’s an activity with a high upside and relativity low downside that anyone can do.