Building the Community

Binghan and I had coffee with Richerd whom I had the chance to meet over at Startup Weekend. Richerd was part of the first few hires of HootSuite and he helped built the iPad and iPhone interface of HootSuite.  He shared some advices for us.

Valuation

Entrepreneurs always have a higher valuation of their company. Its only natural that because us as founders, we spent a lot of effort building our company, with all the lost opportunity cost, we would feel that we deserved more than what we are actually offered. Always.

Building the community

For companies that relies on users to scale the company, it is crucial to build the community first even before your product hits the market. Ties to what Vinnie told me few months back when I had a mentorship session with him. Community building creates a stronghold of supporters, early adopters, as well as evangelist for your product and can help a lot when you launch. This is something that startups don’t do often enough.

Importance of Marketing vs Product Development

Ties back to the second point which Richerd shared, he feels that business development is way more important than product development. Having built several apps which he thinks is the next million dollar business idea, which dint turned out the way he wanted, he says app development is easy. It is the user acquisition and marketing that is hard. He says: “I’ve been in your shoes where you are right now. You want all the cool features before releasing out to the market. But how do you know the features that you spend your time building will be used by all your users?”. To think that nowadays everyone is looking for technical cofounder.

As Binghan puts it, he is at a completely different level of maturity and prowess, in terms of technical skills, and experience.

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