The most important thing I’ve learned in my 2.5 years since starting Pristine is the power of clarity. Looking back, it blows my mind how unclear I was with all of our stakeholders - employees, customers, and investors - and even myself in my first year.
I see a similar lack of clarity when I speak with super-early stage first time founders. There’s a simple litmus test to determine clarity:
If it can’t be said in one sentence, it’s not clear.
So my advice to early stage entrepreneurs is to have a one sentence answer to all of the following questions:
- Besides raising capital, what are the 3 most important things that you need to accomplish in the next 6 months?
- What are are the ideal strengths of your first 5 employees?
- Based on the amount of capital you want to raise and assuming no revenue, how much runway do you have?
- Are you default alive, or default dead?
- What does your business do?
- Why does your business exist?
- Why are you going to be better than the next best alternative?
- Why won’t the next best alternative copy and kill you?
- How big is the market? Please provide a bottoms-up analysis.