At the Lean Startup Seattle meetup last week, Madrona Venture Group’s Greg Gottesman explained the importance of entrepreneurial focus. After all, at least as the Seattle venture capitalist sees it, the best startup ideas are those “where you figure out what you can be the the best in the world at.”
That’s a tall order for sure. But starting out with that sort of drive and confidence is absolutely crucial.
“I think the biggest mistake that most startups make is that they try to do too much,” Gottesman said. He was joined on the panel by Brian Fioca, co-founder and CTO of RescueTime, and Kate Matsudaira, vice president of engineering at SEOMoz (and a past GeekWire Geek of the Week).
Fioca noted the importance of team, comparing the startup process to a marriage. “The hard times are a lot more potent than the good times,” said Fioca. Gottesman later added that creating a startup is kind of like having a child, noting that there’s never really a good time to have a child or to do a startup.
“It is learning to trust your gut,” said Gottesman, adding that the very best entrepreneurs have an innate sense of timing.
Each panelist also offered a little bit of startup advice. Here’s a quick summary of each of their pearls of wisdom.
–Gottesman noted that entrepreneurs should try to “find incredible folks” and then get into “their orbit.”
–Fioca said don’t get too set on your idea and trust others on the team.
–Matsudaira, meanwhile, said the key is to “listen to other people.” “Feedback is one of the most valuable gifts that you can get,” she said.
Here’s the video of the event — produced by Creative Branding’s Scott McLeod — which includes some other funny moments (including Fioca talking about “spooning” with Tony Wright and Matsudaira getting challenged to a Krispy Kreme donut eating contest).