Figuring out early stage startups
In my first company, I tried to act extroverted, because I thought that’s what good leaders did. It was exhausting and counter-productive. I’ve found a more comfortable way of working and wanted to share a few thoughts and resources that have been helpful to me. The back-thumping, rapport-building, steak-and-strippers salesman is just one of several styles, and it’s not even the most effective. In fact, it tends to be actively harmful if you’re developing long-term relationships (like in large sales, long-term partnerships, and fund-raising). For all the research on this, check out SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham. The turning point for me was realising that it’s okay not to have all the answers. And finally, not all sales is created equal. I like YC’s attitude on pitching to investors: it doesn’t matter how awkward you are, as long as your startup is good enough. The one point I wanted to make before we get started is, we actually don’t spent a lot of time at YC focusing on this.
Related: Everything about Building StartUps