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The Observatory

Top 5 rules for your tech startup

June 3, 2021

Authored by: Tony Pease, Founder & CEO

I have made a lot of mistakes in the tech space. One of the prime motivations for starting Carimus was to create a lower-cost path to success (or failure) I wish I had before dumping a ton of money into my project. I say “faster path to failure” because it must be acknowledged that most startups fail.

If you have an idea you can’t get out of your head, you need to take action. I’ve been there many times. The trick is to find if you have product-market fit as cheaply and quickly as possible and not to ignore the signals.

At Carimus, we strive to be the best application development company in Raleigh. We’ve worked with hundreds of companies building technical and creative solutions to help with their brand experience and digital transformation.

Along the way, we’ve built some rules we would like to share.

1. The riches are in the niches – 

Don’t be afraid to build something hyper-specific to an audience.

Content is generally trending to be more personalized and I am convinced that software and technology will be doing the same. In many of the projects we work on, the founders are eager to expand features to include adjacent audiences but this is unnecessary.

Do one thing great for a small group of people.

2. Friction is Bad – 

Correction; it’s typically bad unless you are trying to start a fire or slow something down. When designing the UX flow for your product, make sure every step the user takes is critical to what you are trying to accomplish. If it at all slows down traction, take it out.  Do you need a login?  Do you need an email?

At every experience meeting, ask yourself, What is the critical event and how can I get our users there faster with fewer steps?

3. Inputs are Errors 

Asking for users to enter information is the best way to have poorly structured data.

Before you disagree or insist there is no other way, create a simple form and ask people to fill it out. See if you can get them to answer it correctly without having to answer any questions. There are a lot of things you can glean automatically.  Avoid asking users to enter any information.

4. Don’t Self Fund – 

If you want to explore your idea, set a very small personal budget (Less than 25k).  Outside of that, you need to work on Grants, Pitch Contests and Raising Capital. Unless you are a serial entrepreneur and know what you are doing and the risks you are about to take, self-funding gives the illusion of progress without testing market value.

Fundraising is the first sale an entrepreneur should make. If you can’t get someone to invest it’s unlikely you have a viable business.  

5. Users before $$ 

There are tons of examples of businesses that had crazy user growth without any monetization. Be careful about trying to monetize an uncommitted user base. If you are building something that people love, you can find a way to create some economic opportunity.

If you charge before you have real traction and engagement, you will alienate your early adopters

About Carimus:

Carimus is a brand experience and digital transformation company with offices in Raleigh, NC. and Denver, CO.  Carimus provides services to fortune 500 companies. Carimus is an award-winning creative agency and software development company. We have been awarded Best Software Development Company in Raleigh and Best Software Development Agency in triangle RDU.  Carimus is a Veteran Owned Small Business.

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