Start-Ups: Three Dead Zones to Avoid

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Start-ups, the way more of you are earning a living, have three dead zones, says consultant Shaun Rein in Forbes.

  1. Paying attention to those who know nothing about your business. That's just it: They know nothing about your business. They're the kinds who might have told Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg that young people already had plenty of ways to connect. What you do is, sure, listen. Filter out what criticism might be valid and apply it to the model you're putting together.

  2. Not understanding your market space. Your idea has to align with demand, whether it's already there or, as with Facebook, you're creating it. The way to find out is to ask potential customers and clients what they need and want. The more people you actually talk with, the better. You can't get too much information. That's because that input provides insight into the dynamics of that market. Keep talking since markets continue to change.

  3. Failure to be the leader. That means you have to let go of many of the other functions in the start-up. If you want the start-up to grow, you have to put most of your focus on guiding it. That includes knowing when to jump in with course correction when things go wrong. The trick here is acknowledging your weaknesses and finding the expertise to accommodate them. You have lots of options, ranging from outsourcing on the Web to hiring full-time employees and giving them stock options. Research on the Internet how other start-ups get the actual work done.

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