Jori Lallo is Co-Founder and developer of San-Francisco-based Inc, a place to share news, ideas and knowledge with your company.
Try being open and honest with customers about the size of your company. From the start we have always put or own names and faces in front of our users in an effort to be open with them. Not trying to fake the appearance of being “big” when we were not has been extremely useful for us. We have friendly chats with our users so they get to know us and know what to expect from a two man team.
Also, shipping constantly, in small batches, keeps you and your users excited about the product and the progress you’re making.
We have always done our first small launches in Hacker News (including with Kippt). People in that community know you’re new and they provide valuable feedback. These launches have also lead to coverage in tech blogs as well as valuable sales leads.
Focus is always the problem. There’s so much to do and nobody telling you what to do to succeed. We try to stick with Y Combinator’s advice and concentrate on writing code and talking to users, especially now when we’re still early with Inc.
I’m a big believer in a proper work-life balance. I seriously can’t even do insane hours. Dinner and beers with friends every once in a while gives your brain a break (if you remember not to talk about work). Also, using a bike for commuting in San Francisco is a great way to start and end the day.
I believe in people who build and are able to ship things. The best people I know have faced startup death so many times but are unable to let their companies die.
We were part of Y Combinator’s Summer 2012 batch which has helped us a lot but fund raising is still extremely hard and time consuming.
I have always been interested in taking things apart and building new things. When I started building for the web and saw how I could improve other peoples lives, there was no going back.
During my last year in school I started an entrepreneurship society with few of my friends. It got huge traction and is now Finland’s leading force behind building startup culture after 4 years. That experience really sucked me into the startup culture.
I wish that we would have had stronger product focus on some occasions but it’s never easy.
Definitely moving to San Francisco from Finland to do a startup internship was the craziest and most fun experience of my life.