18 Pieces of Advice For An 18-year-old Startup Founder — Twitter Thread

Derick David

Image: Saira Shraf

An 18-year-old startup founder, Saira Ashraf posted on Twitter a few weeks back asking the Twitterverse of entrepreneurs what sort of “startup advice” would they give an 18-year-old version of themselves.

The tweet.

With a little sense of mystery, she adds,

“The stuff nobody tells you”

The tweet has gathered hundreds of responses from all over the world, including people who have raised millions, if not billions for their own ventures.

The tweet resulted in 801 responses, 736 retweets, and 4.1k likes.

If I would rate it, this Tweetstorm by Saira will likely go down as one of the best threads in the startup category in the history of Twitter.

I have found some of the responses incredibly mindblowing and jaw-dropping in my perspective that it inspired me to write a summary of the best responses I’ve read.

Here are the best 18 pieces of advice the Twitterverse kindly shared.
The stuff that nobody really tells you.

1. The best advice someone gave me when I was 19 and building my first “real business”: Share your idea open and freely — don’t be afraid someone will steal it. You’ll get so much relevant help this way! Being stealthy most often is overrated.

By Jillian Murrish @JillianMurrish

2. It’s all about execution. The idea I’m working on is not “revolutionary”. It just takes effort, hence not many people want to do it. Your persistence would make you successful, not your idea.

By Ishant Juyal @juyal_ishant

3. Go deep on at least one core area to building your vision. Product. Design. Engineering. Do all your own marketing at the beginning. Talk to customers. Talk to customers. Talk to customers. Build-in public. Google shit before asking for help. Ask for help.

By Elliot Koss @elliotkoss

4. Don’t look for inspiration. It doesn’t work. Train your mind to embrace uncertainty. If you don’t know something ‘figure out’ is your greatest strength. It’s about the people who join you on this journey. Patience and long term.

Ashutosh @ashu_trv

5. Ask for help (when you need one)! Measure the progress & do nothing for free. Nobody owes you a thing! It is harsh, but it’s true.

by Agam Chaudhary @mail4agam

6. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Do learn from them so as not to repeat them Don’t overanalyze. Try small, see what works. Re-iterate. Stay fit. Exercise, get good sleep Breakup with friends whose only life goal is ‘partaayy’ Laser focus on one thing.

By Dhairya Gupta @TheDhairyaGupta

7. Don’t be afraid to share your idea with others. It can be scary to think your idea might get ‘stolen’, but in reality, most people are too busy working on their own projects to start doing what you’re most passionate about. Ultimately, it’s how you do what you do that matters.

By Neil F. Dunne @NeilFDunne

8. Don’t think, build, talk to users, and iterate!

By aakash@hey.com @roguesherlock

9. Be wary of free advice. The kind where someone wants to commit a whole load of time for “free”. Investors are not necessarily experts in your company but do (generally) know the mechanics of making it a success. Listen to them intently and make your own decisions on the above.

By Bryn Morgan @brynmorgan

10. Try to fail fast. In other words, as soon as you have an idea try to validate it as quickly as possible. You want to sit and “perfect” your idea for months only to find out you’re not solving anyone’s problem.

By Pol Osei @pol_osei

11. It doesn’t matter how cool, clever or well-built it is if the person for whom it solves a problem doesn’t know it exists, or can’t use it

By Chris Maddern @chrismaddern

12. I started my first startup at 18. You’re often going to be the youngest and/or the only woman in meetings, events within your team or outside. Sometimes you’ll work twice as hard as others to be taken half as seriously. Hold on tight. No one can take this away from you.

By Vensy @vensykrishna

My personal favorite.

13. There’s a phase before you launch where you need to gather insight and inspiration. Protect this time and don’t let naysayers dismantle your idea and vision. Your vision is fuel. Protect it.

By Josh Durham @JoshJDurham

14. What works for other founders won’t work for you. No one knows what you’re capable of, including you. Luck has more to do with it than any expert likes to admit. Make decisions quick, don’t be afraid to fail.

By Douglas Karr @douglaskarr

15. Hire slow and fire fast. You can’t afford people to slow you down. Sell it before you build it. Get down payments, deposits, and commitments before you invest everything into something no one wants. Ask for help everywhere. Learn and network. Don’t quit.

By Mark 🇨🇦 @markg_117

16. Get a product validation before you build the product. Figure out who your customers are. Don’t assume, talk to your customers and confirm if your product solves a paint point. Can’t stress this point enough.

By Ram Harsha @kunchamcharsha

17. Be consistent. Doing something repeatedly over a long period of time is a competitive advantage. Let compounding do its magic. Anything you do (blogs, videos, code) compounds. Most people quit before they hit exponential growth. Iterate frequently.

By Hassan El Mghri @Nutlope

And the 18th one is the shortest response, yet the most accurate of them all.

18. “Patience”

By Shoaib .Ali @worldwideMSA

Final thoughts

Being successful often means learning from those who have already achieved their own goals. So, being surrounded by like-minded people who are either walking the same path or who have walked the path can be a life hack.

You just have to know where to find those people and make sure to listen to the right people. These 18 people have given such timeless and constructive pieces of advice that I would advise Saira myself.

These people have definitely put her ahead of the game already.

And it started with a simple question on Twitter!

Thank you for reading and I hope you find this story helpful and beneficial to your entrepreneurial journey! 💎

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