Stop doing that. And that.

"Hey doc, it hurts when I do this..." patient
"So STOP DOING THAT" doctor

Lean is about doing the right thing, not the hard thing. Not the thing that takes longer. Not the thing that the tail wagging the dog investor asks for.  In a world full of to-do lists, here is a list of things NOT to do when you are starting up. Explanations to follow. With inspiration from Patrick Leahy's recent post, do things that are useful, not things that are hard. Some things are both, but if you are doing something it HAS to be useful, it does NOT have to be hard.




  1. Write a business plan
  2. Raise one cent in capital
  3. Try and get featured on TC
  4. Chase a white whale partnership
  5. Make revenue projections
  6. Protect yourself from exploitation
  7. Make a top down market size measurement
  8. Make a bottom up market size measurement 
  9. Obsess over your elevator pitch 
  10. Brainstorm a name 
  11. Brainstorm on anything 
  12. Start optimizing text
  13. Start optimizing anything 
  14. Design a logo
  15. Attend a conference
  16. Look for a co-founder
  17. Look for anyone to join the team
  18. Form an LLC
  19. Try and protect your IP


Don't hurt your startup by wasting time. STOP. Hammertime.

***Some of these things may seem aggressive or even irresponsible. I will fill in the blanks with reasons when we top off the list-  keep in mind I am not suggesting that you NEVER do these things, just do not do them before you have done a proper Customer Development experiment and proven (or at least have a reasonable argument with some evidence) that you are solving an actual problem for actual people. 
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