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A Better Way to Build a Company
Even though there are countless books and resources on starting a business, we still found ourselves floundering when starting our first company, "What do I do first?" "Am I doing anything right?" "Is this even a good idea?" It seemed like most of the support out there was for people who were already well on their way to building their companies, and we were still exploring our business ideas. In talking with hundreds of first-time founders, we learned that this resource gap wasn't unique to our team.
We also heard from the directors of several well known startup accelerators that many of their portfolio companies had to spend valuable time going back and redoing the groundwork, often pivoting in the middle of the program. Or similarly, we heard that their founders were ultimately unsuccessful because they spent all of their time and money advancing down the wrong path, having missed key learnings important in the earliest stages of company building.
Moreover, unfortunately, and for a variety of reasons, not everyone has equal access to the resources that enable startups to successfully get off the ground. There are clear divisions in who has traditionally benefited from the existing startup infrastructure based on certain demographic characteristics, including race, gender, geography and socioeconomic status. For example, in 2018 the investor group #angels found that, women account for only 13 percent of startup founders, and even worse, own just 6 percent of founder equity (article link).