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Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup by Brad Feld, David Cohen

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Chapter 38. Don't Celebrate the Wrong Things

Rob Johnson

Don't Celebrate the Wrong Things

Rob is a co-founder of EventVue, a company that helps conference organizers by providing an online community for the event and driving new conference registrations. EventVue raised $500,000 from angel investors after completing TechStars in 2007 but ultimately shut down.

All startups have too many available choices. It's the fundamental challenge of a startup—what customers to choose, what problem to solve, what flow to present to the user. Several methodologies have recently emerged, such as Eric Ries's lean startups to help guide you through the critical market and product decisions that drive you toward the promised land of hockey stick growth. But these methodologies fail to directly address an absolutely crucial component of doing a startup: how to keep everyone excited about your company.

In my firsthand experience with EventVue and my experience watching other TechStars companies, I've come to understand that the magic to keeping and growing momentum in your startup is knowing what to celebrate. If you celebrate what matters when it matters, your team, fans, and investors will push you forward. If you celebrate the wrong things, you'll wake up from the celebration no closer to success.

If acknowledging and marking the accomplishment of the right things is so important, how do you know what to celebrate? It's always tempting ...

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