Are You a Startup Porn Addict? : Under30CEO Are You a Startup Porn Addict? : Under30CEO
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Are You a Startup Porn Addict?

| November 1, 2012 | 8 Comments

Startup porn, simply put, is a collection of entertaining, stimulating, and worthless activities that distract an entrepreneur from focusing on what really matters, hindering future achievements.

When I first started as an entrepreneur, I spent time on the damnedest things. I obsessed about logo colors, the right type of phone system for our office, and safeguarding us against even the slightest legal issues that could potentially arise in the future. To be transparent, I look back on those days and wonder what I was thinking.

Startup porn comes in many different forms. The question is, how addicted are you? Check out this list of 37 types of startup porn I published on Forbes: onforb.es/PCKbNX.

I’m six years into my startup life, and while I still struggle with distraction (everyone does), I’ve learned quite a bit about what matters – and it’s not startup porn.

1)  Startups stay in business based on revenue. It seems simple, but when I started, I believed everything hinged on creating perfect systems and a perfect product. Not true. More than anything else, your startup needs revenue.

2)  Startups thrive on income. I went through a phase where growth was the only thing that mattered. What happened? We grew fast. Know what else happened? We almost grew ourselves out of business. Without profits, nothing else matters.

3)  No one cares. This may seem harsh or jaded, but I have found it to be freeing. People have their own lives to live. They’re busy and distracted. They won’t seek out your startup to buy whatever you’re selling. They don’t care that your previous startup went under. Go out and sell, and don’t worry if you fail.

4)  Vitamins are nice, but painkillers are necessary. You don’t know you need a vitamin until someone grabs your attention and explains it. Even then, you won’t prioritize buying the vitamin over things you need. Painkillers, on the other hand, solve an immediate and important need. When you have pain, you seek out relief. Find business opportunities that don’t force you to create demand. As Forrest Gump would say, “That’s good, because it’s one less thing we have to worry about.”

5)  Be important to those who are important to you. Thanks to Warren Buffett for this thought. While it may seem obvious, it’s something to keep in mind. If you can’t figure out why someone won’t call you back, try asking yourself what you’ve done to earn a call back.

6)  Simplicity is paramount. If a plan sounds complicated to start, you’re screwed. If you need a ton of people’s permission to be successful, you’re screwed. If your startup involves distributing your product through a reseller, you’re screwed. If your ownership structure isn’t crystal clear, you’re screwed. Keep things simple. They’ll inherently become more complicated, but nothing successful ever starts complicated.

7)  Most importantly, cut out startup porn. Figure out what matters to your business and what steps are needed to accomplish those tasks – and then do them. Don’t spend hours following the latest trends. Don’t set up calls and coffees to make yourself feel busy. Delete “Funny or Die” from your bookmarks. Get to work.

Brent Beshore is the CEO of AdVentures , ranked #28 on the 2011 Inc. 500 list of the fastest growing companies in the U.S.

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Category: Startup Advice

  • CharlesAsh

    Flippin’ unbelievably awesome. That was like a shot in the arm of pure truth and reality! Thanks for that man…that was a wonderful read.

  • http://twitter.com/barrymoltz barrymoltz

    Very important post – busy is not Productive!

  • http://twitter.com/BrentBeshore Brent Beshore

    Thanks Barry and Charles. Glad you enjoyed it.

  • Richard

    Very good article.

    Have to add that because of the word “porn” in the subject line, it went straight to my junk folder. But glad I found It.

  • Pingback: [The VOICE] Entrepreneur Roundup: Porn Addict, November, James Harden & Hurricane Sandy » CEO Blog Nation Beta

  • adamslieb

    I debate whether commenting on interesting blog posts I read is startup porn….but I had to here. Brent I love this term, I haven’t heard it before, but will start using it frequently. The key message behind this can’t be reiterated enough. Focus on what is important, block out the noise, get to work….get it done.

  • http://twitter.com/BrentBeshore Brent Beshore

    Amen.

  • http://twitter.com/BrentBeshore Brent Beshore

    Thanks. Glad you enjoyed it.