8 Startup Tips from co-founder of Rypple


Rypple’s co-founder and co-CEO Daniel Debow was SproutUp’s latest keynote speaker this past month. The co-founder and former VP Corporate Development and Marketing for Workbrain shared his experience in creating two successful startups.

For those who don’t know, Daniel sold Workbrain back in 2007 for $227 million.  More recently, Dan helped Rypple secure $ 7 million in funding.

During his presentation, Daniel shared 8 tips with those looking to create their own startup:

Why.  Know why you’re starting up your own business.  What problem are you looking to solve?  Most important, don’t do what you love because if you end up making no money you may start to hate the thing that you love.

Get started.  Make sure you talk to lots of people to get their advice and insights. Remember not to believe your own bullshit and learn to be humble.  Also, be open to trying, doing, and learning new things. 

Partnership.  You might be really good at one thing.  Be open to partnering with someone who is great at that thing you might be horrible at. 

People.  The number one job for any startup founder is to find a killer team. A team is only as good as the people who work there.  With this in mind, if you need to let go of people do it nicely.  Your staff might also go on to bigger things.  Let them and don’t hold grudges.

Money.  Dig your well before you get thirsty.  Develop relationships with potential investors and people of influence.  When it comes time to search for external funding, you want to make sure that you’ve already developed relationships with these people. Why? People won’t give money to people they don’t know. 

Metrics.  Be data driven while keeping things simple. This means be willing and open to iterating on bigger changes not tiny ones. In other words, think big not small.

Product.  Focus on what people want. Know your customer by keeping in touch with them.  And kill the stuff that’s not working or not being used.

Culture.  Trust + transparency + autonomy = high staff performance. Encourage feedback based on a culture of learning and sharing. Remember, creating a business is a journey.  Better to make that journey fun.

To learn more of Daniel’s thoughts and opinions on startup culture visit his blog at Rypple.