The Startup Conundrum: Where to Focus?

Mitch Kline Profile Picture by: Mitch Kline, SVP, Licensing | April 3, 2018

Colleen Chien of Santa Clara University School of Law made an interesting presentation at South by Southwest a few weeks ago, entitled “The Persistence of Patent Trolls in Tech.” While the whole presentation was riveting, life is short, so I’d like to draw your attention to one of the concluding slides:

Of course, we can all agree that patent trolls are within the top three issues facing startups. Right?

But what are some of the issues with which startups should not concern themselves? Here is a sample of issues that didn’t make the top three:

  • Building a strong team
  • Finding a customer pain point
  • Defining company culture
  • Retaining talent
  • Creating a prototype
  • Iterating on a business model
  • Finding a product/market fit
  • Raising capital
  • Sales
  • CAC:LTV ratio
  • Finding a growth model
  • Scaling the business
  • Customer churn rate
  • Customer service
  • Finding a path to profitability
  • Burn rate / runway
  • Establishing a supply chain
  • Order fulfilment
  • Building long-term demand
  • Evolving management structures with growth

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