What’s your differentiator?

This is a modest question loaded with the possibility of failure if not answered correctly. What makes you different than your competition? Do you know your competition? You do have competition, right?

What’s the biggest mistake startups make?

It’s funny how people spend an incredible amount of time building their startup, from design & development to finding VCs and marketing yet miss one fundamental piece of the puzzle.. community.

Apple has a set of core values that surround the premise of using those around you as resources for your success, that it’s never a problem to ask questions, in fact, one of their tenants is actually, I don’t know, let’s find out. The idea being that we cannot possibly know everything, and admitting this, utilizing the knowledge of those around, is pertinent to your growth.

Which brings us to the title of this article.

What’s the biggest mistake startups make? In our humble opinion, it’s not tapping into the startup community itself. Talking with those who have already gone through many of the issues you’re about to face. Building alliances and friendships that allow you to feel an invisible parachute of knowledge and understand from your kin.

Now we should stress, we subscribe whole-heartedly to the adage, Give Before You Take, so please don’t confuse our belief that a startup community can give you everything you need without giving something first. Reminds us of this little image.

How does one get involved with their local startup community?

It’s actually pretty straight forward.

First, we recommend you getting in touch with your local Startup . We have a Startup Calgary organization that helps entrepreneurs and startups find their path. They host a variety of events throughout the year, have a slew of volunteers and involve themselves deeply in the community. Basically, they know everyone. Think of it as a Chamber of Commerce for Startups. Plan out your calendar to hit up a bunch of events and network/ make friends (emphasis on the second part), see how you can be of service to them.

Second, make a list of startups in your city that you like/ intrigued by and simply touch base with the founders. Ask them out for coffee, ask them what their current needs are. Here at Work Nicer, we have an event called [email protected] every Wednesday where our members meet for 10 minutes over coffee, and tell everyone what they’re looking for, ie. Designer, introduction, VC help etc.. the idea being that we become an extension of your network. This is what your co-working space should be in the first place, btw

These two tasks will get you started and get you giving. Hope this helped, message us if you have any questions.

We get so wrapped up in the nuances of our businesses, the How To’s and What If’s that we forget the greatest resource available.