Whatever you think of Peter Thiel, and he’s a divisive figure in high tech circles due to his support of Donald Trump, I have great admiration for what he has accomplished with PayPal and the PayPal mafia. So I highly recommend you peruse this advice from KnowStartup.com.
Of these ten tips here’s the one that I think most product driven, engineering-trained founders usually ignore and to their peril.
As I tell my mentees, “I believe anyone can build anything, but I don’t believe anyone can sell it.” Customer acquisition is the Achilles heel of many startups.
7. Master marketing and sales
Many techies do not have a deep enough understanding of the dynamics and inter-connects of marketing, advertising, sales and distribution, which vary in B2C and B2B sectors. Some of these activities are about creating impressions and attachment among users, others are about cultivating long-term relationships. B2B sales are complex and require ‘rainmakers,’ whereas ‘megaphone’ strategies like TV ads may be better for B2C products. “Selling your company to the media is a necessary part of selling it to everyone else,” Thiel advises, this calls for a clear public relations strategy.
The other area that few founders pay enough attention to is building a Board of Directors. Too often they put a friend or angel investor on the Board, or just leave themselves or their co-founder on the Board. So while number 10, is last, it is not least.