Amazing how much a startup can change in 7 months. Since we last covered CoCollage last fall, this Seattle-based company has worked hard to improve the user experience around their already very cool concept – CoCollage lets you post photos, comments, and content to a digital bulletin board, all from your mobile phone, to create a community wherever you are.
As they’ve grown and added customers, they’ve really focused on the commercial applications, since this is a really great way for a retail store, restaurant, or bar to engage with their customers. CoCollage has been busy adding venues and making it easier for venue owners and event planners to set up and run the platform. They also launched a powerful new app and ad platform, and they drastically improved scalability, which CEO Tyler Phillipi said is opening up opportunities with distribution and advertising partners.
With so much going on, I asked Phillipi what he’s learned along the way. Here are his 7 tips to help you grow your own startup:
1. If you are going to succeed you can’t have failure as an option. If you remove it as an option, you figure out a way to succeed despite the opposition.
2. The startup community is full of smart, driven, talented people that are happy to help you, but you need to help yourself. Take advantage of their knowledge to help fill the gaps in yours.
3. Know what you need help with, be specific with what you need and don’t be shy / afraid to ask… no one will help you if you don’t tell them HOW they can help you… and then be sure to take the help that is given!
4. Nothing is worse than wasting someone’s time by not listening or giving excuses. If you don’t like what they are saying, if it doesn’t make sense to you OR you are not getting what you want from them, that is your fault.
5. When all the help in the world is received, build a good mental filter and weed out the crap. This comes over time but is drastically improved by increased knowledge and experience.
6. Try out stuff even if you are not sure, take a meeting that you don’t truly see the value in, talk to people who can not offer you anything but you may be able to help them. It only comes through working together that we all get better.
7. I do not believe in ‘Zero Sum Equations’; I believe that the success of anyone in the startup community builds success for the rest. We should all help out each other because it will help us all in the end.