11 Lessons after 11 Years in the Startup Industry - GO.CO Blog

Before .CO launched, entrepreneurs around the world had to finagle their web addresses when it came time to launch a business website. They had to settle for URLs that didn’t quite match their company name or branding.

Then when the .CO extension became available on a global scale 11 years ago, it changed the game for innovators and entrepreneurs worldwide. The two-letter, top-level domain became accessible to all creators, giving them the opportunity to establish a digital presence with a short, memorable and credible URL—one that actually aligns with their company’s name and branding.

More than two million registered domains later, including some of the hottest tech startups and game-changing ventures around, the founders who opted for the newer, sleeker TLD can attest to the value of going with .CO. 

Here are some of the top lessons gleaned from their startup journeys, and ours —tips that can guide you as you grow your own business, online and beyond:

  • Lesson #11 – Keep Your Eye On The Prize: For all you Start-ups getting Angel and Venture Capital money to support your grand ideas, we say, honour the dollar. Track your burn rate and spend wisely. Don’t obsess over it but do understand what investments make sense.
  • Lesson #10 – Know Your Industry Jargon: Don’t struggle in a meeting when people use acronyms or words you don’t understand. Do your research and brush up on the top used startup jargon here.
  • Lesson #9 – You’re in this for the long game: You don’t need to swing for the fences every time you get up to bat. Be conservative and build a business model that will be sustainable for the next 25 years.  
  • Lesson #8 – Listen first – speak later: If you have a good team, listen to their suggestions and advice. Be open to new innovations and changes to your products, sales approach, and marketing strategy.
  • Lesson #7 – Hire the Right Team: Your only as good as the team you have. Hiring right is an important factor for the long-term success of your business. Invest in not just qualified talent, but individuals who will bring the right energy and morale to your venture.
  • Lesson #6 – Mental health matters: Do what is good for the soul. Don’t ignore mental tension, stress, anxiety, panic, imposter syndrome and fear.
  • Lesson #5 – It’s Okay to make mistakes: The more you fail, the more you learn. Success is the ultimate goal but we don’t get there without overcoming hurdles. Remember each failure is bringing you that much closer to realizing your dream.  
  • Lesson #4 – It’s OK to walk away: If your business makes you unhappy, if you hate going to work every day, if you can’t get up in the morning, if you are stressed out and going to work doesn’t spark joy, do yourself a favour and walk away. Knowing when to pivot or change your course completely can be your best decision yet.
  • Lesson #3 – Perfection is the enemy of progress: You’re never going to get it perfect on the first try. But be sure to balance your initiative’s “readiness” with agility and speed.
  • Lesson #2: No Guts No Glory: To be a business owner you must have GUTS. Being a business owner is about being a LEADER.  It is about forging ahead against all odds sometimes because you believe in YOUR VISION and in your dream.
  • Lesson #1 – Get started: If you’re waiting for the right time, it’s right now. Our biggest lesson in the past 11 years – stop waiting and get started!  

The underlying theme of all the above is to never settle and be bold, especially when it comes to branding and establishing a digital presence. Your business is going to be around for a long time so make sure you secure a domain as unique and memorable as your one-of-a-kind idea.

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