Evan Dudla

Co-founder @nvite and CTO @letsmonitor.

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What I wish I knew starting off

Let’s face it: entrepreneurship and startups are hard. It pays off though because, as you make mistakes and “fail fast”, the knowledge you gain is tremendous. That being said, here’s some things I think would have benefited my journey along the way:

People needs (heads down) time to work

This one might seem obvious at first (and over-touted), but it’s important. People need time to work and, especially with product development, a significant chunk of this time needs to be uninterrupted. Context switching (taking your mind off a task to focus on something new) is very expensive. Most day-to-day tasks require a lead up period in order to “get in the zone” and truly be productive. Switching gears—a tap on the shoulder, a scheduled meeting, etc.—will require a re-focus and take more time to get back into the swing of things.

Don’t distract your employees/co-workers as it may be more...

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This is your captain speaking

Trust is probably one of the most important qualities a team could have—especially in a startup. Having an inherit ability to rely on your teammates to do, well, anything can free up a tremendous amount of your own time to do the things you love to do. When you trust your teammates, there is less stress, more motivation, and more freedom to explore your product and build something great.

In blunt terms: let them do what they are good at. Whomever decided that “two minds are greater than one” was right … but add another and you have “too many cooks in the kitchen.” It’s important for your team that those owning a specific project or specific technology can truly own what they are working on and be the decision makers that move it from idea to reality; this person is your captain. Too many hands on deck can drive your captain crazy and inhibit their ability to perform at their truest...

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Waking up from your dreams

Everyone’s said it a million times: You can do anything you set your mind to. Dreaming and setting goals are great for motivation, but achievement comes from something extra.

“I suppose you have all heard this cliche over and over again. It’s a phrase used more in sports than elsewhere, and probably used more than any other statement. The will to win. The will to win! As I’ve analyzed great champions I’m convinced that this is the something that makes the difference between mediocre athletes and great performers in the world of sports. It depends upon whether or not you’ve got this something deep down inside - this will to win.

"It’s a will to win, and not just a wish to win. I know a lot of people who have what I would call a wish to win. They’d like to go to the top. They daydream about the position they’d like to hold in life. I’ve seen it in sports. I’ve seen fellows in locker...

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