The worst advice I have ever received as a founder!
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Boss leads employees to the wrong way

There is good advice, there is bad advice, and then there is utter rubbish. Founders from the region share advice received that had them tearing their hair


As the founder of a startup, sometimes you might feel as if the weight of the world is upon your shoulders. You’re starting a new company, hiring new people, interacting with new peers and trying to make a name for yourself and your company in an industry where yesterday’s Friendster can become, well…today’s Friendster, left by the wayside of the tech world’s journey to ever increasing levels of sophistication and utility.

In such an uncertain time, where it feels like your back is up against the wall and that every tomorrow could be the last, startup founders often look around at the successful people in their sphere. The people, who have weathered the storms founders currently face, who have against all odds made it in an industry that spits out the weak like so much gristle. People who have in their hands the power to help lift a startup to the dizzying heights or banish them to an eternity of detriment and failure. Founders will flock to events and seminars these stalwarts are at, hanging on to every syllable so as to glean the knowledge that made them the successes they are today.

A word of advice from such figures can be deemed sacrosanct, to be noted down and remembered.

Or maybe not.

It seems that while advice is equal, some advice is more equal than others and some is just plain garbage.

We wanted to know what was the worst advice founders had been given by investors, VCs, mentors or the like… so we found a few founders, interrupted their busy schedule and forced them to relive painful memories for our editorial pleasure.

Without further ado:

1. Mark Koh, Founder, Temploy

mark koh temploy

“Get it right the first time.”

“Pivot now because all these products in your space have failed.”

“You can’t code, you have no talent for startups. You can’t do this with hard work.” 

2. Ian Gregory Tan, Co-founder, Witching Hour Studios


“All you local game developers should get out of your ivory towers and not do your own IP.”

3. Kendrick Wong, Founder, Shoppr


Never cold email, it never works.”

“Don’t bother launching your product in SEA, go straight to the US.”

4. Kenneth Lou, Co-founder, Novelsys

kenneth novelsys

“Go and read a textbook about electrical engineering to learn slowly.”

“There are NO ways to market this; there are too many competitors out there in the market.”

 “Your confidence and passion is overbearing for the corporate world, tone it down.”

5.  Charn Manawanitjarern, Co-founder, Taamkru


“Worst advice given to me the night before finals pitch at Echelon 2014: Com’on, one more drink wouldn’t hurt!”

Echelon Asia Summit is now open for the Top 100 applications! Submit your startup now.          

This post was originally published on e27

Photo Credit: Shutterstock/ Boss leads employees to the wrong way

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Rahil Bhagat

About Rahil Bhagat

Rahil Bhagat is many things to many people :the last son of Krypton, The Dark Knight, The Iron Avenger and so on. He likes playing with shiny things and writing about them.

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