2 min read

Avoiding Gatekeepers

Too many temptations, too little time

David Cohen's blog post got me wondering: why are so many young companies (game studios included) vying to get into accelerator programs?

Is it really worth it to "pay for access", as opposed to going it yourself? Paying for access is an acceptable business model, but i think it attracts a wrong set of people. Namely, gatekeepers.

As a young studio, product and sales are everything. Having gatekeepers standing in your way is a huge nuisance, and it takes a huge chunk away from focus.

Here's a list of people I think, that every entrepreneur should avoid

  • connectors who introduce you to investors, who take a commision fee.
  • fellow entrepreneurs in co-working spaces who like to dig deep into your operations, suggest doing B instead of A, and "get rich together" (we've had some of those). Say no thanks, and walk away. I'll write a post soon about why we moved out of a co-working space.
  • event organizers. If everyone is focused on product building, it doesn't make sense to go attend an event, and get caught up in the startup frenzy.
  • wannabe advisors lingering around (physically and digitally).

Basically, anyone who's not a customer, avoid like the plague. What about a potential customer? Scout them out, and quickly classify them into A, B, C containers.

  • A for immediate sales
  • B for the next quarter, and
  • C for Marketing, via blog posts, follow up emails or even newsletters.

How do you classify? Using the Aura Test. Listen to someone for a good 15 seconds.

If there's an inkling of them being a customer, they're in C. For the next 15 seconds, decide if they're in B, or A.

For everyone else: say "thank you for your time", and walk away.

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