Hiten Shah is the co-founder of a number of companies (Advaced Consulting Services, Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics) with his partner, Neil Patel. His startups have been both bootstrapped and venture-funded. He has also advised and invested in several other companies including Buffer, CircleCI, Rollbar, and Cloudability. When it comes to starting, building, and growing successful companies, he knows his stuff.
Mr. Shah is well known for his willingness to share his thoughts and advice at both conferences and directly one-on-one.
As you might expect from someone so deeply involved in the startup world, he has a lot of good advice for others thinking about or building their own small business. Here are a few of our favorite Hiten Shah quotes:
“You make your own luck, Every single minute of every day.”
“Focusing on you, your thoughts and things you can control is the best path to long term success.”
“Learn to say that you need help and don’t see it as a weakness. See it as a point of strength.”
“Build a product that’s greater than just the sum of its features because at the end of the day, it’s just as important to understand the reason why you’re building your product as it is to actually build it.”
“Thinking about your purpose is actually pretty crucial to your success as a company and a brand: Not only does it give customers something to believe in, but it will inspire your team to think bigger, and make your product better.”
“In my experience, human problems are the biggest threat to a company’s well-being, and it usually happens when there’s office politics, you’re too distant from your team, or you’re way too involved (two extremes).”
“Entrepreneurs being mentored have to understand that the individuals guiding them aren’t going to give them a breakdown of how to be successful in a few simple steps. It’s also not a one-way street, which means mentees have to engage as much as their mentors engage with them, if not more.”
“Keep in mind this simple rule: Mentors should be uncomfortable with the status quo.”
“I always say that most of the time in a startup you’re drowning, holding your breath and learning how to swim all at the same time. That’s because no one goes to school to learn how to launch a business–you just have to do it, and when you’re out there making it happen, you’re also making a million mistakes that, hopefully, won’t be repeated in your next startup (but there’s a good chance they will be).”
“If you’re thinking about launching a business, abandon the notion that Sean Parker’s going to take you out for cocktails and blow your mind in the first week. It’s really not ever like that except in the movies.”
“In one of my failed startups, a colleague said to me, ‘I kept waiting for some sort of magic to happen.’ The reality is that with a startup, you can’t sit around waiting for magic to happen–you have to just work your ass off instead. Talk to customers, build your product, get feedback, then do it all over again. It’s a cycle, and it’s hard work, and it definitely doesn’t involve magic.”
“True power as an entrepreneur comes not in having a perfect track record—it comes from effing it all up to the point of no return, then quietly reflecting and coming back with a smile on your face, happy that you’re getting a second shot.”
—Hiten Shah, Co-founder of Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics
Want more from Mr. Shah? Check out this “must see” video at TechCrunch.