Tech City Life: 10 things I learnt from launching my first tech start-up (part 2)

Following on from his first five lessons, Sup app founder Rich Pleeth is back with more insights from life as a first-time tech founder...

Ex-googler Rich Pleeth is co-founder of Sup, the free mobile app that helps you see your friends more. In the second instalment of a two-part blog, Pleeth reflects on the key lessons he’s learnt since quitting his job and launching his first tech start-up…

Ideally, you’ll have read my first five tips, but if not, check them out here. Here’s the second part of my 10 top things that I learnt when launching Sup app.

From networking to keeping it fun, hopefully there are some insights you can apply to your own businesses…

6. Don’t underestimate the power of networking

It’s super important to be part of the start-up ecosystem, meet as many people as possible. I try and meet two-three start-ups a week to help them out, connect them with good suppliers, lawyers, accountants and ensure that I know and am known on the start-up scene.

There are loads of free networking events on meetup and Eventbrite, and the more you go to the more you’ll get invited to.

7. I’m not particularly good at anything

I’m a huge generalist and I consider my main job is to ensure that our team have everything they need to do their roles as well as possible – removing roadblocks, ensuring they have the equipment they need and taking as much hassle out of their lives.

Some days I have to be their assistant, some days I go flyering, other days I’m doing talks or raising money. You have to be prepared to get your hands dirty, not just delegate but do and ensure your team is happy.

Building a website for your business idea is easier than you might think. Our online tool ranks the top website builders that offer free trials.

8. My days are like the stock market

No one day is the same but each day has its ups and downs, hopefully it finishes on a high but my day is often filled with excitement, learning that we are being featured on the app store, or fuelled with fear when I realise we are going bankrupt unless we get this one deal in.

Realising that my first call is at 5am with a Chinese company and my last call is at 1am with a VC in the Valley means I am not in control of my diary and have to work strange hours.

Ultimately we keep ourselves focused on our aim of making the world more social but I would be lying if I told you it’s not tough.

9. My friends don’t quite realise how hard running a start-up is

My friends are awesome and supportive, they are so pleased I’m doing something I love but some assume since we raised money, that we are guaranteed to be a unicorn, that I must be making a ton of money. The reality is extremely different but it’s fantastic to have such supportive friends.

10. Ensure you have a lot of fun

Ultimately you should only do a start-up if you love it, and I really do. I love our team, particularly my co-founder Alex who I spend 15-19 hours a day with, I’m so privileged to work with someone so smart and someone who is able to plug all my weaknesses. We have regular team nights out, lots of jager when we have tough days and have a daily X-box tournament (unfortunately I am no longer the best).

That’s it for my top tips, hope you like them! Any questions let me know @richpleeth

Don’t forget to recap on part one if you missed out…


(will not be published)