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9 Software Startup Founder Quotes that Inspire

Launching a successful tech startup takes a specific blend of innovation, fearlessness, determination, and some great planning skills. Even if you’ve got a brilliant idea, taking that first step is still intimidating. While using a compilation of quotes for motivation might be on the cheesy side, we think it’s a great way to get a glimpse into the minds of tech startup founders who overcame the same hurdles you’re facing right now. Here’s a compilation of some of the best tech startup founder quotes on the internet today.

Startup Founders Views on Success

1. “Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.”

— Guy Kawasaki, AllTop Co-founder

The idea is a spark. But anyone who has built their first campfire knows that it’s not easy to get from a spark to a roaring blaze. There are things you need to know about fire, methods that work best, and a blend of precision and patience required. It’s most effective if someone shows you how to do it the first time. That’s what we do for our clients. We guide them down the path from idea to execution to launch, because we know how, we’ve done it before, and we’re focused on their long-term success.

2. “You don’t need to have a 100-person company to develop that idea.”

— Larry Page, co-founder of Google

As they say, quality over quantity. While having the help of a team is undoubtedly valuable, not everyone should get caught up in trying to build an entire company to develop the idea. In fact, you don’t even need a Chief Technical Officer right away.

3. “Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.”

— Drew Houston, co-founder of Dropbox

Who doesn’t fear failure? One of the keys to avoiding software development failure is to worry less about success and more about service. Are you serving your users’ needs? Are you focused on how your product solves their problem or improves their lives? Success will follow this customer-centric thinking.

4. “You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.”

— Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple

Many Apple products have been met with skepticism at launch. Yet these same products were eventually seen as revolutionary game-changers. Innovation is the lifeblood of tech startups — learn to spot customers’ needs before the demand comes rolling in. This isn’t just a guessing game. There are actual exercises, focus groups, and other effective methods for figuring out what users need and how to best give it to them. These are the types of discoveries we make in The Innovation Lab.

5. “The best startups generally come from somebody needing to scratch an itch.”

— Michael Arrington, founder of TechCrunch

Have you ever thought “I wish there was a single place where I could get news about the tech industry because it’s hard to keep up with its breakneck pace”? That’s the itch that TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington scratched 15 years ago. To this date, the site garners millions of page views from its dedicated followers.

6. “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

— Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft

An unhappy customer is an unpleasant experience, but just as Bill Gates said, they’re also a great learning experience. A tech startup only finds success when it fulfills its customers’ needs. When someone’s unhappy, it’s on you to figure out what you have to do to change that.

7. “Every day that we spent not improving our products was a wasted day.”

— Joel Spolsky, CEO of Stack Exchange

No software product or app is ever finished. Industries change, user needs evolve, and even the technology gets updated or outdated. If you don’t keep a careful eye on your software product, your customers, and the technologies your product depends on, it will break or become obsolete. As we like to say, trying to save money by skimping on software maintenance only means you’re willing to pay a greater price down the road.

8. “Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.”

— Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter

This quote, tweeted by the co-founder of Twitter, is a great reminder to anyone beating themselves up over someone else’s success. Always remember that you only see what they want you to see, and none of the blood, sweat, and tears poured into it. Focus on your own endeavors and you’ll find your own success eventually.

9. “We stay true to our values, and that’s very people-centric, and taking care of our drivers, and drivers taking care of our passengers, and what we’re seeing now is a driver preference and a passenger preference for Lyft.”

— John Zimmer, co-founder of Lyft

In this interview with Vanity Fair, the co-founder of Lyft highlights an important component of Lyft’s success. No matter where you are on the roadmap, never lose sight of your values and your principles — other people can copy features, processes, or concepts, but they can’t copy your heart. How much you care is what makes you unique as a startup founder.

Key Takeaway from Famous Startup Founder Quotes

In our current business climate, launching a tech startup has become more accessible. If you’ve come up with a way to address a need or solve a problem, why not take that leap of faith? And then, why not increase your chances of success by investing in an Innovation Lab to fully flesh out, test, and prove your idea. Leaping is good, but nailing the landing is better.

The Innovation Lab is where an ideas meet innovation to become implementable. Contact us to learn more.


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Jeff Francis

Jeff Francis is a veteran entrepreneur and founder of Dallas-based digital product studio ENO8. Jeff founded ENO8 to empower companies of all sizes to design, develop and deliver innovative, impactful digital products. With more than 18 years working with early-stage startups, Jeff has a passion for creating and growing new businesses from the ground up, and has honed a unique ability to assist companies with aligning their technology product initiatives with real business outcomes.

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