MARK SUSTER: Here’s The Best Way To Destroy Your Startup


In a recent blog post, Mark Suster of Upfront Ventures emphasizes that slow-and-steady wins the race. But more importantly, “fast and shiny” loses — almost always.

The issue is one of chasing fads, whether it’s copying Pinterest’s UI, maximizing SEO, or trying to master Facebook’s Open Graph. Working within existing ecosystems can be tempting, but is usually only a recipe for short-term mediocrity.

Just ask Jason Calacanis, who learned the hard way that “killing it” on YouTube is not a path to financial solvency. He has spent the summer decrying YouTube’s collaboration terms for creators, and says there will be several video-platforms launching this fall which could give the folks at Google a run for their money.

And much like our old pal Steve Jobs (since reincarnated in the form of Ashton Kutcher), the things you don’t focus on are more important than what you actually create. Ignoring the hot fads and enterprise products might make for a windier road, but they also force you to consider your long-term vision.

So once again, Suster wants you to know: the most important thing you can learn as a leader is just to say no.