Nine founders share their biggest tech misstep and its repercussions so you can avoid their mistakes.
By the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC)
What’s one tech-related decision you wish you had done differently in your startup and why?
Standardized Data Sooner
In the early stages, we accepted tons of data from on-boarding customers without filtering as much as we should have. The result was too much legwork for our sales team to clean things up. Eventually, we created a tool to automate data collection.
– Ha Phan, @hpdailyrant, (Chief Product Designer, Porch)
Been Prepared to Scale
We on-boarded a major publisher, and our infrastructure was not ready to handle the large influx of connections. To mitigate this, we moved all of our static assets to a CDN.
– Sarah Ware, @WareSarah, (Founder, Markerly)
Used Zapier Earlier
There are quite a few instances where we were putting information in duplicate places. Once we figured out how to use Zapier for our contact forms to integrate MailChimp and Highrise, things became a lot easier.
– Kelsey Meyer, @Kelsey_M_Mayer (Founder, Contributor Weekly)
Adopted Social Media Earlier
When I started in 2008, social media was in its infancy, so I waited and started a website first. I wish I had seen it as a complete marketing strategy and integrated social media with my website earlier.
– Suzanne Smith, @socialtrendspot, (Founder, Social Impact Architects)
Used Abacus for Bookkeeping
I am your quintessential late adopter, so early on in my business, I did all my bookkeeping by hand and handed stacks of paper to my accountant. Only more recently did I take the leap to utilize technology, and I’ve seen a world of difference in the planning it’s allowed me to do.
– Darrah Brustein, @darrahb, (Finance Whiz Kids & Equitable Payments)
Employed an ERP System
As a growing e-commerce business that also sources raw materials for the goods that we produce, I wish I’d invested in an ERP system sooner. Managing critical data in disparate spreadsheets and systems definitely becomes challenging with growth.
– Tracy Foster, @onabags (Founder, ONA)
I stubbornly insisted on holding on to manual administrative and bookkeeping processes that slowed me down and wasted valuable strategic energy. In addition to using QuickBooks right off the bat, I should have been one of the early adopters of apps such as IFTTT and TaskRabbit.
– Alexandra Levit, @alevit (Inspiration at Work)
Learned to Program Sooner
Although programming will never be one of my core skills, taking the time to learn a little Python has better equipped me to manage development projects. Without the knowledge I now have, I was forced to guess what resources we would need. But by getting my hands dirty, I can run my company more effectively.
– Thursday Bram, @thursdayb (Hyper Modern Consulting)
Built the Process First
The biggest mistake I’ve made is adopting a piece of technology that I thought would be transformative without actually mapping out the way the process needed to operate for the business. Always make sure the business is driving your technology decisions, rather than the other way around.
– Sarah Schupp, @sara_schupp (Founder, UniversityParent)
What’s been your biggest tech regret?
About the blogger: The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.