The 80/20 rule

No startup is perfect.

This is a saying we have at the Angel Ventures office in Lima. I hope it doesn’t offend you. Trust me, we are not perfect either. In fact, we make a conscious effort to not be perfect and avoid spending valuable time looking for the perfect startup.

If you are a startup founder or investor, perfection shouldn’t be your objective either. In startups, done is better than perfect. This concept comes from the Pareto Principle, which states that for most endeavours, 80% of the end goals can be achieved with 20% of the effort. For startups, it is known the 80/20 rule.

Making the most of limited resources is what startups are all about. It is tempting to want to seek perfection, but focusing on executing the most important activities will help maximize return for money and time invested. A founder’s job isn’t to get to 100%, it is to discern what is the 20% effort that will lead to the 80% result – then keep moving.

Rather than wait until a startup has a final product, startup investors prefer to know what founders are working on now, then evaluate how fast they can achieve results. Hustle Fund’s Elizabeth Yin talks about the “ability to execute with speed” as a key characteristic of great founders that she backs.

So, don’t wait until you have the perfect product in order to launch or the perfect pitch deck in order to raise an investment round. Get an Minimum Viable Product ready, and hit send!

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