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5 pieces of startup wisdom from Svbtle founder Dustin Curtis’ Twitter account

Among the pantheon of Silicon Valley types on Twitter, Dustin Curtis is one of the more worthwhile ones for anyone involved in the startup scene to follow.

The founder of long-form content venture Svbtle, Curtis describes himself as a “rogue industrialist” and “villain”. That kind of attitude runs through his Twitter feed. The widely read designer mixes humour with sage advice and his own experiences.

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Here are five of the best pieces of wisdom he’s tweeted out recently:

1. On people and time

This applies equally to employees and subcontractors. If someone is obsessed with doing good things either for or within your company, it’s not because you’ve paid them to do that. Find someone who shares your obsession first, then find the money.

2. Competition

Think about it. Myspace probably thought Facebook was too simple and didn’t have enough features…until it started stealing users at a rate of knots.

3. Email

Some things are just self-explanatory.

4. Paintings

Admittedly this is a quote, and given that Curtis is a designer by trade, it could apply equally to a piece of design work. Thing is it works as a maxim for startups too. As long as you’re at least exploring the option of other revenue streams and ways of doing business, as long as you’re hunting down new clients, you’re still “alive and dangerous”. If you think you’ve got exactly the right business model, with exactly the right number of customers, you might as well shut up shop.

5. Investment

This is clearly a barb aimed at investors in the tech startup scene but it contains a piece of sage advice for startups. If an investor is willing to give you money, but seems disrespectful toward you and your idea, chances are they aren’t in it for the long haul. If you succeed, they make a quick buck, if you fail they can say they knew it would happen all along. Worse they could drag the business down if they have enough equity.

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