15 lessons I’ve learned from the Sri Lankan startup ecosystem

Source | Linkedin | Chalinda Abeykoon | Startup Evangelist & Strategist

Startups are both exciting and draining. They are sexy and depressing at the same time. You can become a celebrity but you can feel lonely even if you’re surrounded by hundreds of people. For some, doing a startup is the LSD of our generation. And if all startup founders are good at one thing, it hiding their emotions. Sam Altman wrote about it the best and everyone should read it before starting a startup.  

I feel too many people are caught up in the whole “Startup Ecosystem” bullshit. In fact, I don’t see an ecosystem, all I see is a “Startup Egosystem”. With all the excitement, we seem to have leapfrogged the fundamentals of building an ecosystem. We stopped analysing and evaluating what we do. We stopped speaking to people to understand their needs & frustrations. I’ve met closer to 600 budding entrepreneurs during the last 3 years. And I work very closely with 10 of them. There’s another 10-20 that I keep in touch. But these 10 entrepreneurs have taught me so much about entrepreneurship and startups. So, as I complete 3 years of running CrowdIsland, here are the 10 most important lessons I’ve learned. 

  1. Not every newly registered company is a startup. To be a startup, your goal should be to rapidly scale your business. Startups can broadly be broken into 6 categories. You can learn more about that here.

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