informa
/
Commentary

7 Deadly Startup Mistakes

Sun Microsystems drew some 300 entrepreneurs to a startup "camp" in New York. The event was full of advice on things emerging companies can do raise their chances of success -- and a reminder of flubs to avoid.
Sun Microsystems drew some 300 entrepreneurs to a startup "camp" in New York. The event was full of advice on things emerging companies can do raise their chances of success -- and a reminder of flubs to avoid.Sun hosted the get-together as part of its outreach to early-stage companies. Sun launched its Startup Essentials program in the United States a year ago and has engaged some 1,000 companies since then. Sun extended the program a few months ago to India and China and plans to offer it in other parts of the world, according to Sanjay Sharma, Sun's director of startups and emerging markets market development. Sun helps startups with free software, services, discounted hardware, and hosting in hopes the small fries will turn into larger customers down the road.

A lot of good advice was presented. Saeed Amidi, president of Plug And Play Tech Center in Sunnyvale, Calif., talked about the benefits an incubator can offer. Since opening its 175,000 square foot facility last year, Plug And Play has become home to 112 startups backed by a total of $350 million in venture funding. Companies there have ready access to venture firms, data center hosting, tech vendors, and fellow innovators.

Other presenters included Jason Hoffman, founder and CTO of Joyent, who gave a primer on how to architect Web applications for scalability; Alan Sutin, an IP lawyer with Greenberg Traurig, who talked about patents and trademarks; and Jed Katz, managing director of DFJ Gotham Ventures, who went over the dos and don'ts of working with VCs.

The venue also served to demonstrate what to avoid if you're an up-and-coming company. The following list is drawn from my observations at the day-long affair. Here's what not to do if you're a startup. Don't…