Feedback Overload: How To Filter It For Your Startup

 This guest post is written by Nikolaus Sühr (CEO & Founder) and Matthew Wardle (CTO & Co-founder) of Kasko, a digital insurance service provider bringing Insurance as a Service to the market.

You’ll often hear about how brilliant Seedcamp Week is, and we can attest to that – it’s been a really helpful experience for Kasko and we’re in a much stronger position as a company because of it.

One of the reasons the week is such a great experience is down to the incredible mentors and investors you get to speak to. Each one of them has a wealth of experience either leading or guiding startups to success, and they’re all super keen to help provide feedback on your startup.

Mentoring underway at Seedcamp Week Berlin

A mentoring session underway at Seedcamp Week Berlin

But this is where it gets tricky… with so much feedback from so many individuals based on their own varying experiences, you can receive a wide range of answers to the same question.

Here’s some of the feedback we received during Seedcamp Week:

  • “You have no product market fit. You are thinking about the 4th step without having done the 1st.”
  • “You have no vision! This is all tactics… where is the strategy?”
  • “Go for the small insurer, not the large ones. It just takes too long.”
  • “If you go for the small ones, you cannot test your go-to-market because large organisations have different procurement processes.”
  • “Don’t go for the share economy, it’s a winner takes all market without room for brokers.”
  • “You don’t want to go for the share economy? I thought that is what you are all about.”
  • “Why are you in Berlin?!”

Filtering the data

Like reading the news, to form a full picture you sometimes have to listen to several points of view and read between the lines. So here are a few tips on how to filter that information for your startup…

1. Sleep on it. The energy and excitement these visionary, successful people can generate in you is fantastic, but it pays to sleep on it so the next day you can process what was said based on the facts rather than the energy.

2. Discuss it with people you respect. For every major decision we’ve made we’ve probably discussed it with ten people we consider very smart. This is why your board of advisors is key.

3. Discuss with your business partner. If you’re anything like us – where you work, eat, and live together – this is given. But if it’s not, then you should make sure you discuss with them; you decided to work with this person for a reason.

4. Make up your own mind. Listening to advice is important, but remember that most likely you understand more about the intricacies of your own industry/business than them.

5. If you still can’t make a choice, just pick one. The chances are that both opinions are valid. Ultimately a good decision is one you feel comfortable with when you’re making it.

6. Drink a beer. It’s always part of our process!

For us, the feedback we received at Seedcamp Week was the best and most difficult to digest advice we ever received. Thanks to everyone. We might not have liked it at the time, but we certainly needed to hear it!

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