Measuring a startup's success seems easy - did you exit? A a better question would be how do you measure its progress?
These are my incomplete thoughts after a month and a half of hard work - I would highly appreciate your feedback.
So far... we pretty much already have:
A successful seed round - although we are still fine tuning terms and participants, several PoCs about to start, major industry design partners backed by MOUs in different levels of completion, letters of intent from major players in the market, market research, completed a road show for market validation, and an unwavering belief in changing the world. :)
My system: (under construction, right?)
Strategically, I constantly validate the market and talk with customers, continuously validate every assumption and decision, as well as improve my vision. I often ask myself: Do I clearly see the path to success? What are the steps to get there? How do I deliver them?
I have four end goals which guide me, in no particular order: (1) Deliver the market, (2) deliver the technology, (3) deliver what would improve our chances for a successful next round, and (4) build the best team possible.
All of which are framed with: At every move along the path, how can we achieve better positioning, like in Chess? Which brings me to the tactical level: At every stage...
Tactically, what is it we want to achieve? (example: seed round funding), what would be the best way to achieve it? (example: angels), what is the goal of this round? (example: build a PoC), what is this round intended to achieve? (example, a better position toward A round funding), what are the parameters of this round which would enable these? (example: terms which will help my valuation).
Operationally, I measure success in the tasks in front of me, moving toward the next task, and improving the ones before as time goes by, quantitatively (more LoIs) or qualitatively (a PoC).
While sometimes I jump into things and learn as I go, and other times I first think things through, I always do my research, and always ask for input.
I try to read up on the subject, discuss, and consult with as many people I can who have experience which can help. I always keep in mind everyone has their own prejudices, competing goals (which is fine, but we need to be aware of this, and open about it), and understand that for everyone as well as me... "your mileage may vary".
I try and avoid mistakes, chart mistakes others make, and as errors will be made regardless... I try to make as many mistakes as I can as quickly as I can.
What are your thoughts?