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Startup Advice from Seaquake CEO Andrew Katz

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Starting your own business is both exhilarating and anxiety-inducing. While the potential rewards are great, the many risks on the path to success mean that entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. Knowing that 25% of startups fail in their first year and 50% within the first four years might not inspire much confidence in your ability to go it alone.

 

We caught up with Seaquake Founder and CEO Andrew Katz, who is six years into his second major entrepreneurial venture, to find out how he has achieved such incredible success. While some of his tips may sound intuitive, all of his advice is sound and applicable across any industry – you don’t have to be revolutionizing the crypto-verse to benefit from what Andrew has to offer.

 

Create a Company Culture you Want To Be a Part Of

For starters, be the kind of manager that you’ve responded to well in the past. Andrew recalls how soul-crushing it was working for a “seagull manager” – someone that only swoops in when a problem has arisen. He works hard to interact with his team throughout each day, catching potential issues before they escalate.

 

Andrew Katz appreciates the company culture of Seaquake so much that he looks forward to working each day. He and his team are able to work remotely, giving them the freedom to be where they want to be, and stay in constant communication every day. All new ideas are welcomed and explored rather than shot down.

 

Andrew credits an extreme dedication to organization and a well-planned annual roadmap with being able to constantly march forward on new projects and roll out new lines of business.

 

Hire People That you Like and Want to Work With

Seaquake maintains a tight ship, with a small but tech-savvy staff. As Andrew points out, there is no shortage of qualified candidates for any position you post, so be sure that the personalities you choose are people that you want to work with on a daily basis.

 

Always do your due diligence on anyone that you bring onto the team. Check with references and confirm the accuracy of resumes.

 

Pay your Staff Appropriately

This may sound like a no-brainer; while hiring people for less than they’re worth is tempting as you get your footing as a startup’ it’s better to pay your staff appropriately. It helps to build a strong company culture with a loyal and motivated team.

 

Listen To your Team

If you hire someone, you should value what they have to say. Allow everyone to contribute and welcome ideas and suggestions.

 

Take Care of Yourself

Overworking yourself will lead to burnout and an inability to manage your company effectively. Andrew makes time to work out, spend time with his dogs, and travel, all of which keep him fresh and ready to take on new challenges.

 

Provide a Product or Service that is Necessary

If you’re not sure that you’re adding value, don’t take the risk of getting into the business. Do your research and fully understand your competitors and what you want to bring to the table. If your concept isn’t clear, or you don’t have a direction for your work, you’re not ready to be in business.

 

Set Clear Expectations for Investors

Andrew is clear that you shouldn’t allow yourself to be taken advantage of by early investors. In fact, he recommends retaining a legal team from the start so that you can be proactive if things go south.

 

Andrew and his CTO, Dylan Knight, were able to guide Seaquake to profitability in only 15 months. Since then, they have only grown and expanded their offerings. By keeping communication open with his tight-knit staff, they can pivot and respond to opportunities as they arise.

 

Six years into Seaquake, Andrew Katz is still excited to go to work every day and create a full crypto ecosystem. He is a true startup success story by following his best advice.

Based in LA, Alice Blake is a senior reporter for Kivo Daily. She primarily covers entrepreneurs.

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