The 10 Commandments for Canadian Tech Startups

Tim Ferris and Reid Hoffman have recently sat down to do a podcast to discuss top commandments needed for tech startups to succeed.

Tim Ferriss is an American author, entrepreneur, self-proclaimed “human guinea pig”, and public speaker. He has written a number of self-help books on the “4-hour” theme, some of which have appeared on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestseller lists, starting with The 4-Hour Workweek.

Reid Garrett Hoffman is an American internet entrepreneur, venture capitalist and author. Hoffman was the co-founder and executive chairman of LinkedIn, a business-oriented social network used primarily for professional networking.

We have summarized the commandments Tim and Reid have discussed in the podcast below, you can listen to the podcast here by downloading the MP3 file:

These commandments can be applied to any startups here in Canada as well as the US. Read it, learn it, live it. 



  1. Expect rejection. But learn from every “No.” As a founder, you need to hustle. Expect 100 NO rejections before 1 YES. 

2. Hire like your life depends on it. It does. People around you is what makes your company. One bad hire can set back years of work. 

3. In order to scale, you have to do things that don’t scale. You need to go one on one in the beginning, run the demo with a client, see their reaction, get embarrassed, do things on small basis, before you scale into thousands, millions. Get feedback – do not stop until you figure out exactly what your clients want.


4. Raise more money than you think you need — potentially a LOT more. You will need way more money that you initially expect for all the expenses that will come you way. Legal, HR, management, payroll, etc. 


5. Release your products early enough that they can still embarrass you. Imperfect is perfect. You need to release your product in its beta stage early enough so that you can get embarrassed by it. Imperfect is perfect. 


6. Decide. Decide. Decide. It is better to make wrong decision and work with consequences, than to make no decision at all. 


7. Be prepared to both make and break plans. Be prepared to adjust. Just because things are the way they are today does not mean they have to be like that tomorrow.


8. Don’t tell your employees how to innovate. Manage the chaos. Do not feed your ideas to your employees. Let them come up with their own ideas and just bring them to fruition. Stay out of their way. 


9. To create a winning company culture, make sure every employee owns it. Give out some equity , get your employees vested in your company. 


10. Stick with the hero’s journey. The sort of grit you need to scale a business is less reliant on brute force. It’s actually one part determination, one part ingenuity, and one part laziness. Yes, laziness. You want to conserve your energy. You want to minimize friction and find the most effective, most efficient way forward.



Pay it Forward. Success of any company relies on ecosystem around it. If you made it, support other startups , companies and people around you. 


Hiring IT Talent in Canada? IT Recruiters at Kovasys Can Help.

Sign Up to Our Recap of Tech Canada Email Now! We Do Not Spam.