Winning awards as a startup

... We're so excited to announce that we won the [INSERT STARTUP EVENT] competition of 2020 in the category of the best innovating startup ...

Nobody cares. Only your customers care about what you do, if you do it well.

Winning awards is fun when you're young because it can give you an extra boost in your self-confidence.

Still, if you're a business this has no actual impact other than some bragging rights to your peers.

A startup is about proving that you can get enough customers to pay your debts and go beyond that.

Here are some reasons not be be involved in awards contests:

  • It takes the focus away from the customers.

  • It can give you a false boost of confidence because everyone will pat you on the back.

  • Early attention on a starting business is not always welcomed, until you have a solid base of paying customers.

  • The people that "cash" the awards are not always the same people who do the hard work. This can create inequality in your team.

  • Founders can start having a sense of entitlement towards peers, team and partners.

  • Most successfully companies didn't win any awards early.

  • Press Releases are read by peers not by customers.

  • The award by itself is irrelevant as a value to the customer most of the time.

Tip inspired by past LinkedIn posts that show startups winning certain prizes and after 1-2 years they are defunct.