It has been more than 4 years since I quit my job as an engineer and started making my own products. And it will soon be 4 years since Omnis Labs Company was founded. Over the past 4 years, my life was pretty challenging and difficult. And I was lucky because our company could survive.
That is why I am going to talk about bad people and good people I've met as a founder. In this first article, I will talk about the bad people businessmen should beware of.
I may be wrong, but I want to share some of my experiences with you.
The one who says “you will fail”
Even if they think your business model sucks, they have no right to curse you. But I've met a lot of VCs, alumni, and rude people who say such things. There are people like that everywhere, but there were many bad people like that in Korea.
Someone who tries to exploit your situation when you're in trouble
We got scammed by our customer in early 2021. Our company was in huge trouble. I asked my alumni network for help, but some of them tried to take advantage of my situation. I didn't ask for money from them, I asked for a task or a project if there was anything we could do. But one of my alumni told me to close the business and go into the company he invested in. He did not want to help me at all.
And another wanted to take all of my team for their company for a long time. They tried to make our team their employees to just exploit our human resources. Of course, I don't have only bad alumni. It was one of my alumni who saved our company.
As I said, our company could not receive the balance from our customer. Before they scammed us, they kept asking us to do something other than what was contracted. I was inexperienced at the time, and I trusted them because they were my client.
However, in the end, I paid a heavy price for my actions.
If they're a good customer, they can give you opinions on how to improve our product, and don't ask for anything other than what's in the contract. Customers who kept asking for something other than what was contracted for were not good in general from my experience.
A person who is unconditionally wary of people
A business person shouldn't be afraid to meet new people. I've never stolen anyone's technology, and our technology has been created by ourselves. Although I am not a spy, some people I met in Germany were wary of me. I'm not interested in their technology, and why do they think they are special?
Dealing with people with this attitude will probably tire you out. Sure, some people are wary, but at least if they're in business, they have to be friendly with people. Don't be discouraged by meeting these people. There are many better people.
Someone who doesn't value other people's time
As a business person, I spend my time meeting people as requested. And that time is also a valuable time for entrepreneurs. However, sometimes when you meet someone, that person treats the other person like a consultant.
The bad people just ask questions and try to use the other person’s time as much as possible. And they are usually not willing to pay you. A business person I met called me into her office whenever she had trouble developing something. I met with her about 3 times for free, and she did not start any contract.
Not just in business, but in life, there are people who don't value others’ time. They usually value their own time and do not value others' time. People like that are usually selfish, and being close to them didn't seem to help much in my life.
Someone who doesn't show gratitude
Some people I met did not express gratitude when they received help. And selfish people don't really care about that. And some Germans make this excuse. “We don't express emotions.” But, in my experience, not all Germans are like that. That's just using the culture as an excuse.
If someone doesn't express their gratitude, will the person who helped know what they're thinking? Express your appreciation for the help. In most countries, we should express gratitude. And if you meet people who don't, they'll usually be selfish. Don't waste your precious energy on them.
A person talking about an ambiguous business
Sometimes we get MoU proposals. However, some entrepreneurs tell vague stories that don't have exact requirements, budgets, and deadlines. In fact, this is very risky even at the contract stage. Ambiguous contracts increase the potential for disputes. And it harms each other.
I've met a lot of businessmen trying to exploit these vague contracts. Customers or people who continue to force dubious contracts will drain your energy and put you at risk. Always make everything clear. And those who are unwilling to do so are often dangerous.
A person who tries to admonish entrepreneurs
You are the one who knows your business best, not other people. Other people can think about it, but they are not allowed to control you.
A good person will tell you what they think. But the bad people will give you instructions. And they sometimes admonish you. Avoid these people.
Unfortunately, I've met a lot of bad people besides this. And to be honest, the founder's life is like survival in the jungle. You are a small prey, and all kinds of beasts are hunting you in the jungle. And these are the things you shouldn't do if you want to be nice to other entrepreneurs. But, there are good people out there too. I'll tell you about these people next time. The important thing is that there is no need to be discouraged and saddened by bad people. Work as hard as you believe, and you can beat them.