Here are the lessons Mitchell Harper learned building a company to 500 people and $7B in transactions while raising $125M along the way. He originally shared this on Medium. Follow him on Twitter @mitchellharper.

1/ Invest in design (team or agency) from day one

2/ Be tied to your vision and problem statement but not your approach

3/ Solve a problem you’ve personally experienced and that you could work on for the next 7–10 years

4/ Define customer personas up front and segment by pain/needs

5/ Hire top down after the first 10 people

6/ Focus on a single pain point and a single persona first

7/ Constantly ask yourself “who is the BEST person in the world to help me solve X?” and reach out to ask for help — know you can’t fix everything on your own

8/ Do less, but do it better, especially in product and marketing

9/ Start competing in a red ocean but try to redefine the market so it becomes a blue ocean

10/ Don’t rely on a single lead source driven by high demand and limited supply

11/ Communicate your vision until you’re blue in the face, then keep talking about it

12/ See your platform as multiple products not multiple features

13/ Hire product managers with strong domain experience

14/ Be confident hiring people who are twice your age and realize the only place age is a barrier is in your head

15/ Run a 6 month (minimum) closed beta and nail your USP (Unique Selling Point) before going live

16/ Negotiate hard on valuation to keep as much equity as possible, all the time — give way on terms before equity

17/ Go for fewer customers at a much higher ACV

18/ Tie a good amount of everyone’s bonus to a customer success metric

19/ Build an open platform from day one (RESTful API, also consumed internally)

20/ Be patient and work on a 5/7/10 year timeline — ignore competitors and focus on the market opportunity not feature wars

21/ Listen to your gut more, especially when it comes to people — assume all resumes are B.S. and back channel at least 5 people who worked with, for and above each candidate

22/ Listen to the entire organization (especially those in daily contact with clients) in a way that scales as you grow

23/ Hire the best people, regardless of where they are and incentivize them heavily with equity

24/ Build a customer advisory board who are incentivized to provide valuable feedback often

25/ Amplify the brand by building and remunerating a team of influencers

26/ Recognize people for their achievements in front of the whole company on a regular basis

27/ Understand the 4 styles of leadership and use each effectively depending on the person you’re leading

28/ Know which stage your company is in (product market fit, getting ready to scale or scaling) and only read books/blogs related to that stage

29/ Make sure all senior leaders have their own executive coaches

30/ Listen to and respect opinions, but realize they’re just opinions

31/ Don’t be emotional about the business — balance an intense focus on work with family, friends and fitness

32/ Realize no one cares as much as you do, and that’s OK

33/ Fire fast and be less forgiving of mistakes, especially in departments that are measured with raw numbers, like sales and marketing

34/ Do what you’re good at and delegate everything else to people who are much, much, much smarter and more experienced than you are

35/ Don’t speak at conferences — they’re a massive waste of time

36/ Don’t assume everyone has honest intentions just because you do

37/ Personally answer as many support inquiries as you can for the first year

38/ Early on, raise money from investors who have “been there, done that” — don’t take money from “spreadsheet VCs” because they only understand numbers

39/ Don’t beat yourself up because you make mistakes

40/ Be a genuinely caring person and try to change the world from a place of humity, humbleness and honesty