Jeff Haynie: The 5 Things Entrepreneurs Need to Avoid

Former Atlanta resident and serial entrepreneur Jeff Haynie was the featured keynote speaker at the Advanced Technology Development Center’s (ATDC) annual Startup Showcase Fast Pitch session this year. It was an opportunity for Haynie to share mistakes that entrepreneurs ought to avoid. For the community, it was an opportunity to quiz him about his controversial 2008 departure to Silicon Valley.

In 2008, Haynie, then co-founder and CEO of Appcelerator, wrote a blog post highlighting the persistent problems for Atlanta’s startups as he moved his fledgling company to the West Coast. It was no surprise that the biggest issue then was the lack of venture capital funding. The post spurred much debate and sparked a movement in the community to create an environment conducive to the success of startups. While the dearth of capital is still an issue, the Atlanta startup community has made great strides.

Haynie’s Tips:

Monetize Earlier - Jeff Haynie

Monetize Earlier:

“Reach vs. Revenue” continuum: How fast are you converting the people you reach into revenue?









Scale Slower - Jeff Haynie


Scale Slower:

Take the time to address and confront your company’s challenges.

Don’t worry about others stealing your idea – they’re worried about their own!







Burn Less - Jeff Haynie

Burn Less:

Budget! It’s easy to justify spending as a startup.

Most startups sell for $100M or less.

Money creates options/runway.

Startups need Good Product + Good People + Optionality






Automate and Outsource - Jeff Haynie


Automate & Outsource:

Specialization leads to more work getting done, less time spent learning new things, and a higher level of fulfillment from doing what you’re good at and passionate about.

Simplify! Delegate!






Measure Everything - Jeff Haynie


Measure Everything:

Be data-driven.

Focus on what makes you valuable and unique.






Since the keynote, Haynie has published a follow-up blog post on the current state of Atlanta’s startup ecosystem. You can read this article here. The original post, entitled “What’s wrong with the Atlanta startup ecosystem and how to fix it,” has long been removed from the Internet but remains highly memorable to active influencers at the time. Haynie’s follow-up article is filled with nothing but positive things as he acknowledges the extensive growth Atlanta has experienced since 2008.

His recommendation? Carry on, Atlanta!
Jeff recommends that Atlanta continues doing what it’s doing and focus on consistent growth with the intent of moving past the startup phase. And there are always guides like online that people can read if they need some advice, or even reassurance that they are on the right track!



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


iFusion HQ

5200 Peachtree Road
Suite 2104