Guest Post | Jon Paris, CEO of Astrid, Inc.

Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to listen to Jon Paris, CEO and co-founder of the popular mobile app Astrid, speak at an InterVarsity meeting. I really enjoyed his talk (about faith, the role of campus fellowships, and startups) and followed up with him via email after the meeting.

I asked him if he could provide some quick advice on excelling in the startup world, and he shared 6 key skills that are important for tech startups:

In a startup there are lots to do. Design, business forms, accounting, managing the books, designing the pitch…all of these are non-technical but technical skills will help a bunch.

What I would consider doing; learn 2 or 3 of the following skills well:

1) Photoshop – used for everything!

2) Build your network (Set up some goals to meet crazy cool people. Ask to interview them. Learn how to write emails to strangers… become a networker).

3) Become a product guy… read about design, game dynamics and become quick to see what is going on in products that go crazy.

4) Start reading the books I list on my blog / watch the videos etc (

5) Learn to code (might not hurt…).

6) Attach yourself to some amazing engineers and help any way you can. If you can join a team that can build great things and raise an investment round, you will learn a ton.

Solid advice, and be sure to check out Jon’s blog for more insightful resources on startups (see #4). Also, if you’re looking for an awesome to-do list app for your Android phone or iPhone/iPad, make sure to check out the Astrid site! 4.5 stars over 50,000 reviews don’t lie!

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