Let's Build a Startup - S2E3 - Mistakes Founders Make and How to Fix Them

Let's Build a Startup - S2E3 - Mistakes Founders Make and How to Fix Them

Learn from Binbash's CEO and Akua CTO about how to avoid or fix common mistakes

Giuseppe Battista
Amazon Employee
Published Jun 24, 2024
In the immortal words of one of my favourite philosophers, Lenny Lenoard from the Simpsons
Ah, everybody makes mistakes. That's why they put erasers on pencils
Our third episode in this series was titled "Mistakes Founders Make and Hot to Fix them" and ironically started with me speaking like a robot for about three minutes. Connection issues? My laptop taking off? Is my microphone cursed? We'll never know...
But hey! The whole point of this page is to cut the ugly parts from the show and give you only the best! So here's the highlight from Twitch with only the good stuff.

Meet the Panel

  • Kevin Shaffer-Morrison (AWS Startups Team)
  • Salma Virk (AWS Startups Team)
  • Exequiel Barrirero (binbash, AWS Advanced Partner, CEO)
  • Juan Jose Behrend (CTO at Akua, ex-Pomelo)

Episode Highlights

This episode was a treasure trove of practical advice and real-world examples. Here's a breakdown of the key topics we covered and the insights shared by our panelists.

Cost Management and Pricing Model Understanding

Kevin / Salma: One of the top mistakes founders make is underestimating the complexity of AWS pricing. Many fail to fully grasp the cost implications of different services and usage patterns.
Exequiel: "Understanding the AWS Pricing Model is crucial. At binbash, we emphasize the importance of using the AWS Pricing Calculator and Cost Explorer to forecast expenses and optimize resource allocation."
Juan: From a fintech perspective, managing AWS budgets effectively is vital. Implementing a tagging strategy for all resources and using tools like AWS Budgets and Cost Explorer helps startups stay on top of their expenses.
Key Takeaways:
  • Leverage AWS Cost Explorer and Pricing Calculator.
  • Implement AWS Budgets for cost and usage alerts.
  • Use reserved instances and spot instances where applicable.


Kevin / Salma: Security is a critical area where startups often stumble. Essential measures include setting up IAM policies and roles, using Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), and regularly reviewing and rotating credentials.
Exequiel: "Security should be a top priority. At binbash, we enforce a security-baseline setup at an account level, which includes disabling public access to all buckets by default and using IAM roles with temporary credentials."
Juan Jose: In the fintech industry, securing customer data is paramount. Ensuring proper network segmentation and using tools like AWS CloudTrail for logging and monitoring activities is essential.
Key Takeaways:
  • Use IAM roles instead of ROOT accounts.
  • Set up MFA for all accounts.
  • Implement network segmentation and VPC security.

Use the Right Tool for the Job

Kevin / Salma: Choosing the right AWS services based on specific needs can make a significant difference. Startups should define their business requirements and technical goals clearly.
Exequiel: "Conducting proof-of-concept tests can help evaluate different AWS services before full-scale implementation. At binbash, we recommend using AWS Well-Architected Tool to assess and optimize architectures."
Juan Jose: From experience, selecting the appropriate database solutions and leveraging managed services can greatly enhance performance and cost-efficiency.
Key Takeaways:
  • Conduct POC tests to evaluate services.
  • Use the AWS Well-Architected Tool.
  • Choose managed database solutions for efficiency.

Infrastructure as Code

Kevin / Salma: Infrastructure as Code (IaC) with tools like Terraform is beneficial for consistency, repeatability, and automation.
Exequiel: "IaC allows for version control and modularity, making operations more efficient. At binbash, we have seen significant improvements in operational efficiency through IaC and automation."
Juan Jose: Implementing IaC in fintech startups ensures a robust and scalable infrastructure, essential for growth.
Key Takeaways:
  • Use IaC for consistent and repeatable infrastructure.
  • Implement version control and automation.

Watch the Full Episode on Twitch

For those who missed it, you can watch the full episode on Twitch here.

Additional Resources

Coming up next!

Stay tuned for next week's episode where we'll discuss "How to Build and Monetize your Generative AI MVP" with Joao Galego and Y-Combinator accelerated startup LanceDB CEO Chang She. See you on Thursday, 27th of June, at 3pm BST, 10 am EST!

Episode Engagement Metrics

Episode's engagement metrics
Average Viewers: 41
Post Live views: 279
Peak viewers: 150
Unique chatters: 17
Messages: 95
CTA clicks: 33

Authors & Guests

Exequiel Barrirero is binbash's founder and CEO. binbash has helped hundreds fo startups in LATAM build and scale their business on AWS. Follow Exequiel on LinkedIn
Juan Jose Behrend is CTO and founder of Akua, ex-Pomelo Director of Engineering. Entrepreneur, startup and fintech afecionado. Follow Juan Jose on LinkedIn
Giuseppe Battista is a Senior Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services. He leads soultions architecture for Early Stage Startups in UK and Ireland. He hosts the Twitch Show "Let's Build a Startup" on twitch.tv/aws and he's head of Unicorn's Den accelerator. Follow Giuseppe on LinkedIn
Kevin Shaffer-Morrison is a Senior Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services. He's helped hundreds of startups get off the ground quickly and up into the cloud. Kevin focuses on helping the earliest stage of founders with code samples and Twitch live streams. Follow Kevin on LinkedIn
Salma Virk is a Startup Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services. Follow Salma on LinkedIn

Any opinions in this post are those of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of AWS.