We launched our startup, iCharts, in 2008. One week later, I was sitting in a venture capital firm's office, waiting for my appointment, and I saw the headline that Lehman Brothers was bankrupt. The market crashed and, along with it, venture capital funding for new startups went away. Suddenly my company was thrust onto a circuitous path over the next three years that took us in a completely different direction than what I'd planned. What follows are some of my lessons learned and challenges while building my company, and my advice for avoiding four startup pitfalls.