Advice for founding a startup
V Introduction
* Welcome, startup founder or potential founder!
* I've been watching the startup community for several years now, and I see founders struggle with the same things, year after year.
* Today I got frustrated with it all and wrote this whitepaper. Technically more of a "list of links" than a whitepaper, but whatever.
* First, I want you to know that starting a startup is hard work. Ask yourself: are you serious about this venture?
* Maybe you don't understand what it takes to do a startup: The Social Network made it look like a montage of hacking then money, parties and booze, right?
* It's slightly more serious than than.
* First, you're probably thinking, "I don't know how to code, but I have this idea - all I have to do is find someone willing to code it - I know, I'll find a technical co-founder!"
V Articles on finding a technical co-founder:
V Communicating with busy people:
V Finding someone to work for a cut of the revenue:
V But I just want to make the next Facebook. How hard is that?:
* (Intermission, the first)
* You've made it this far! Hopefully by this point you can see that a technical co-founder won't fall out of the sky magically and make all your problems go away - you have an actual business to run. It's actual work - there's more to being a founder than dreaming up ideas at the pub with your buddies.
* So, now you may be thinking, "Great, I know this will cost some money, how do I get that?" First, it may make sense to look at your idea…
V Evaluating your idea:
V Raising Money:
* (Intermission, the second)
* Still here? Awesome! Now you may be wondering, "Hmm, there's a lot of work to do before I get some money. But I need money to pay for the work so I can get money!"
* Luckily, some of those problems have been solved already - sometimes all you need to do to get that first investor (or technical co-founder willing to donate some time) is to show some traction and a plan for your business.
V Doing it yourself:
V Implementing:
V Being a businessperson:
V "Should I learn to code to help my technical co-founder!?"
* Conclusion
* "But, you already know a lot about computers and programming!!!!!", you say
* Yes, it's true. It's also true for simple things one doesn't have to know a lot about programming.
* For example, this white-paper? Written in OmniOutliner ( then exported to HTML. It might not be all that pretty (or up to the normal quality of HTML I write professionally), but do I care? (No) It's more about getting something out there then looks, sometimes.
* (I could have also done this paper in Markdown, using something like Markdown is yet another way you can write some web pages without having to actually learn HTML. Great for non-technical people looking to prove a startup idea.
* There's a lot of ways to get started, even without writing code. Google "Lean Startup" for some ideas here, but even just a mailing list or a newsletter might be enough to get your startup building traction, without any uber technical skills from you.
* If you are looking for technical help, be that as a freelancer or a remote, longer term arrangement, and like this advice, consider talking to me ( I've been working with small businesses and startups since 2002, and it would be great to work with you too!


blog comments powered by Disqus