The art of starting up

“How do I startup?” This is a common question in the minds of many people with a brilliant idea. The answer to this question is not that simple. Execution does matters for turning your idea into a million dollar idea. Starting up and scaling it into a successful business ain’t easy. The climb is really hard. Starting up is a great way of life. It’s going to be a wild ride with highs and lows. Every moment is going to be exciting. Here is a flow chart on where to start and how to execute.

Forming the right team

Choosing the right Co-founder and forming a right team is really a crucial step in starting up. Always try to make a diversified team. If you are a technical co-founder look for someone good at marketing/business development and vice versa. Spend time with your co-founder discussing about the business plan and make sure you are compatible. Most of the times people trough lots of drama and trauma along the way and sometimes completely end up different than where you started. Make a commitment to each other that you will stick to the project regardless of where it may lead. It’s best to be 50/50 Co-founders, Just because it’s simpler that way.

Brainstorming sessions

Now that you have formed a kickass team it’s time for some brainstorming sessions with your co-founder. 9 out of 10 startups fail, so it’s always important to know why startups fail. Make a list of obstacles you may face while scaling up and come up with solutions to them. Take a step back and realize this idea may not make sense. You may get down the path of validating it and realize it won’t work. You may find an even better idea along the way. A startup is often a random walk where you usually end up with a different idea and position than where you started with a couple of pivots. Be flexible in iterating fast. Most of the successful companies discover the right idea as a byproduct of pursuing the initial idea.

Groundwork and Reading

I strongly suggest everyone starting up to read Lean Startup by Eric Ries. This will cut years of wasted time off of your career. Lean startup model would give you a clear picture on how startups work. Too many startups confuse product development with “customer development,” which is a methodology to validate whether your idea is something that people would actually pay for and whether you will be able to reach those customers profitably. Knowing if the product is worth building is always a problem. Keep reading various successful stories of startups that would help you in finding out classic pitfalls that first time entrepreneurs make.

Building and launching

Don’t think of “launch” in a big scale. By launching I mean getting out the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) to the customers early. You’ll get lots of feedback (mostly criticism) and new ideas, and then you can enter a period of lots of testing and iterations. But always iterate fast. The largest success stories you can think of (Twitter, Pinterest) went through many months of low traffic before exploding. So don’t expect your idea to go viral in a single day.

Look for Funding

Bootstrapping is always the best option but often you do require funding for scaling up fast. It’s always hard to raise money from professional angels without experience and/or traction. Don’t get too caught up with fundraising right now. You really do not want to assume your idea is valid and you just need money to execute it. Do necessary groundwork to validate your idea. Get as far as you can with validation and your MVP before bringing in investors.

Now you are all set for an exciting journey.Get going 🙂

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