So You Want to Start a Startup Published Fri Aug 29 02:00:00 SAST 2014
Thinking of starting a business? This list is for you. It was last updated on 27 December 2014. First, some definitions:
“A startup is an organization formed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model.” — Steve Blank
“A startup is a company designed to grow fast.” — Paul Graham
“A startup is a human institution designed to deliver a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty.” — Eric Ries
I found that in meeting with more founders, the same answers tended to come up surrounding product, pricing, equity, hiring, strategy and marketing.
What follows is a curated collection of startup resources that I found indispensable on my startup journey.
- Start with Paul Graham's pie fallacy: wealth is not finite. You can create wealth by making something people want.
- Know about The 18 Mistakes That Kill Startups.
- Apply the scientific method to product development. The lean startup offers a path toward a minimum viable product:
- [pdf] The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank. Or buy the book.
- [book] The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
- [video] This Week In Venture Capital with Eric Ries, author of "The Lean Startup".
- [video] Episode #199 of This Week in Startups with Eric Ries, hosted by Jason Calacanis.
- [book] Read The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber and avoid the common pitfalls of small businesses.
- [book] Read Don't Make Me Think by Steve Krug to understand how to design simple user interfaces.
- The Equity Equation by Paul Graham
- Joel's Totally Fair Method to Divide Up The Ownership of Any Startup by Joel Spolsky
- The Co-Founder Mythology by Mark Suster
Dole out equity with vesting according to risk taken. Have a pre-nup.
- Should you grow fast, or organically? Read Strategy Letter I: Ben and Jerry's vs. Amazon by Joel Spolsky
- Are you building a product or a platform? Strategy Letter II: Chicken and Egg Problems by Joel Spolsky
- Barriers to entry are explained in Strategy Letter III: Let Me Go Back! by Joel Spolsky
- The 80/20 rule doesn't apply to features, so read Strategy Letter IV: Bloatware and the 80/20 Myth by Joel Spolsky
- The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz.
- [book] Understand the various types of profit by reading The Art of Profitability by Adrian Slywotzky.
You would do well by reading everything ever written by these great entrepreneurs:
- Paul Graham
- Joel Spolsky
- Steve Blank
- Eric Ries
- Seth Godin on Marketing
- Derek Sivers
- Daniel Tenner
- Jason Calacanis
There's a lot more, so I'll keep updating this post over time with more curated content.