I spent the last decade working to build a couple of startups, and while I’ve always taken time to help fellow entrepreneurs, I have been too heads-down to do it as extensively as I would like. how2startup is part of giving myself that leverage and reaching more people- hopefully with content that is helpful. My nature is to be very analytical (blame MIT, or we can do cause vs. effect research ) and practical, so I will try to bring those viewpoints here and try to provide resources and commentary that are both clear and real-world applicable.
In terms of target audience and tone, I’m going to aim for a bit broader spectrum than some of the great existing blogs. Fred Wilson, Mark Suster, Chris Dixon, Eric Ries, Sean Ellis and others do a great job with in-depth insights on some advanced and some basic topics, and Brad Feld and Venture Hacks have excellent series catering to more novice entrepreneurs. However, having recently attended Dave McClure’s talk at Dogpatch Labs Boston, it feels to me like there is still a big gap between what is posted in the blogosphere and what is really getting through in a consumable way to many entrepreneurs. Chris Dixon recently did a great post on developing new startup ideas and why founders don’t always get enough early feedback; I agree with his breakdown, but I feel there are several more basic reasons for this problem, which I’ll address in a later post. As another example, the recent mini-firestorm around Mark Suster’s views on the “fail fast” mantra -clearly largely a semantic issue- also shed light on the need for more clarity. If our super-human thought leaders have a hard time disentangling and agreeing on the semantics around such core topics of the Lean Startup methodology, imagine how confusing it must be for first-time or second-time entrepreneurs!
Many topics that are even more complicated and nuanced, such as what kind of fundraising is right for you -if any!-, when you should go about it, how to do customer development in practical terms, etc. are ones where perhaps I can provide another set of eyes and perspective on.
My next planned posts are as follows:
- “I’m starting a company! Now what?”
- Why are you starting a company? Real entrepreneur motivations and cost/benefit.
- Is it a company or a hobby? Both are cool, but you may want to decide.
- Fundraising: Why and When (not yet How)
- Funding is cool, but should you do it? Why people raise money, and whether it makes sense for you.
- Comparative matrix of Bootstrapping, Friends & Family, Angel, Seed/Incubator, and VC sources, discussing when each does or does not make sense
On another note, I am working on a Twitter tool that I think will be useful to a lot of folks in the startup and venture world. I’ve invested a lot in my network and track most of it via LinkedIn. As I’ve gotten deep into Twitter I’ve wanted a good way to find who in my LinkedIn tweets so I can view or add them. I’m putting the finishing touches on v1 and am really looking forward to letting others use it and getting feedback.
Look for these posts soon and safe travels back from #sxsw!
photo credit: mikecogh