How to start a startup
As a company we do not work much with startups. Over the years I have been involved with a handful. Mainly as the guy brought in to bootstrap sales or to play the role as the CEO talking to customers and the money people. Starting a company from scratch I have only done once, and that is my current company – TBK Consult.
When people approach me to get help with startup issues I always decline. I am not an expert. I can sell stuff and I can run companies, but I only have little experience inventing them and starting them. Although I believe I am persistent in turning down assignments with startups and in spite I don’t think I advertise for such assignments, people continue to reach out to me for assistance.
Today I’ll make an exception.
I have received a link to a blog maintained by Paul Graham.
The link was to a post named “How to Start a Startup”.
It’s is a long post. It is the transcript of a speech that Paul Graham held at the Harvard Computer Society in 2005. Although I do not agree with all of his statements, Paul Graham is more of an expert than I am. He is probably right also where I disagree. As it was a sunny Sunday in Denmark today, I took my iPad onto the porch. And I read the post.
You need three things to create a successful startup: to start with good people, to make something customers actually want, and to spend as little money as possible. Most startups that fail do it because they fail at one of these. A startup that does all three will probably succeed. … If there is one message I’d like to get across about startups, that’s it. There is no magically difficult step that requires brilliance to solve. In particular, you don’t need a brilliant idea to start a startup around. The way a startup makes money is to offer people better technology than they have now. But what people have now is often so bad that it doesn’t take brilliance to do better.
It is worth reading. Paul Graham is american. Maybe the framework is a little different in Europe, but I don’t think much.
If you are working with startups, you probably already know Paul Graham. If you don’t, you owe me one for introducing him to you. If you are considering a startup there are tons of good stuff on his blog.
Paul Graham: How to Start a Startup