How to start a start-up
Being a serial entrepreneur I am often asked how to start or build companies. My answer is rarely the same and it varies in authority. Why? Simply because starting a company is not a step by step process in the sense of connect A to item B and then insert screw R. It’s more like start with an idea, then figure out some sort of idea around what it will look like... and start.
To many of my colleagues that sounds like poor planning. They are right, it is poor planning. What I have learned after filling countless notebooks & numbers documents with plans, financials, go to market strategies, etc is for an idea to really become what it is meant to... you as the founder have to guide and nurture it... not dictate it.
Just the other day I was advising a startup whose founding team was far more senior to me (chronologically speaking). We were discussing the results of a recent focus group around their new product. Some of the greatest assets as per the focus group were areas of the product overlooked by the design team. This happens very often even with products that have had major impact... and as a founder, the lesson from this is not to get hung up on what YOU think is important but LISTEN and react to your customers... which means you have to go out and get customers... which means you have to have a name, a website, a 1.0/Beta version of your product or services... and you have to ask someone to be your customer. NOW you have started a company.