Starting A Start-up

Have You Got What It Takes?

What Is A Startup?

An organization formed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model.’  ~ Steve Blank 

A Startup Is…

  1. Defining Purpose: The best businesses are purpose driven, and are about the need to make an impact, not just an IPO; about doing good and not just being fast. Founders should repeatedly ask themselves: why are we here? If we disappeared, who would miss us and why? What business are we really in? What are we willing to sacrifice? How can we experiment better?
  2. Building Product: Enthusiasm of the creators and usability of the product are the twin ideals. Great product creators are not just makers but curators of great user experiences. The iterative process is as important as prototypes and products.
  3. Serving Customers: Startups earn customer trust and loyalty through commitment, service, conversation and authenticity, even in the face of mistakes. ‘Hear your users talking…listen. Listen no matter how much it slows you down. Invite your customers into your story.’
  4. Leading The Team: The leader’s job is to help everyone around them do their job better. Servant leaders create a culture of trust via transparency, share information, allow for open feedback, and have regular meetings online and offline. Creative employees are driven by passion, by integrity, and quality. As the startup scales, direction and clarity need to be spelled-out via effective communication, otherwise time is lost. Startup cultures need to have a good combination of ‘nudge’ and ‘push’ and this is achieved through distributed decision making.

Source: Jocelyn Glei

This ‘How To Start a Startup’ course will focus on the first four phases of Startup Development

CC 4.0 Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike  Development Phases

Navigating the Journey

  1. You will not, and cannot with 100% certainty, know if you should start a startup!
  2. Take Action, rather than just going through the motions or mechanics of starting a startup (‘Playing House’).
  3. Stop, take a deep breath, and carefully consider the fallacy of your instincts (before making the important decisions… mistakes).
  4. Gaming-the-system does NOT work (bending the rules, abusing, cheating, milking, playing, or fooling customers).  
  5. A 25 hour workday… are you willing and able?
  6. Agile Thinking (the ability to move quickly and easily). Do you have those qualities?
  7. Disruptive, and abstract (Outlier Ideas are often the best source of ideas). 
  8. Startups often succeed because of proper timing (not too early, not early, not too late).
  9. Purpose Driven… the need to make an impact! The best startups aren’t profit-driven or even product-driven. 

Got What It Takes?

Take Assessment  

Entrepreneur Magazine combined some of the most important element of successful entrepreneurs into a short online assessment. You can compare your results with those of other entrepreneurs.

Take Assessment Now

ASSESSMENT Link

Idea Scorecard

The Idea Scorecard is a way to quickly assess how well an initial startup idea (perceived opportunity), stands up against some necessary conditions:

  1. Unmet Need or Desire?
  2. Size of Market (segment)?
  3. Access to Customers?
  4. Customer Focused Solution?
  5. Barriers to Adoption?
  6. Value Proposition?
CC 4.0 Attribution & Share-alike SmarterStartup.org
Download the Scorecard (pdf)

ACTIVITY

Complete Your Idea Scorecard!

  1. For your startup idea, now you should complete your Scorecard.
  2. Take time to describe the positive and negative aspects for each Scorecard item (Customer unmet needs or desires +- etc.), and prioritize them.
Course Curated By: Dr. G. Danford
Covering all the topics you need to know to begin, and accelerate your start-up. Speakers from start-ups, venture capital companies, business schools, corporations, accelerators and more.

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