In Fall 2014, Sam Altman from Y Combinator put together a bunch of really cool videos to teach entrepreneurs ‘how to start a startup’. And this is my attempt to come up with a shorter version of the same goal. However, this is aimed at people who are just toying with an idea and barely contemplating to start a startup (and if you know anything I said on the first sentence: Sam, YC, the videos, then this is not for you).
Yes, this is for people who are extremely new to the modern startup world.
So here we go!
You, and may be together with a couple of your friends, perhaps after a few beers, start talking about this business idea that you have been concealing from the world for years. The only difference this time is you really want to give it a try (of course this is all relative). So what should you do?
1. Build your product!
Ok, you may think, shouldn’t I do some research first? Shouldn’t I start writing a business plan? Shouldn’t I start making a fancy powerpoint? No, you start build it right away! If it’s an app, build it, if it’s a product, start making it. Well, at least make an effort to start. Why? Because it can help validate a few things. First, you can find out if you are really interested or not. If you are really interested about it, forget about startup, you should be doing it anyway. So get to work! Second, by actually doing it, you know what skills you actually don’t have. Therefore, this gives you the urgency to find the right co-founders. Too many people these days want to start a technology startup with absolutely no technical skills! That’s like starting an auto repair shop without knowing cars! Finally, as soul crushing as it can be, it will also help you appreciate the skills that you actually possess. Also with something ‘tangible’, rather than just talk, it’s much more likely you will move this forward with people who are equally interested and have complementary skillsets.