…So You Want to Start A Company...
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About Me: I’m DROdio, the CEO of , a B2B venture-backed startup in Silicon Valley. We’re 2 years old and we’ve raised $14MM to date to help enterprises ship better software, faster. Here’s and here’s my .
RELATED PADS: 🚀 |
✏️ I encourage you to write comments in this Hackpad. What resonates with you? What are your startup experiences and advice? What other resources do you recommend? .
Want to build a (multi) billion dollar company? Here's how:
TL;DR -- Shasta Ventures and found this to be true:
- Billion dollar ideas sound stupid at first. "Our analysis discovered that many billion dollar companies have ideas that were easy to dismiss at first"
- It doesn't matter how competitive the market already is. "The key learning is that consumers are willing to embrace superior products and experiences"
- "Billion dollar consumer companies generally reinvent existing behavior with a superior consumer experience, rather than bringing something radical and novel to the market."
- You're more likely to be successful if you're an untested founder. "[Untested founders] did not have a win under their belt or deep experience in their field, but were passionate about their product and had a unique perspective on how to serve their target customer.
- Don't focus on driving revenue at first. "While most companies did not have revenue early on, we found that many that grow to significant scale did have signs of strong product/market fit and/or exhibited strong network effects by their Series A round."
🔑 The Key Takeaway: Create an Innovative Customer Experience for a Small Group in a Large Market. "There are large companies to be built by offering new, innovative and superior customer experiences to large markets, regardless of how competitive the sector already is or how successful the founders have been before"
🎁 Bonus: Companies aren't massively disrupted by their competitors, but by entirely new approaches they didn't see coming. And those approaches often take the form of platforms that re-invent an entire industry. Taxis --> Uber. Hotels --> AirBnB. This is part of a larger trend towards . Learn it, live it, love it.
Do This Research First
- Start by reading Sam Altman’s “.” It’s the single best resource for founders, especially first time founders. Think of it as a Cliffs Notes of everything else you’ll read.
- TL;DR: If you want a quick & dirty version, start instead with from YC.
- Another good startup playbook comes from Stripe’s Atlas program, called . For example, here’s a Guide on .
- Then read . Paul Graham is the founder of Y Combinator. He's kind of like the godfather of the Valley startup ecosystem :smile: . If you've never heard of YC, you can read and to understand what it's all about. If you want to slingshot your way to startup success, applying to, and being accepted to YC is a terrific goal to have. It's by far the single fastest way I can think of for you to succeed as a startup entrepreneur. Did you know that these companies all came out of YC? Airbnb, Stripe, Reddit, Instacart and Twitch? You can see a full list of YC-funded startups in the .
- Read The Lean Startup, is a book by Eric Ries, a co-founder and CTO of IMVU. You can ($10 for the Kindle version). :bookmark: Also -- there's -- a reading app that hooks into your local library account. I checked, and both the text and audiobook versions of the LeanStartup are available on OverDrive for free ().
- There's a public FB group run by Sam Altman ( the president of YC) called . Join it. Read all its posts.
- is 👍 pure gold. The advice in these paragraphs could cover an entire year of study in a startup class. If there's one single condensed 'bible' of startup commandments, this FB post is it.
- That synopsis summarizes this lecture series by Sam Altman at Stanford on how to start a startup. (available either as (also below). or ). Sam brings luminaries from the startup world in to talk in this series. Highly recommended.
- Consume as many of First Round Review's startup blogs as you can manage. These posts are a good starting point, but there are many more: , , , ,
- Listen to as many of as you can manage.
- If you're building a SaaS company -- MercuryFund's SaaS Lifecycle is a great template:
I’m starting right now. Here are some of my most current tips.
A lot has changed since back in 2013. Here are some of the services, tools & vendors I’m relying on as I spin up Armory with Ben & Isaac, my two co-founders.
- Armory was incorporated using the program, which also gave us great perks like $15k inAWS credits
- Got $20K in GCP credits through the developer program
- Using Silicon Legal Services for legal work (same law firm as I used before; they rock)
- Using for our design mocks
- Using for payroll & benefits
- Using for back-office administration
- Using to manage our cap table, option grants, etc.
- Using for corporate mail, calendar, etc.