I said bye to my employer and take the plunge

I just wanted to share that after spending a couple of decades building software for other businesses, today I gave my employer a two week notice so that I could focus full-time on my own startup. I've been working with another co-founder since last year. We have great traction and raised just enough capital for me to eat rice and beans for the next few months while I rebuild our prototype into something that can really go to market.

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Good luck - having done a tech startup things I learned.

The product is probably ready before you’ll think it’s ready. Get it into the hands of users and let the audience help you improve it.

Start to charge for the product as early as you can, even if it’s a small amount for some additional functionality. Sooner you find paying users the better and calms investors nerves.

Sleep.

Eat well, and take time to eat. Sure there will be rushed meals grabbed between hacking sessions. But take time out with your team to sit and share a meal. Some of the best ideas come when people are not pressured to perform and are relaxing and feeling chill.

Speak directly to as many users as you can. It’s the small asides and little frustrations that make good into great user experiences.

Be honest with yourself and your investors. If you are gonna blow a deadline tell those who need to know as soon as you know. They are riding this thing with you, so make sure you share the responsibility and accountability. Nothing worse than knowing a deadline is gonna be missed, hiding it then having to tell everyone the day of the deadline. Plus you’ll feel shi77y every day up to the deadline.

Sometimes the investors like to offer “advice” have a process for taking it, exploring it fairly and making sure you feedback why it will or won’t work and cost implications. Nothing pi55es off an investor faster than feeling like their “great” ideas are being ignored.

If something fails, own it. Learn from it. Move on.

Deal with head 5hit. Have a mentor you can speak to who is not financially involved in any way. You need a confidential pressure valve to blow off when the mess in your head needs to be untangled.

Enjoy it, the whole crazy thing, every day is another day to be better than you were. You get to make your life better, those around you get to have better lives and your users lives are improved (or should be!) enjoy it, all of it!

Other points

Be ware and enjoy. Having a cofounder and capital is good! A careful advice if you care to listen, is to be ruthless in business! From day one, never play by the rules. Rules are set so others can predict your path and ambush you.

Second advice, only work for fat market. Be careful in a niche market that does not scale or metamorphosis - it becomes forever miniature and forever ungrowable.

I have many examples around me, and they all failed, the younger ones who did not burn the bridge can go back to old job or even become VCs, and older ones suffer. If you expect the best of human behavior you will fail. Many people develop product, have great customers, and then fail and lose every penny. I see many 40-50 year olds suffer. A guy who quit a national lab director job 20 years ago forever works in a shopping mall office.

I wish someone stopped me from quitting my job. Startup is fortunate incidents of heaven, not man made products. Startup is a skill, not a path to success. Startup is simple. It is like baking. https://youtu.be/YnrhaoAS_O4

Here is a collection of startup failure stories. https://www.sevenparallel.com/post/close-encounters-with-friends-startup-failures-teaches. Most common reasons of failures are: (1) cann't grow after "success"; (2) does not have money to get into market.

When you go climb the mountain of gold, get a guide who knows where the skeletons are buried.

"Perfect it. Don't try to be fancy..."

Several of my entrepreneur clients have discovered that they can save INSANE amount of time when building their product if they are keenly aware of the exact level of quality the client needs, and then deliver just above that, rather than what the entrepreneur is CAPABLE of.

Of course, that requires getting out of the house and talking with the client!

We're all more capable than we think, and I have yet to meet someone who was unable to vastly exceed client expectations.

90% done takes half as much time as fully done.

80% done takes one fifth the time of fully done.

Question asked by

u/JohnnyKonig

Date

July 8, 2020, 12:22:43 PM

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Startup Lingos To The Point

choice

bold vs stupid

Bold is do the right thing that no one agrees and hard. Stupid is to do the wrong things that a few agrees and impossible.

business plan

business plan

A business plan has two parts, the aspiration and the traction. A business plan is about two parts: how the business runs, and how to start that business.

business plan

business plan and exit

The plan to reach the exit, including unknown uncertainties that will surely happen.

business model

business model

How to turn an interest into a money maker. How to attract people, how to stimulate people to pay, how to make profit, how to make relations, how to keep relations.

value proposition

value proposition

How much do I have to give my audience so they can pay me something in return? What do they value? what problem do they search for answers on your own? I want to solve that problem.

passion

passion

You may like your dream, but if you have to suffer tremendous set backs to realize your dream, would you give up?

passion

passion

You may like to startup, but you may not the business you startup

investment

due diligence

VC or investor check. Include standard items 1. Did you quit your job; 2. Did your cofounder quit his job; 3. is your sales validated.

leadership

leader

Protect and provide. And gets loved.

traction

traction

When you finally connect what you love to do to what a lot of people love to buy. When you can focus all you want and still have unlimited work and fun.

founder

founder and CEO

A founder is not a CEO, until the company is making money and profit enough to stay alive on its own.

chance

Serendipity

After you have a sale or a market hit, you ran into all kinds of accidental discoveries that you never knew exist.

sales

Marketing vs. sales

Marketing makes the first sale happen. The sales department work on the rest.

value

Largesse

A general or CEO or founder who is tolerant and generous. Someone who recognizes own mistakes. Someone with big heart for hiring people better than him.

brand

Brand

Brand means name recognition. A lot of people knows what your company does and what you stand for. Brand is result of long campaign of consistent value provision and media cultivation. Brand helps a company reduce marketing cost.

validation

Validation

Whether there are buyer willing to pay or not. For that to happen you must provide extreme value. The entire startup process would be based on guess before the validation. Validation happens in a market, not on the street.

value

Value

Value is what you give customers beyond the price you charge. Value is effective solution to a problem. The price your customer pays reflects whether the problem is big for them and whether your solution is uniquely effective. Value stems from quality and detailed work.

marketing

Marketing

Marketing means bring your product to the market and bring your message to your customer. Marketing is not salesmanship. Marketing is to penetrate the world of commerce through many barriers and existing networks.

invention

Widgety MVP

A "MVP" wanna-be that is still at the widget stage. Lacking ability to demonstrate effects, only projected effects.

lean

MVB

Minimally viable business, or MVC, minimally viable company. A company that scrapes by, full of guess and hope and no traction and sales. When you give your customers things for free they all take it. But they never pay and you can never rent a table at the market.

MVP

MVP

Minimal viable product. A full artifact of a real product. Something that works ALL THE TIME. You can demonstrate the real effect on real people - not to sell hope. The MVP may not have certain non-essential bells and whistles, but it needs to have appeal value.

value

Customer is king

A business lives at the mercy of its customers. You provide your customers 10 dollars worth of value and they pay you 1 dollar, not knowing that your company only costs 99 cents to provide the item. The value is not the item - the value is what is attached to the item.

cash

Cash Flow Is King

A company needs to have daily activities to keep employees busy and engaged. Otherwise the good ones will leave.

mission

Company culture

Company culture is based on a company making money. Once your workers are paid, they need to have a mission and aspiration so they are not bored everyday and make trouble in the work place.

focus

Take a stand

Tell people what you stand for, clearly and loudly, and those who like you will come to your stand. Others will walk by and shake their heads.

bold

Bold

Veterans do things their way, because they know all the naysayers are just beginners and by-standers.

focus

Onlyness

When you find a full universe within a grain of sand, a life time of work to do by focusing on one thing. There is enough people behind you to support your living and cause.

success

Fame

People's reaction when they know you have done something they could never do And they know this is not accident because you have done it a number of times.

investment

Company valuation

A company valuation is cash investment divided by the percentage. As long as your story is good, the valuation will keep coming, and the investors will keeping falling into the line.

investment

Return on investment

Investors are either behind family fortune (never work with them) or for rich clients as investment vehicle. Both need returns 2-3 times better than stock market darlings.

investment

Due diligence

A thorough validation of everything you said.

solepreneur

solopreneur

Someone wanting to build a lean startup by projecting, offering, and test.

traction

traction

Having found what people want, not just what people may need. Your offering and their acceptance is sure, no longer a guess. You can provide it for profit, and you can indeed making living on it. Traction is sometimes called validation. You are no longer a theater. You have touched nature, and found cash vein.

passion

Passion

Natural love.

mission

mission

Things to make sure the founder will not fall into despair, boredom or get distracted during the long execution even in face of repeated setbacks.

value

Magic

Insanely high value/solution to price ratio

vision

Vision

Ability to walk long distance in the dark.

magic

Disruption

A complete shift of the supply chain and value provision.

disruption

Game changer

A new value provision that causes supply chain to move and customers getting more value for the same price.

mission

Mission

Mission is how to beat loneliness during startup, mission is why your employees get up in the morning.