What advice would you give a software developer who is thinking of starting their own business (high growth startup or otherwise)?
I've started quite a few companies myself so... I would probably say know who you are getting into business with or know what value they are bringing to the table and make it very clear. Always have a 1 year cliff for all founders when starting - a lot can happen in a year. I would also say make sure to get a good lawyer and the paperwork done properly because then it's way easier to get cofounders and investors interested and involved. Until then there is nothing for them to do bc you're not ready.
Also, do NOT quit your job. If you can't work full time and do your startup and gain traction, you won't be able to full time. I don't care what you say bc you are also not driven enough if you can't handle both at the same time and gain some sort of traction. Once you have found product market fit or revenue or funding then quit your job.
What has your experience with fundraising been? Do you recommend accelerator programs?
I think accelerator programs are great potentially for the network or for money or for structure. It depends on how structured you need things. These accelerators will give you foundation. For me personally, I'm already pretty structured so I might consider accelerators and excel, but I am also able to do it myself and be successful since I've gone through the path. Some people also can't afford the time for accelerators and can only work nights and weekends which is how I started my first company.
Fundraising! Fundraising is a TON of fun once you gain traction. Your first investors will probably just be your advisors. And honestly, my first "real" investor was just a guy who went to a Dishcrawl (food event, my first company) with his wife, realized I did startup stuff. We got together because I just wanted to soft pitch him. When we chatted he fell in love with the idea, saw that I was coachable, and helped guide me.
One thing is - you are always in charge of your own destiny so don't "rely" on someone else or some investor or lawyer to make connections for you, etc.
Also, just be around startup stuff so you have more serendipitous encounters and ideas.
TALK about your idea ALL THE TIME. I hate it when people are so scared someone will steal their idea. Your idea is not that great, and your execution is zero. So... literally... just talk about it so you can improve it and so others can help you improve it.
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