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Tips for running or starting a startup

yuriguernsey profile image Yuri Alves ・1 min read

What are the best tips you have received or give for running or starting a startup?

P.S. Only comment if you don't mind being referenced.

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recursivefaults profile image
Ryan Latta

I've been the CTO of a startup, done my own, and been through an incubator.

I'll distill the core lesson to this: You don't have anything until a customer pays for it.

  • They don't pay until something is in front of them and its value to them
  • You don't know its value until you put it in front of them
  • The longer/more you build the less you're putting in front of them

Paying for something, btw, isn't always done in money. They do have to give you something of theirs though.

So take your idea and break it down into something you can put in front of a real, potential customer every day if you can. Learn from that, keep going.

Be cold and calculating in how you make decisions based on the feedback and data you're gathering.

Get to $1 as quickly as you can.

If you're going the investor route, you will fundementally be in the position of pitching to them how your idea is something people will pay for. Best way to do that is show them how you're actually making money today and how it is growing.

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michael profile image
Michael Lee πŸ•

Digging this.

Get to $1 as quickly as you can.

Ryan could you elaborate what you mean by:

They do have to give you something of theirs though.

Do you mean time, attention or email? Curious to hear what your experiences have been in trading your solution for something in return.

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recursivefaults profile image
Ryan Latta

I'll take a quick stab at this here, and if you have more, feel free to ping me.

In the end, this boils down to currency. So currency as I mean it is anything that someone else has that holds value. It can be an email address, time, money, services, items, etc. Point is, they have it and it has value to both of you.

So when you are putting your ideas out there we get a stronger signal when people are giving a currency to you at the same time. Think of a landing page. Looking at people who arrive on it is them giving you some amount of time. If they give you a click they gave you some interaction. If they give you an email address they gave you a means to personally communicate with them.

Each of those examples hopefully show that increase in the currency they give as a stronger signal for their interest/engagement.

As you try your ideas you want to think about how much of a signal you need in order to continue with that idea, or adjust it, or abandon it. This forms the basis of the trade. If they won't give you whatever currency you've asked for, then congratulations. You just learned that whatever you offered wasn't worth it.

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allanjeremy profile image
Allan N Jeremy

You don't have anything until a customer pays for it.

Couldn't have said it better! Love this