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How to Startup

Startup is the project which is aiming to become an innovative profitable business in the closest feature - it is vital to have a strong support and deep understanding of all the processes to make sure you have the best lifecycle for your product to reach the goals and reach the hall of startup fame.

How to create a startup

Stories for educative reading to help you to build your startup

Startup Vs Business

Startup Vs Business

Business sounds similar but without any hipster/garage tone in it, but isn't the good startup is a business? And both could be innovative or monopole, or bankrupt, have joint capital.

Angels, Investors and Co

Angels, Investors and Co

The difference is that angels come on earlier stage, with less money, but are involved in growth, finding investors and overall process much more, while investors come with more money and opening the doors.

Tech Product Guide

Tech Product Guide

Once you are on the tech side, you will have to mess with nerds, but don't forget to be an artist, picky manager, and a dreamer. No, nerd first! Kidding

Startup lifecycle

Basic stages for every startup to come through, every milestone has its value and activities to be completed succesfully. Every activity has a correspoding documentation. Stay tuned!

Founding concept

The idea is not yet a startup. The startup is a project. The project has a product or service, resources, and processes. Your idea does not have this all yet, but it is a perfect moment to start giving a shape to your startup.

Brainstorming and collecting ideas from founders, friends, and mentors is a good enough beginning but not yet a result. You have to get rid of all additional features, define the root functionality, find out what you are missing and of course make a market investigation. This last thing should be not only there, but do it on every step ever and ever! If you have no eye on market or people doing that - leave the idea.

Now you have the goal, core functions, business idea and probably got the vision how your product might evolve. Plus you know who of the founders is strong in what - it is time to make it happen! MVP!

MVP Development

Minimal Viable Product says everything by its name, don't plan to implement any fancy features yet, but definitely book a place for them.

Wireframing and prototyping should be a big step way before the first line of code. Of course, if your idea does not need a technical investigation before. Wireframing on the paper and discussing scenarios and review from points of view of potential users, customers and your own. Later on prototyping and commenting the behavior of your product. But don't forget to document the changes using the proper tool, maybe even Google Docs, from this moment and later on.

When the end result of MVP development is clear and clean, let the designer and UX designer make some work, because MVP will be your face when you contact potential partners and customers - respect their sensitive feelings!

Product backlog, criteria of acceptance, user stories, team structure, estimates, budget, delivery timeframe, risks - all as in every project management guide.

Founding startup

Now you have the concept, idea, goal, and MVP. It is a great time to fill in the gaps and form a startup. It doesn't really matter if you already have created a company, assigned roles, and shares, signed NDA and contracts, if you have done - that's great, if not - right about time to review previous achievements, evaluate inputs and plan your massive improvement of the product (don't forget about the project lifecycle), raising funds and involving new personalities and teams. From now on your project is a Startup!

Budgeting and milestones

Every project has a budget and other resources, goals, and milestones to achieve them. As always it is important to use all of there wisely.

Put a strong effort to involve experts who have personal motivation, not only money, to help you to raise your baby.

Don't forget about monetization and role of marketing to attract customers. Investors need to know how they get their money back. Every milestone should not only implement every user's dream but be also achievable, attractive and competitive. Don't forget your risk plan, plan B and few pennies from co-founders agreed in advance in case you will need a bit more, it always happens.

Finances and pitches

If you didn't get here without missing some of the important milestones or by promising half of the future shares to developers and another half to early bakers who gave you $10k for MVP - forget it, go get some education, experience, save few thousand, fail in someone's business etc.

Otherwise, welcome to the club, it is time to re-shape your Startup to the real thing, raise investment, grow your team and evolve.

Investors are not only people who bring you money and take the shares - they are opening doors for your Startup on the world or regional scene. Same do the business angels. The difference is that angels come on earlier stage, with less money, but are involved in growth, finding investors and overall process much more, while investors come with more money and opening the doors. In most cases, you need both. If someone is offering you money and that's it - don't waste your shares, it is better to search for the real investor or just take a loan in the bank.

Pitch is when you present the face of your project - the product, to people who will probably join your life. So make sure, you are ready to the presentation and your product is - but remember, you, your team and motivation are not less important than your Startup! For the same reason, don't pitch to the people with whom you would not ever work. Stage time!

Alpha & Beta Releases

Alpha and beta is not MVP anymore when Alpha is released - experiments reaching customers are over when Beta is out. You have to be confident as you would launch to deliver the product to anyone in one second. So, it is really important to deliver less, but working and bulletproof, don't forget the gamification.

MVP is only needed to make a proof of concept, the rest is already a product, service, device or, most likely, all of those together the same time. Versions lost their strict meaning on the time of sunrise of startups and fall of RUP when Agile came. Every version should work properly since your product is the root of your business (foundation, base, ground if you wish).

User Acceptance & Testing

When any version of the product is ready to be out - make sure you have not been totally selfish, shared it to the limited group or wide public and made the assessment, deep testing and confirmed your expectations. But also, don't forget that innovative product might be not that well accepted by the more conservative user - be critical to your own outputs, analytical thinking prior the statistics.

Monetization model

Every startup will take a fly only in the case if there is a plan for proper and efficient monetization or other candies for the users and investors. I know, it sounds reasonable enough to "monetize our best app in the world via ads, every will buy the ads from us", but calculation, planning, simulation and other work has to be done. 

Branding & Marketing

Don't forget about marketing cost, brand strategy, communication, and other important things that will first take a bite from the budget and later cut down the revenue. But that's the price to pay so the world could at least get to know "the best app in the world". And of course good luck! Luck is also a player here, but bet safely!

Social media without a strategy won't bring you any good result, blind sponsoring without proper targeting and plan seldom becomes an efficient way to achieve results.

Fundamental planning of your brand strategy, marketing including channels, target audiences, goals, tools, and communication plan to make all this work - that's the way to get closer to your success.

Product Release

Once random contact or potential customer has launched your app and found it not working - never expect them and all friends back, or vice versa - they'll be recommending it and making your success viral!

The release of the product is not the only post on your social media, so your friends could hit like - it is an activity with a massive and expensive preparation to make a burst and get your attention.

The product release is a combination of product maturity and innovation, branding and marketing pre-work, smart budgeting and the charisma of your team to inspire people trying it out.

Turning startup into business

Now you have a launched product, marketing on-going, monetization on the place. Great! Isn't it? Nice job!

What is missing? Right, the scalability. When the model of your startup becomes scalable - you could pretend to turn your startup into the business, go global and start the growth. The conversion of the startup into the business is the more complex topic that it seems in the beginning, so of course, the startup would need a help of professionals. 

Future of your startup

The startup is the easier way to try out the idea and product before going hard and precise to the tops as a business. Every journey is a bit romantic and dream-centric in the beginning but becomes more real and painful during the way.

If you are ready to go this way and make sure you perform all the steps carefully, examine mistakes carefully and learn lessons - your startup is doomed to be acknowledged as a great piece and achieve the success!

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