- Chapters from Starting & Sustaining
- Discounts from Starting & Sustaining
- Resources & Links
- Related Topics
Chapters from Starting & Sustaining
Balance fear and hope
It’s hard but rewarding work. Your happiness and satisfaction will largely be a result of your expectations. Expect and plan for slow and steady growth, and be pleasantly surprised if your business grows more quickly.
Don't quit your day job
If reducing your costs is the best way to set up your business, not quitting your day job is the next best. There will come a time when you need to quit, but it will be long after juggling the two is easy.
It’s handy to have some money set aside to get your application off the ground, but you may need less than you think. More importantly, you may have a lot more options for gathering that money. Make sure you understand the pros and cons of whichever path you choose.
Assemble a team with care
Of all the activities that can destroy a business before it starts, how you assemble the team is one of the most difficult parts. Don’t choose partners and cofounders haphazardly. Take your time.
Defend your productivity
You’re running a small business and juggling dozens of aspects. You can’t afford time lost to non-critical tasks. Take the time to make a plan, be disciplined, and hold yourself accountable for focused work.
You’re inevitably going to face new tasks that require new skills. Being in a constant state of learning can be overwhelming and distracting. Do your best to stay focused and take it one skill at a time.
It can be intimidating to see large companies that seemingly have more bandwidth and can eat your lunch without trying, but it’s important to remember that being small gives you strengths those other businesses wish they had again.
Spend time talking to customers
Nothing can lead you in the right direction better than spending time with customers and striving to understand their problems and challenges. In the early days, no investment will pay off more than time spent understanding your customers’ needs.
Don't neglect sales
We’d all love to believe that for a great product, you don’t need marketing or sales. But if there’s anything that can separate you from every other founder, it’s taking sales seriously. You don’t need a sales force and pipeline on day one, but you should actively make it as easy as possible for potential customers to get on the phone with you.
Launch day is overrated
Launching is exciting. It’s a tangible milestone that represents an exciting day of watching your stats. It’s worth celebrating–but only briefly. Launching is where the work begins, not where it ends.
Create a prioritization framework
Once things get rolling, prioritization will haunt you. How do you know you’re working on the right thing when you have endless choices? Development? Design? Writing? Research? Support? Help documents? Marketing? Refactoring? Performance? Security? It’s difficult, so you absolutely need a framework to help you make the right decisions.
Discounts from Starting & Sustaining
These products and services include discounts when you purchase the full package of Starting & Sustaining.
Sidecar: 20% off your entire order
Incredible digital assets like stock photgraphy, icons, and more for design.
Resources & Links
Paul Graham explains the benefits of having a low cost of living when creating a business.
Stripe Atlas - Starting a Real Business
Patrick McKenzie has pulled together a great summary of some of the more tedious aspects of building and running a business internationally. This is an absolute must-read if you’ve never started a business before.
Version 0.1 = Start lo-fi
Derek Sivers provides a great example of how a lack of funding shouldn’t stop you from moving forward with an idea.
That’s version ∞. First launch version 0.1.
Derek Sivers talks about the value of launching something around the one crucial part of your business and then iterate.
Show. Don’t tell.
Spencer Fry explains why building something is always more powerful than simply talking about it.
How do you keep going? What happens when fraud or spam begin affecting your business?
What should you think about for your alpha and beta? How should you run launch day? How do you build anticipation?
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