Beta Boom Blog

About startups, funding, rising tech scenes, diversity and tech.

Want your startup to thrive? Listen to your customers

The number one reason why startups fail, according to CB Insights, is that they never find a market need for their product. The sixth most common reason why startups fail is that they create a user-unfriendly product followed closely by not listening to customers. Think about that for a second. Three of the top mistakes that startup founders make can be solved simply by talking to your customers.

I personally learned this lesson that hard way on not one occasion but multiple times. What’s more embarrassing is that most of my professional career was spent leading user-centered design and user research teams, so I know that engaging your customers in a dialog can seem overwhelming. I understand that startup founders often rush to build their product because they are excited about their idea, or they think that testing their concept or product design are distractions requiring too much work. Not only that, doing customer research can be intimidating given that there are many techniques, which are complex in their details. This article will hopefully help you get started.

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Bootstrapping. What is it, and is it right for you?

There is a growing movement to “bootstrap” startups, and that can be a wonderful path. However, there are a number of factors that make some startups much more suitable for bootstrapping than others. Moreover, there are some key negatives as well as positives that founders should consider before committing to bootstrapping.

In this episode of Startup Basics, Kimmy and Sergio discuss what is “bootstrapping” and things to consider before choosing this path.

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What kind of startup are you and why it matters

As a founder, you doubtless have come across frameworks such as Lean Startup that promise to help you succeed on your startup journey. Unfortunately, many innovators and entrepreneurs find that such frameworks and advice fall short of their promise. Why? It’s very simple: there is a tremendous amount of variation among innovations and the startup companies that are built around. Those simple, elegant frameworks work in many cases and flop in others because they fail to account for important differences that make each startup unique.

I’m not saying that classic books such as Lean Startup and Four Steps to the Epiphany are hogwash, but founders would be well served to consider why such generalized advice might not work for their enterprise and how to accomplish their goals given their unique challenges and constraints. Below, I will go over my classification of innovations and will touch on important qualities that drive growth and development strategies for each.

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Have a startup idea? Here are the first things you should do

People say that ideas are a dime a dozen, but many entrepreneurs–even experienced ones–struggle to come up with promising product ideas. The fact that you have an idea that excites you is a great milestone, and even though the startup journey is long and arduous, you at least have got a ticket to the show now. However, starting to build your product at the outset can be extremely risky (unless you are working on a breakthrough platform technology such as blockchain or quantum computing).

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Founders building partnerships

Being an early founder means having to set vision, inspire, delegate, sell constantly, build trust, and play many, many, many roles in between. One role that is latent but extremely important is that of choosing partners. It is an important role that can make or break companies.

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