Beta Boom Blog

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

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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Do you need a co-founder to build a successful startup?

A TechCrunch article published in 2016 argued that startups that have more than one founder aren’t necessarily more successful. The author pointed out that at the time of writing, 52.3% of startups that exited (were acquired or IPO’d) had only one founder. This analysis flew in the face of conventional wisdom: that teams needed two or three co-founders to make it. While I don’t dispute the findings, I do think that summary statistics miss a number of nuances that are critical when deciding whether or not to bring on a co-founder. In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the dynamics that are likely to drive this decision.

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Can I get funding for my startup with just an idea?

It’s quite common that I meet founders that are seeking capital for their startup idea. I love talking to these founders, but I inevitably tell them the same thing: It’s exceedingly rare, these days, to raise capital for just an idea but not impossible. Moreover, there are ways that founders could finance initial product development without equity-based investment. 

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Want your startup to succeed? Know thy competition

Too often startups tell me that they have no competition. I write those startups off right away because I can guarantee that not only do they have competition, but the competition is a worthy opponent that must be taken seriously.

Rather than convincing me that your startup is special, stating that you have no competition tells me instead that you are either ill-informed, unrealistic, delusional, or too lazy to perform a thorough analysis of your competitive landscape. I’m sure the motivation is often just trying to impress the investor, but I am infinitely more impressed when a startup rattles of a dozen competitors and tells me everything there is to know about them. The startup journey is a competition, and it inspires substantial confidence when a team has thoroughly studied their adversaries.

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