Over the last six months, I have been hatching, incubating and nurturing a technology startup. Part of the process has been getting out there and networking with the technocrati of Silicon Alley. I have been attending meet-ups, conferences and events to “reconnect” with the startup community.
What has astounded me the most has not been the rate of technical advancement (the barriers to entry are literally nil), but the – and I say this with the utmost respect – the utter lack of knowledge about business. I cannot tell you how many times (hint: a lot) I have heard a would-be-entrepreneur utter phrases like, “I have this great idea…”, “Do I need a [business plan, business co-founder, technical co-founder]?” “What does MVP mean?” or “I have no competitors!”
Let me set the record straight:
- Everyone in the room has a great idea.
- Yes, you need a business plan. Maybe a co-founder. Maybe a technical co-founder. It depends on your experience, your network and your previous successes.
- MVP means minimal viable product.
- If you think you don’t have competitors, you haven’t done your homework and you are setting yourself up for failure.
So with that, I am going to share some “go-to” places so that you can educate yourself. As an entrepreneur, you have to remember that everyone you meet matters. The last thing you want to do is put your worst foot forward! And as an entrepreneur, if this idea or this business is your passion, if it is what you love and believe in, then you must do everything in your power to help it succeed. Start by getting smarter than you already are.
General Entrepreneurial Sources
- 4 Steps to the Epiphany by Steven Blank
- Reality Check by Guy Kawasaki
- Attracting Capital from Angels by Brian Hill and Dee Power
- Term Sheets & Valuations - A Line by Line Look at the Intricacies of Venture Capital Term Sheets & Valuations by Alex Wilmerding
- Venture Deals By Brad Feld
- Definitive Guide to Raising Money from Angels by Bill Payne
- The Seven Deadly Sins of Powerpoint Presentations
- Angel Capital Association
- Kauffman Foundation
- Entrepreneur Magazine
- Wilson and Sonsini (Go to entrepreneurial services)
- New York Angels Chairman David Rose video on pitching VC's
(Source: NewYork Angels)
My list of “Must Reads”
- The Lean StartUp by Eric Reis
- Rework by Jason Fried
- The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki
- Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup by Brad Feld and David Cohen
- Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh
- The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha
Blogs That Matter (to me and maybe you)