- find a problem that needs to be solved: ask yourself
- doesn’t have to be sexy
- don’t have to be new, just better
- do something that used to be impossible
- make it touch enabled
- how will you make your first dollar?
- test the idea with a prototype to see if people will pay you
- how big is the market?
- how crowded is the market?
- how simple to ship the first version of the product?


- minimal viable product: simplest form of the product in order to gauge interest
- a prototype
- minimum feature set MVP: working product
- smoke test MVP: showcase a few elements

- crystal clear message of products value proposition
- design interfaces that resemble finished product
- must create way to get feedback
- short road to release
- groundwork on which to build product

Step 1
Craft your hypothesis:
- do people want the product?
- will people pay for the product?
- will people want a feature more than others?
- will people perceive the product in a certain way?

Step 2
Outline specifications before building
- stated goal for product in a few sentences
- outline roles of each type of potential user
- divide features of the product into sections

Step 3
Create wireframes
- create wireframes for every section of the specification

Step 4
Turn wireframes into designs
- select a few screens and turn into designs

Step 5
Write copy
- homepage
- screenshots of MVP
- features overview
- contact page

Testing Product

Step 1
Decide how to collect feedback
- what are the metrics that define success?
- what are success and failure scenarios?
- grant priority access to product and grab email address

Step 2
Polish everything

Step 3
Launch product

Step 4
Paid user tests

Step 5
How to get feedback

Getting Organised

Founder documents
- termination rights, vesting, equity splits, board member etc

- one year cliff (get 25% of share at end)
- 3 years of monthly vesting (get 75% of share over time)

IP rights from employees and contractors

5 Divisions rule:
- product
- BD & sales
- PR & marketing
- finance & funding
- hiring & HR


Technical co-founder key traits:
- love for building products: "what have you built in your own time?"
- understanding of business and technology
- ability to attract great tech talent
- domain expertise

Finding freelancers:
- referrals
- not cheapest
- push back is good

Workplace of 100:
- divide labour into divisions: design, front-end, back-end
- break tasks into chunks that can be completed in 30 days
- don't set project rates, set hourly
- send out monthly newsletter to keep in loop

( variation of this is open source and Ghost approach with weekly hangouts )

Attracting Customers


Public relations

Social sharing


Referral program
- Dropbox eg: 2 sided referral system, invite only system (Dropbox started as invite only), built referral program into interface

Affiliate program

Web advertising

Events (via

Growing your Startup

BD involves partnering with other companies to grow your customer base. 
- go for large deals that bring in a lot of distribution

Partner with those who share the same customers:
- go to meetings yourself
- emphasise opportunity for revenue
- emphasise opportunity to look innovative

Who you should and shouldn't talk to
- not spending time with the wrong people is just as important as spending time with the right ones
- don't spend too much time with technical team
- don't spend time with revenue team
- don't spend too much time with junior person
- do spend time with decision maker
APIs allow more versatile product and further reach

How to Make Money


Recurring subscription

App model

Content paywall

Micro payments

Commission payments


Support (ala SugarCRM)

APIs and access to data

Test pricing with A/B tests

Make your Startup Famous

Getting notice pre-launch:
- collect emails
- pick fights with people bigger than you
- blog early, blog often
- be open about what you're doing
- be mysterious

How to pitch the press:
- tell a story
- solve a pain point in your story
- get to the point in the pitch
- provide press kit: picture and video, feature overviews, company info, significance of announcement
- be available
- piggy back on other stories
- give an exclusive

Eg pitch email - great

Raising Funds

Checklist (besides if it's right for you):
- have a tech cofounder
- have a demo
- have customers
- ready to bring on people
- rid of other obligations
- market is large enough (potential to make revenues of $100M per year)
- able to devote time to fundraising

How to:
- Find a champion
- target list
- leverage brand through writing
- get warm intros
- stay under the radar
- target a specific partner at the fund
- build momentum from the lead