What is your New Year’s resolution? Does it involve launching a startup? If so, then read on because we’ve collected some of our most popular blog posts of the past year that offer useful insights for every stage of launching a startup.
And if your New Year’s resolution has more to do with losing weight, quitting smoking, or learning something new, then read on anyway as this blog post will show you how to launch a company that will help you fulfill your New Year’s resolution.
Idea: 3 Steps to Find Amazing Company Ideas
The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas." - Linus Pauling
If you are looking for a comprehensive method for developing a cutting-edge startup idea, then this article has just what you’re looking for, as it outlines the best practices of startup ideation, from identifying a problem to developing a solution to validation.
Customer Development: How to Have Your Customer Build Your Product for You
This blog post will show you how to build something that your customers love. Do you know why so many startups fail? Plenty of founders are quick to point to a lack of funding or not enough time to get it off the ground. These are all valid reasons, of course, but the biggest reason is a lack of customers.
For more information on determining and defining your target customer, be sure to read our syndicated post, "Customer Definition: Customers Are People Too", by Ben Larson, Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Gateway Incubator.
Why is customer definition so important? Put simply, someone has to buy your product. You need to know who that person is and why they're going to buy whatever it is you are selling." - Ben Larson
Revenue Models: High-Level Revenue Concepts Made Easy by, Munjal Shah
...The best way to market your service is to make it free.” - Munjal Shah
In this video, Munjal Shah, the Co-Founder & CEO of Like.com (which was acquired by Google to create Google Shopping), explains the differences between symmetric versus asymmetic revenue models and breaks down the concept of simplifying the "steps to revenue".
Naming: The Lean Branding Approach to Business Naming
Lean branding is not about shortcuts, savings, and settling. Lean branding is about being smart, streamlined, and speedy. And most of all, it’s about starting.” - Margot Bushnaq
Margot Bushnaq, the founder of BrandBucket, describes a simple yet effective method for creating an impactful and meaningful name for your startup in this syndicated blog post.
In the video below from the Silicon Valley Founder Institute, Aaron Patzer (founder of Mint, founder & CEO of Fountain) outlines the scientific approach he took to create a branding and positioning strategy that helped him dominate the market as a late comer.
Feedback: The A to Z Guide to Getting User Feedback Before Launching Your Product
I think that's the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself." - Elon Musk
This exhaustive blog post collects insights from top industry experts to help you get valuable user feedback before you launch your product to ensure that the product you release is the strongest it can be.
Cofounders, Legal, and IP: How to Create the Perfect Cofounder Agreement with Your Business Partner
You absolutely have to agree with your co-founders early on what the deal is among you. Think of the founder agreement as a form of 'pre-nuptial agreement'." - Richard Harroch
This article collects the best opinions from top startup authorities to help ensure that you and your partner(s) align your goals and establish a strong cofounder relationship for your company.
Team & Advisors: What You Need for the Perfect Startup Team
There is no universal plan for assembling the perfect team for launching a startup. Luckily, in this syndicated blog post, lean startup coach and advisor Tristan Kromer shares his knowledgeable insights on what comprises the complete startup team and what qualities startups should look for in adding team members.
And if you're looking for some much needed mentorship to help you with your company, check out our post with a video featuring TechStars founder David Cohen on how to incentivize mentors: The Best Startup Advice is Free - Insights from David Cohen.
Mentors want something, that’s human nature, but for many of them, you’d be surprised what they actually want. Do they want to be paid? Sure maybe. But if they’ve done really well, does that change their lives at the level that you’re going to pay them? Probably not. It’s the ones that need to be paid that probably aren't the best mentors.” - David Cohen
Product: The Definitive Guide on How to Build a Habit-Forming Product
This video, filmed at the 14th Founder Showcase, features Nir Eyal as he offers wisdom into the psychology behind building addictive products, answering questions like "How do we boost engagement?" and "What makes customers come back?" Nir Eyal is the author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products , Co-Founder of AdNectar, and blogger at NirAndFar.com.
For more information on this topic, check out the video below from our post, "Build A Product That Will Interest You", featuring exclusive insights from Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Evernote Phil Libin.
Sales & Partnerships: The Sales and Partnerships Playbook: Your Guide to Early Growth
With all of the responsibilities that you have to juggle as a founder, sooner or later making sales and partnerships to grow the business will become a priority. However, this article simplifies that process, explaining how to make key relationships, establish your reputation, discovering prospects, and much more.
Branding & Marketing: A Simple Template to Build Your Startup’s Brand Foundation
In this syndicated blog post, Carter Laren (Co-founder and Managing Partner of Gateway Incubator and Co-Director of the San Francisco Founder Institute) shares a Brand Foundation Template that’s simple yet thorough, and will help any founder get started on defining their startup’s brand foundation.
Once you've established your company's brand, now you must broadcast it to your (hopefully) growing audience. Take a look at our syndicated post, "Startup Marketing 101: An Entrepreneur’s Guide", by Founder & Office nomad at Officenomad.org Janne Saarikko, who outlines the marketing basics that every founder needs.
Fundraising: How To Secure A Lead Investor
The lead investor is the first step that makes the rest of the process take flight. The primary responsibilities of a lead investor are to invest, advise, and attract other sources of capital for your business. We’ve provided a list of ways to identify a lead investor, build a relationship, close the deal, and everything in between for your next funding round.
If you need help attracting investors who may be interested in your company, check out our post, "How to Attract The Right Investors", along with the video below, for more information on the matter.
Bootstrapping: 50 Bootstrapping Hacks For Every Stage Of Your Startup
Now that we've listed the stages an entrepreneur will encounter upon building their startup, here's a comprehensive list of 50 hacks/resources to help you, as a founder, take advantage of available resources and utilize limited funds to help expand your company.
Entrepreneurship is about innovation, which means that there is no single guide out there that will provide you with every bit of startup wisdom you will need to launch a successful company. However, hopefully this article has provided you with enough to get started, and we here at the Founder Institute will do our best to continue giving you the best and most relevant entrepreneurial insights in 2016, and beyond. But, since you have everything you need to begin, now is the time to get started! For, as Mark Twain once said,
The secret of getting ahead is getting started."
(Photo of female entrepreneur running to reach numbers 2016 while carrying briefcase image by Shutterstock)