Top products from r/startups

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Top comments that mention products on r/startups:

u/Iamaleafinthewind · 10 pointsr/startups

Came here to say basically this.

OP - you need to think about this from the customer end of things - how many people go out looking for "a creative mind"? No one I know of, unless they have a follow-on, "for ___". You need to make it clear what you provide and who your target market or markets are.

Sachbl makes a great point about kid-focussed services, so let's start with that.

You decide (in our example) to target the market defined as 'parents with 1 or more children under 7-8yrs of age' to sell a service that could be described as 'decorating/painting children's room and furniture'.

With that starting point you now know you need to make your service visible to that market. So, where do they go, what do they do, who do they communicate with or work with in their day to day lives?

A few answers might be day-care, pediatricians, and other service providers who target the same market. Perhaps even stores that sell second-hand kid supplies (more on that in a second).

Now, knowing that, how do you get information about your service into those areas? Are there day-care providers in your area that would be willing to make flyers available to parents, on a bulletin board, flyer rack in their lobbies or something like that? Same question with pediatricians offices.

If yes, put a flyer together - as professionally done as you can, make it clean, spell-checked, proofed by a friend, and go by businesses willing to let you advertise like that. Bring a portfolio in case they are interested in seeing your work - don't be pushy and do be mindful that they are doing you a huge favor by letting you advertise there. You are at their place of business and they may not have time or interest, but if they are interested, a good impression could lead to verbal referrals.

Now, back to businesses selling secondhand / hand-me-down / twice-loved goods for kids, these are an opportunity for B2B (business to business) rather than B2C (business to customer/consumer) work. How many of them get furniture in that they would be willing to pay to get reconditioned/refurbished? How much could you charge them while still leaving them an ability to make a profit off the final product? Would charging that amount be worth your time? If they can afford to pay $10 to have a chair done and it takes you 2hrs, then you are making $5/hr, out of which you are having to pay your own taxes as a small business owner. You've already had experience with this issue, but I wanted to reinforce that - it's something a lot of businesses lose track of sometimes - you don't just need to make money, you need to have positive cash flow, which you won't have if you spend too much time making too little profit.

What about people selling/renting homes or apartments to parents? Or companies that do home remodeling? Do either of these businesses market themselves to parents specifically? Would they be interested in a partnering arrangement, where they do some sort of construction/remodeling work and you come in and decorate? I have no idea if that's an opportunity, but partnerships where you can represent an additional service someone else can sell is another angle to use.

The above discussion is oriented around the example of decorating for children's spaces, but I think you can see the general ideas in play. Just ask the same questions for whatever market you are aiming for.


Business Model Generation
If you can track down a copy of Business Model Generation (, I think you'll find it very helpful in organizing your thoughts on all of this, especially with the visual approach to modeling. If you can't afford it, check your local public library and see if they have it locally or available via interlibrary loan.

The Business Model Generation website is also useful.

The Small Business Administration (SBA)

You sound very motivated and at the beginning of the entrepreneurial adventure. A good resource for someone in your position, besides your local bookstore/library business section, is your local SBDC.

  • The SBA runs local Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) throughout the country, in partnership with colleges and universities. You can which one is nearest you at Wisconsin SBDC Locations and call to set up an appointment. Most of their services are free, some classes and seminars may cost a modest fee. There is usually a lending library, and you can get assigned a counselor who can provide some advice on various matters.

  • For that matter, the SBA website has various learning resources that provide plenty of reading material on the business end of running a business.

  • Lastly, check out your local Chamber of Commerce. They will usually run networking events and may also have classes. Word of mouth and networking are probably going to be your best tools for generating business for a while. The more opportunities for exposure, the better.

    Last Thoughts

    Keep in mind these are also opportunities to make a very bad impression. A key thing you want to do is create the impression that despite your youth and the fact that you are in the early days of your business, you both understand that you have a lot to learn (and are thus seeking out resources, information, business education) and approach your business as a business, not a hobby you hope to make money off of.

    I'm not saying that in relation to anything in your post, but I've seen a lot of people who ... basically gave one the sense that they had no idea what they were doing, no idea that they had no idea what they were doing, and were basically just making/doing something for money and throwing it out into the market and hoping for the best. Ugh.

    That's about all I've got in me at the moment. I hope you find it helpful. Don't be afraid to take a day / weekend job to keep your head above water. Getting a business started can take time. You need to eat and have a place to live until then. Money helps with this. :)
u/Gojurn · 1 pointr/startups

There are probably a lot of ways to answer this question, but here are some insights based on a combination of research and lived experience in a similar scenario.

First off, it's great you're at least thinking about this early. Plenty of people put it off in fear of conflict, due to naivete, or because they're too focused on other issues (which may or may not deserve priority). Having this conversation early is important since the longer you work the more expectations can be built around share size and the harder it is to negotiate a solution everyone is happy with.

Second, be wary of an even split. This might make sense if you both feel that you're both bringing an equal amount to the table, but you should both be sure of this. How you evaluate this is a personal choice. There are plenty of equity calculators out there ( has one that I've found pretty reasonable in some instances). A lot of this depends on how vital both of you feel your skills (and hard work) are to the success of the project. You may also get good feedback from others in this subreddit that have had to do splits in a scenario more similar to yours which may work just as well.

Another topic to think about is vesting. It may be unwise to pay out the shares immediately. Vesting helps make sure people stick around and that if they do leave early it's not as messy to buy back their shares so you can use that equity to bring in another person (if you still want to go forward). You can also tie vesting to things like milestones if you like.

Probably most important is that you split shares in a way both of you are comfortable with. Lots of people will say they're okay with a breakdown of shares to avoid having a hard conversation about money, but this can easily become a problem later on when someone feels unfairly compensated for their efforts. This can kill a company, no matter how awkward it may feel having a conversation (especially with a friend) about how much each of you are 'worth', it needs to happen to protect the future of what you're building together.

If you have time, I'd seriously recommend taking a look at the equity splitting portion of the book The Founder's Dilemmas.

I hope this helps. Best of luck to the both of you!

u/yellowhatb · 3 pointsr/startups

my company, cymbal, is trying to answer this question directly.

trends largely suggest listeners are transitioning from mp3s to streaming services. streaming services have partly competed by attempting to differentiate their catalogs, but it's hard to imagine these differences persisting over time. sure, kanye is holding TLOP on tidal for now, but eventually even the beatles broke.

peter thiel, in "zero to one", used card readers like square to illustrate the challenges of entering a market where it's hard to differentiate from competition, and streaming services know their goals will have to orient around platform-specific offerings, rather than differences in libraries. i think there's reason to believe that because the simple proposition of $10/month for the entire recorded history of music has been replicated, the challenge will need to be about helping users navigate that vastness.

speaking specifically to the future of the music business, it's important to remember that streaming music is still a very new phenomenon, and on-demand services have yet to penetrate their market. growth, across demographics and nationalities, could scale these services' revenue models many times over. changes in how we listen – in our cars, for example – are just as important to this discussion as how we get the music itself delivered to us.

if i had to predict, i'd expect streaming to become increasingly dominant now that smartphones have proliferated, and the most-dominant software providers to these devices (android and ios) have built streaming services (google music / youtube red / youtube music and apple music) that come pre-loaded on devices. i'd also expect a consolidation of streaming apps, which the fall of rdio and songza already suggest.

which brings me back to why i believe the future of the music business has less to do with libraries or delivery, and more with recommendation and navigating those services' tens of millions of songs. music creation, dissemination, and promotion that is almost entirely digital needs a very different staffing model than the compound structure that now exists and serves physical and digital sales, distributed over myriad channels from radio to streaming playlists. that's tough, though, because streaming services weren't built for sharing, and can only ever speak to their segment of the market. alternatively, a focus on the promotional models that have worked in other realms of celebrity – viral and social marketing, using instagram, twitter, snapchat – might really work. but those platforms weren't made for listening to music.

our idea is that the best recommendations come from the people – friends, artists – who matter to you. we want to let our users show up from any streaming service (right now we support soundcloud and spotify) and find their friends, regardless of how those friends listen, to discover the songs they love. and since every play on cymbal counts on spotify and soundcloud, premium users on our app are driving revenue to the artists they like.

i think we're in as volatile a period of change the music industry's ever seen, but streaming services are proving successful in price and product in their battle against piracy. the next frontier is figuring out how to get everybody listening to the right stuff on them.

u/kyletns · 1 pointr/startups

I have no idea what the startup scene is like in Switzerland, but you should definitely find out! The best thing you can do right now is surround yourself with other entrepreneurs, for sure. Are there any events you can go to? Accelerator programs, incubators, or shared office spaces for startups? Even online communities where these people hang out, anything to get talking. If you can find other entrepreneurs, they'll love to talk with you about your idea. You need to get lots of feedback, and (hopefully) find another passionate soul (or two) to join you!

Pro tip: Don't keep your idea secret! Instead of me explaining it to you, just read this great post by HubSpot founder Dharmesh Shah

Spread your idea, get feedback, find a partner or two, read the lean startup, and go for it! Good luck!

u/strazor · 1 pointr/startups

Good questions.

1 - What is the importance of a cofounder? The answer depends on a lot of things, mostly the value that a cofounder could bring. The challenge is finding someone who will invest a lot of time and is willing to see a 16 year old as an equal. I am 34 years old and I would have a hard time personally with that. When it comes to startups, founders don't spend a lot of time helping each other develop skills. Usually you have pretty distinct areas of responsibility and have to train yourself in whatever those areas are. Said differently, a cofounder is more about what skills they bring to the table that they can execute somewhat independently rather than their ability to personally help or train you. If you are able to develop what you envision yourself, a cofounder might not be necessary. But to be clear, a great cofounder is worth a whole lot. You just have to overcome unique challenges because of your age and background. My personal recommendation to you would be that you should at least learn enough to develop the MVP yourself. I think it is unlikely you would find a skilled developer to act as a cofounder for free for you (equity is still free until it is paid out, and it usually isn't).

2 - Should you use kickstarter? Hard to make any recommendation without a good understanding of your product and potential audience. Have you done any market research? Have you looked at what makes a product successful on kickstarter vs not? Is your product physical or software (what it sounds like)? How has that type of product performed before on kickstarter?

A good book I would recommend if you get serious is The Startup Owner's Manual by Blank and Dorf.

u/ThatNat · 2 pointsr/startups

You might find some of these resources helpful to get a sense of some of the moving parts for the "lean" / "customer development" approach:

Steve Blank's free Udemy course:

And his protege Eric Ries' Lean Startup book:

And Blanks'

A rough, top-level, possible roadmap for a bootstrapped solo product:

  1. Talk with a bunch of potential customers to validate whether the problem you will be solving for is in fact an acute problem.

  2. Validate that your solution is a good one to solve that problem. Again, you can start with customer interviews with a prototype of your product. Validation can also be pre-sales, one pager landing page "coming soon" sign ups and other things.

  3. Product development and customer development happening in tandem. Customer feedback informing the product. Yeah minimum viable product: what's the minimum version of your product that proves your assumption that people will find this valuable?

  4. Participating / building an audience / community around folks who value solving this problem can happen during development too. Some like to do this BEFORE building the product -- and having an audience to pitch different variations of products to.

  5. Get early adopters in the door, helping you improve the product. "Doing things that don't scale" while you are still in learning mode.

  6. Try different experiments to improve A) the product and B) different ways/channels to find customers.

  7. McClure's Pirate Metrics: measuring the customer journey of acquisition, activation, retention, referrals, revenue. At this stage retention is probably #1: am I building a product people are finding valuable enough to stick around and continue to use?

  8. "Product/market fit" means your product and the particular type of people you are helping are a happy fit. Time to make those "things that don't scale" more scalable. Time to hit the gas pedal on the marketing side. More experiments to find growth...
u/coomberlers · 2 pointsr/startups

I think it sounds like a great idea - but you need to create a better MVP than just a signup page. Something that explains/shows very simply how it would work and what the value is.

I would recommend checking out resources like The Lean Startup and validate, validate, validate.

Good luck!

u/alreadywon · 3 pointsr/startups

I have never personally accepted equity funding.

It seems like you are new to learning about VC. i'm not an expert, but I do know a bit. Let me try to help clear some things up.

firstly, if you are interested in learning about venture capital and the terms in VC term sheets (the word we use instead of "contract") you MUST read this book.

which includes a sample term sheet in the appendix, but more importantly, it explains everything on the term sheet in plain english, and then goes into the economics of VC, negotiating, and more.

you can see sample term sheets here.

Term sheets do not spell out when and how a founder leaves a company, or any sort of exit strategy as you defined.

Accepting VC is not an agreement to sell your company. Its an agreement for equity and usually some board seats in exchange for money.

Now, the VC can only get paid in a couple of ways. Either a liquidity event, such as an acquisition or an IPO, or depending on their agreement they can sell their equity back to the company or to other people. (i don't know how common the latter is)
So, the VC expects you to exit in some way, and since accelerators take equity as well, they also only get paid in a liquidity event (or the secondary market, as i explained above as selling equity back to the company or other people).

thats as far as it goes for an "agreement to sell the company".

also companies aren't really ever "finished" being built. Is Ford finished? Facebook? IBM?

u/mei118 · 2 pointsr/startups

I don't know exactly how you put your ideas on paper, but I suggest putting it into a framework to better assess whether it can work. Business canvas model is a strong tool for that purpose. Not only you need to fill out all the blanks in the model, you need to make sure they create a feasible, coherent plan when standing together. It also eliminates too-visionary things that may sound pretty cool but not really needed when you first start build up your business.

I also suggest you spend time reading Disciplined Entrepreneurship by Bill Aulet. It will give you very clear instruction on how to proceed from an idea to a fully-grown company.

Good luck!

u/thoughtpunch · 3 pointsr/startups

Serial Entrepreneur here. Some critiques since you asked for it.

  1. Product/Market Fit: Please stop what you are doing and go read The Entrepreneurs Guide to Custom Development, while you're at it fill out a Business Model Canvas for your startup. Make sure you can answer these questions with hard data: 1) What is the pain point you are trying to fix with your startup "pill"? 2) Who has this pain and how do they want it resolved (go actually ask them if you don't know!) 3) Will they pay you to have this pain resolved? How much?

  2. Identity: Throw out the whole identity and start over. Name, logo, site design, everything. I don't know if you designed and coded this yourself or had someone help you, but need to slap down $2000 - $5000 to have this done professionally. Your terrible design and identity is preventing people from even wanting to use your product.

  3. Landing Page: I don't have time to watch a video. Your landing page should convert me to a signup in less than 10 seconds. Once again, scrap it and start over. Here are some great examples of well designed landing pages that convert:15 Great Landing Page Designs

  4. Don't be dismayed by the critiques in these posts. We've all been there, so understand that we just want to help you be as successful as possible. Good luck!

u/Yo_Mr_White_ · 3 pointsr/startups

Yeah, some of the wording was a bit awkward.

for example: "We want to provide you that place where you can share and access any file, when you want and for free"

Say something along the lines of "Access your files from anywhere in the world at any time"

Example 2 "Fufox is not using your personal data for commercial purposes"

Instead say "Fufox(or we) respect(s) our users' privacy and we pledge not to sell your personal information to third parties.

Avoid using "you" and complete sentences. You're trying to get a point across and not make someone understand a legal contract. It's ok to be a little vague.

The web design is nice. A bit cliche but nice.
Best of luck! Just remember that in order to be successful, your product has to be a heck of lot better than the competition or a heck of a lot cheaper. Being slightly better than the competition (dropbox) isn't enough to succeed. I sadly have had to drop ideas myself because of this.

You can learn a lot from this book. It's easy to read.

u/silkymike · 3 pointsr/startups

i'm not quite a CFO but i do work in tech / at a startup / in finance. i can give a quick list of stuff I'd recommend to someone making the jump:

  • Kind of a no brainer (and judging from your analysis on #1, this probably won't be an issue) but you should be familiar with the VC/ funding/legal side of things. You can be the most valuable person in the room if you like slicing through a term sheet. i'd recommend Brad Feld's Venture Deals to get your feet wet. From a more macro/ company building level, Bussgangs Mastering the VC Game is a nice, light read.

  • Again, probably why they're hiring you, but strong financial modeling skills are important. Being able to do the historical accounting/ cash analysis and then quickly turn that into a forecast grounded in some business logic is essential. You're going to be making shit up sometimes, but I think everyone is to some degree in early stage tech.

  • I'm not sure the size of this company, but it's probably small and you'll probably end up dealing with/managing a lot of unsexy stuff. Running payroll, administering benefits, getting a 401k set up is all very painful but part of building yourself into a real company that can hire top notch talent. of course you can hire some/most of this stuff out, but it will probably be your problem at the end of day.

  • again, not sure what kind of team you're leading, but dealing with the accounting side. judging on the 2 year timeline, you'll probably be due for your first Audit and have to lead a few 409a valuations. deal with taxes/whatever else comes up.

    i think great CFOs for early stage can run the finance side but also kick in with the Ops stuff and have a good handle on product. You're more of the grease, and your job is to keep things humming and get out of the way to let people build.
u/crazycraker · 1 pointr/startups

LEARN, LEARN, LEARN, and keep learning. Afunnyfunnyman is right about the books. This is also a solid read The Entrepreneur's Guide to Customer Development( is a great resource. I have mixed feelings on SCORE as my local area didn't offer the potential.

BY far the best means to finding excellent resources is Meetup groups. Search your local area and go to as many as you can(Unfortunately, many have alcohol and meet at bars because we, in startups, love us a cold beer). Search for startups, entrepreneurs, etc.

Most importantly go into your startup with this in mind... You know NOTHING about what you are about to take on. Listen and ask questions. Find a startup to go intern with to learn about business. I am 12+ years since I graduated high school and I am still learning about startups everyday. My ego and assumed knowledge use to be my biggest crutch. After I got my ass kicked in the real world and swallowed my pride, did I start to become successful.

What are are you in? If I know some people/organizations in your area, I will get you in touch with them. Also, feel free to ask me any specific questions you may have.

u/windchaser89 · 3 pointsr/startups

Hello, I'm an entrepreneur too and I code things for myself and for friends' projects. There is no "good rule of thumb", it depends on how willing are you to accept that the more you share about the idea, the better the feedback you get. Better feedback = faster iteration from a crap idea to one that works. I advice you to read this book called the startup owner's manual. It has helped me understand this idea better -

Regarding the developer... A potential hire can't understand what you want to build, and won't bother dropping everything he is doing (most likely exciting projects too) to help you if you can't share the intimate details of how you are going to change the world. Just go ahead and tell him what you are trying to do and how he can help. Show him why you two can make good money together.

u/qwertyuioh · 3 pointsr/startups

This app, like WhatsApp, is dependent on network effects -- both parties need to have the app to reap any benefits. But unlike this app, What'sApp has over 500 million users all across the world and they've also got Facebook behind the platform to ensure global domination...

This app has to start from scratch and there is little to distinguish it from the many competitors... competitors like Google Hangouts. The Stock Android App which ships on every Android smartphone & CANNOT be uninstalled ^(w/o root). Hangouts is also being pushed as The default app for SMS and IM on Android. Hangouts now offers free calling throughout the US and free calls among Gmail/Google users across the world.

Like I said before, this app is going to have to face tremendous hurdles... just because they got into YC != success.

Also the Dropbox analogy is pretty terrible.

For one, dropbox use isn't subject to network effects. Secondly, Dropbox is getting crushed by Google, and Microsoft, and Amazon and Box and iCloud and other services who are battling for the same cloud storage market. They're undercutting each other like crazy to lock down users and profits are razor thin. Dropbox's entire business is dependent on Storage whereas the 'other guys' have other cash-flows to keep them in the fight. The hope of Dropbox IPO has also evaporated.... so in short yes, competition is crushing Dropbox.

u/codepreneur · 2 pointsr/startups

"problem is getting people to visit the website and sign up"

Not sure if you you are having more of the visit problem or sign up problem, so let's address both.

For visitors/traffic, spend $500 or so and put up some Google Adwords. You'll have to make sure your message is extremely targeted so that you only get clicks from your target market.

That will get you some traffic. Then it's time to test your landing page / sign up page. You can measure your conversion to see how many folks sign up for the free trial, and finally measure how many folks continue with a subscription.

That's your funnel. The benefit of using Google Adwords is you don't have to waste lots of time building up all these free channels that you hope will bring you traffic. Just drive traffic through paid advertising. The purpose isn't to do this forever; the purpose is to validate that your offering has value and/or that your marketing (landing page) is driving the right behavior (sign ups).

If you find after getting 1k clicks that only 3 people signed up, then it's time to tweak the landing/marketing pages and/or change the offer. Are you requiring a credit card for free trial? Maybe stop doing that. You'll have to experiment.

It also might be beneficial to spend a few dollars and get a marketing consultant to help you design the landing page.

As far as resources, the bible right now is:

u/firstdayback · 2 pointsr/startups

I second the book Hooked by Nir Eyal–it has great insight into building sticky products.

Couple of others off the top of my head:

  • The Startup Life by Brad and Amy Feld - Great if you're building your company and are in some sort of serious relationship.

  • Venture Deals by Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson — One of the best books on how to think about fundraising when you're going through it for the first time. Super entrepreneur focused.
u/rafaelspecta · 3 pointsr/startups

Exactly. That is the idea.

Problem Fit => Solution Fit => Product Fit => Market Fit
Each step teaches us very important details and you engage your early-adopters in the process. When you have the actual product you already have customers, and sometimes paying customers.

And there are books around this that EVERYONE SHOULD READ.

"The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses" (Eric Reis) - 2011

"Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works" (Ash Maurya) - 2010

"Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days" (Jake Knapp - Google Ventures) - 2016

u/dennisrieves · 1 pointr/startups
  1. Identify how you're going to measure success
  2. Tune your content by setting up experiments (learn startup principles) and learning from the data you gathered in step 1 by measuring
  3. Keep that data on hand for future reference
  4. Track overall metrics while you're doing all this to see what effects your business' bottom line the best
  5. Push yourself through the experimentation loop as quickly as possible. That will be key to learning more quickly than your competitors. And who doesn't like having an edge that your competitors don't?
    I highly suggest reading The Learning Startup ( by Eric Ries if you haven't yet. It gives amazing insight on how exactly to measure the effectiveness of basically any business action or venture (as long as you've got the right ideas on how to measure it!)
u/dave250 · 1 pointr/startups

A few books that I absolutely love are; Good to Great, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (this isn't exactly a business book, but a lot of the principles in it help you be a better leader/person which is extremely important when running a business) and Rework

u/vivekmgeorge · 3 pointsr/startups

I think it is key, especially if they are "great". It is actually in a company's best interest. The more vested a person is, the more likely they will work hard to create a great product. A salary isn't a great tool to get people to really commit. They get a salary whether the company succeeds or not.

I can't think of situation where you wouldn't want to give a great employee equity. It is just a bad business practice and shortsighted. That said, there is a great book called Slicing Pie: which details how allocate equity in super fair way without just "guessing" or using word of mouth estimates on industry standards. It is like vesting but without a predetermined allocation, which is hard to determine when a person just starts.

u/blood_bender · 3 pointsr/startups

Technical skill has nothing to do with the success of a startup ^(slight ^exaggeration ^but ^still ^mostly ^true.) 99% of startups aren't going to be the unicorn viral apps you hear about (think Snapchat, Instagram) where it grew organically without funding because the app was something magical. Also, seed funding is shockingly "easy" to get, but you need to put effort into pitches, a lot of them, which requires a lot of legwork. I'm sure your friend had to do pitch after pitch after pitch to win a venture contest.

In order for a product to be successful you need someone with a lot of marketing savvy to make it grow natively, and/or someone with a lot of business savvy to be able to pitch to investors (in order to hire someone with marketing savvy). The technology behind it is actually kind of meaningless (as much as I wish that were false -- I say this as a techy who's been in the industry for 7 years). Read Lean Startup, half of the successful startups the author mentions had no technology behind their product before they were validated and funded, including the ones that were technology based!

>I've been working on multiple applications, hoping to get something to fly and take off.

Have you released any of these, or do you find yourself floating from one idea to the other? If the latter, I'd suggest picking one and running all the way with it. This means marketing, growth hacking, physical pitches to individuals or companies, posting it to forums, getting your mom to download your app, whatever! I would say that if you're putting above 75%, hell maybe even 50%, of your effort into building it in place of some of these other things before calling it quits, it's probably not going to work. Worst case scenario, it still fails, but at least you can learn how to do it differently the next time.

That said, I still would focus on graduating at least, but getting a tech job doesn't mean the game is dead yet. I spent the first 7 years of my career at large tech companies saving a ton of money so that I could quit and work on my own ideas for a while without worrying about money. And I learned a lot about real world tech before actually diving into it, so I'm much more efficient than when I had just graduated. Not the path for everyone, but it worked for me.

u/docbrain · 1 pointr/startups

Depends on if you're sticking to the business-centric category or not. For instance, I think Antifragile (although the author is a bear to listen to) has even more impact than Zero to One. I personally know several startup founders or funded companies who swear by it and immediately dove into their systems to purposefully break the heck out them.

Similarly in slightly different direction, I found How They Succeeded: Life Stories of Successful Men Told By Themselves to be incredibly unknown and worthwhile, and Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant to be a "quake" book leading you down the rabbit-hole of marketing.

One last book, because I can't help myself, would be Traction. Although not necessarily a "must read," I perhaps took more notes from this than any of the others, save Antifragile.

u/mikkom · 1 pointr/startups

This is one of the best books I've read.

From good to great

Books on negotiation skills are also really worth reading and marketing and so on. I don't even remember how many books I have read on business.

ps. yes, I added my referral code so I can order some more books if someone finds the book interesting.

u/IBuildBusinesses · 7 pointsr/startups

I've been through a number of startups and a number of different founders over the years and some were excellent while others, not so much. I've learned through experience that finding a suitable founding partner is far more complex than it first appears.

This is the book I wish I could have read before my first venture. I highly recommend reading it!

The Founder's Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup

Probably the best thing you can do is start networking a lot because you'll never find a partner if you're not meeting people. Of course most of this can be done online, at least initially.

u/gordo1223 · 2 pointsr/startups

I find the original Steve Blank and Eric Reis books tough to recommend these days as they tend to ramble and have since spawned much more approachable work since being published. The two below are part of Blank and Reis's official "Lean" series and much better (and easier to implement) than the original works.

u/busymichael · 1 pointr/startups


I am 1 year into my journey and am revenue positive. It is the 3rd time I have done this journey. I firmly believe a solid programmer does not need a "business" co-founder. The marketing skills are straightforward to learn and practice.

Check out the book Traction -- it is a great primer on how to build your business.

Well done--- I look forward to updates!

u/craig5005 · 7 pointsr/startups

Jessica Livingston's book, Founders At Work is great simply because it covers a ton of different area's and different perspectives. If anything, the reader should come away with the realization that 1. luck plays a big part and 2. there's no one way to be successful.

u/bonk_or_boink · 2 pointsr/startups

I am just now reading The Lean Startup. Reading your blog post about the technical stack powering Ginger, I wonder if you aren't making some of the same mistakes the author made when he first got into startups (at least, what the author now feels are mistakes). Namely, putting a lot of quality effort into an entire implementation (plus features) prior to truly gaging customer interest (making sure the product meets a specific need).

If you haven't read the book, do so! Serious respect on all the effort you have clearly put into this so far, best of luck.

u/nfmangano · 5 pointsr/startups

Hi /r/techsin101,

I have a few resources that don't match exactly what you're looking for, but were interesting non-the-less.

u/G3E9 · 1 pointr/startups

Two other related books I've enjoyed are Good To Great by Jim Collins and The Master Switch by Tim Wu, maybe others here are familiar with them too?

I've got a week long trip planned soon and because I've read 2 books out of your list (Zero to One and Rework,) I'll be looking into the rest of your list for some suggestions, thanks!

u/salvadorbriggman · 3 pointsr/startups


u/OlegLeonov · 1 pointr/startups

from my part I could recommend you The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses:

u/dewayneroyj · 3 pointsr/startups

Check out these two books: The Startup Checklist and Venture Deals . These books should put you on a path towards success. Remember, investors are always looking for the “next best thing.” It seems as though you don’t have an offering yet. Create an MVP (minimum viable product.)

u/relihan · 1 pointr/startups

I'd check out:


One note: Equity financing is a lot more complicated than just buying x% of a company valued at $Y. I'd recommend Brad Feld's Venture Deals book: ( doesn't talk much about convertible, but its the best book out there I've seen on venture financing ).

u/Iamnotpretending · 5 pointsr/startups

Obvious answers for engineers are tech infrastructure --

Web App: AWS/Heroku

iOS: Developer Account

Have you guys run a company/startup before? The best thing you can do is invest in mentorship and advice. Generally accelerators seem to be heavy on pitch building and raising money but light on actual 'how to run a business' advice.

How about 10 hours of legal consultation from a firm in town and basic incorporation fees? Supplement with your local Small Business Administration office for more general business advice.

Some great startup textbooks:

Startup CEO - Matt Blumberg

The Hard Thing About Hard Things - Ben Horowitz

Venture Deals - Brad Feld

Do More Faster - David Cohen

u/mankaden · 1 pointr/startups

READ THIS BOOK! Absolutely one of the top 3 best business/startup books ever and focuses on marketing and gaining traction.

u/GaryARefuge · 3 pointsr/startups

Awesome, quick read about traction and a method to explore and test different channels in the context of your specific goals

Great read about being aware that your effort is the one thing you have the most control over and how important having a clear focus and plan is

Guide to Lean Startup Method

to get things started.

Clear Introduction and Training in Scrum: It's a powerful and extremely versatile workflow to creating and managing any type of project--You could integrate the Lean Method into scrum--most do. Edited to add this one

u/interactionjackson · 1 pointr/startups

It's always good to have a business co-founder just make sure that they are actually interested in your startup . I am a technical guy but I have read a few lean startup books and I don't feel that qualifies me as a business co-founder.

running lean

the lean startup

are my favorite

u/GershensonLaw · 1 pointr/startups

A good starting place is Venture Deals. It goes into aspects beyond funding, and is co-written by a lawyer/entrepreneur. I continuously find it useful in my practice and recommend it to my clients.

u/psykocrime · 1 pointr/startups

Yep. In fact, I feel like I should quit recommending that book to people, in case they turn out to be competitors!

Seriously though, it's a great book, and the Customer Development Methodology stuff is gold. Until I read that book I had NO idea how to work that aspect of a startup. To have a concrete plan for achieving product/market fit was totally eye-opening (and mind-blowing) for me.

Hmmm... This also reminds me that I've been wanting to get a copy of The Entrepreneurs Guide to Customer Development.

u/tech-mktg · 4 pointsr/startups

A book I haven't read but is suggested all the time in threads like this is Venture Deals. You might consider picking up a copy and reading it so you'll know more about what the logistics would look like if this individual (or another in the future) does want to make an investment.

u/afunnyfunnyman · 5 pointsr/startups

Test your ideas. The one thing that you can know for sure is that you are wrong... about something. It may be small and unimportant but you need to be able to adjust and the quicker you can the better results you can get.
Good books to read:
The lean startup (
Rework (

Failure is the road to success, Fail often and fail fast, Learn, Grow, Change....

and good luck!

u/johnathanz · 2 pointsr/startups

I wouldn't try to value the company at this point. No track record of revenue or customer base makes it so subjective.

Recommend using an equity calculator like this:

only as a starting point for discussion, then talk about likelihood of things that would change your situation.

From here:

  • Set periodic time to review equity (e.g. every 3 months) and see if still valid.
  • Put in Cliffing
  • Put in Vesting
  • Get this in writing (e.g. shareholder agreement) & signed by both of you
  • talk to a local startup lawyer to vet the wonderful legal advice I'm giving you over the Internet

    While having it in writing is important. Remember a piece of paper is useless, unless you have inherent trust to begin with - think of it like pre-nuptial and how many of them actually hold up in court.

    For more detail, read:

  • 18 mistakes that kill startups by PG
  • Slicing Pie if you want a more comprehensive equity split model

    Let me know if any questions
u/askglockking · 3 pointsr/startups

I know you mentioned video, but Venture Deals is a great book outlining complexities.

u/madreader121 · 5 pointsr/startups

VCs will typically be looking at 10/20/30x their investment and will be stringent in you sticking to a well defined plan.
The 40k you have spent should go someway to proving your concept. I think angel investors are your first point of call to raise $300-500k seed money and then once you've proven your platform has retention and value, then go for VCs.

A few books I highly recommend:
Eric Ries - The Lean Startup

Sangeet Choudary - Platform Revolution

Read these asap if you haven't already - it's all about lean production of value and minimal waste, which is what /u/duli-chan is getting at.

u/grlthng · 2 pointsr/startups

Static splitting of shares when nothing has been done by anyone is absolutely insane. I absolutely recommend reading Slicing Pie by Mike Moyer. It gives you a dynamic way to split shares within a startup company based around your actual measurable contribution to the project.

u/unclethickdick · 5 pointsr/startups

I recommend reading Venture Deals by Brad Feld

Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist

u/brevig · 1 pointr/startups

Ash Maurya wrote Running Lean. Eric Ries (established the "Lean Startup") wrote the forward and the book is part of the "official lean" collection. Also a little interesting background, Eric was a student of Steve Blank, who created the whole "customer development" cycle. Steve is also a professor at Stanford. You can find an article he wrote last year for the Harvard Business Review about the lean startup at

Steve Blank also has many books on this topic, but I'd suggest Running Lean as your first intro. It's a quick and eye-opening read to how to validate your ideas.

Running Lean can be found at

u/remembertosmilebot · 0 pointsr/startups

Did you know Amazon will donate a portion of every purchase if you shop by going to instead? Over $50,000,000 has been raised for charity - all you need to do is change the URL!

Here are your smile-ified links:

The Startup Owner's Manual by Blank and Dorf.


^^i'm ^^a ^^friendly bot

u/seamore555 · 1 pointr/startups

Your job is to lead them, not to do the same job as them.

A person who starts a car company doesn't spend all day building cars. He/she figures out how to make both the company, and the employees, successful.

I'd highly suggest you check out a book call The E-Myth. It covers this topic extensively.

u/ikidoit · 1 pointr/startups

You can do a lot actually! Start working on Customer Development, this book might help you: You can research the market and talk to people, no matter how old you are. You'll be amazed how many folks in the business will agree to talk to you about their problems. Another useful book will be, it'll show you how to 'fake it till you make it'.

u/redditcodephp · 1 pointr/startups

Hi Jawilson2, here's a few books I've read in the past that helped prime me. I guess at the minimum these books helped me understand who was a bullshitter and who wasn't when they claimed they "knew the business side."

Raising Venture Capital for the Serious Entrepreneur - Fund raising basics. Key if you ever plan to raise money. You'd be stupid to try without reading this first.

Business Model Generation - This book helps you think through the business model issues most "hacker" type entrepreneurs skip. Makes you think more holistically.

The Entrepreneur's Guide to Business Law - Basics about legal issues you should be aware exist. I haven't read through it all at once, but it's a good guide when I run up against areas I'm murky on.

u/eskimoroll · 9 pointsr/startups

Sorry for being in this situation.

For others concerned about starting a company with others, I'd highly recommend that you all read the book The Founder's Dilemmas beforehand. It's really important stuff.

u/Whatitsjk1 · 1 pointr/startups

is it this by chance?

thx for info

u/jcyr · 2 pointsr/startups

You might want to check out this book, Mastering the VC Game.

It talks about Angels and VC's. It is also pretty timely. There is a bit in there about term sheets, what to watch out for, how to valuate, what angels and vc's are looking for, etc.

u/bl8nr · 1 pointr/startups

If there was a proven framework to evolve startup ideas everyone would be using it. But there isn't because it depends a great bit on your business and the environment your business is in. A framework for a B2C business may not work so well for a B2B enterprise business. It sounds like you're actively looking for something to build out but don't want to 'waste your time,' so i'll ask, what do you have experience in personally and professionally? Because a lot of the startup founders I've known had some previous experience in the industry they're now trying to do business in, investors like to see this type of experience too.

Be realistic with the fact that you you may be having trouble finding a good opportunity because your have fairly few working years and haven't had much time to identify peoples pain points via personal or professional friends/connections and their contexts. If you think this is a possibility then get out there and be social and network, get to know people and get to know their problems and maybe you could solve one of those problems with a business idea.

also, read. There are books on all these frameworks, buy/rent them. read them.

some to look at

u/flysonic10 · 2 pointsr/startups

Check out the book Traction for a good framework to start thinking about your traction strategy.

YC's Startup School just ended. You can check out some of the tips from their videos.

Major takeaway... talk to users.

u/kishi · 1 pointr/startups

My friend, you really need to buy a book.

u/Karpuz12 · 5 pointsr/startups

This should help you with number 1


Book: The lean startup

u/Intelligent_Watcher · 2 pointsr/startups

You'll find an infinite amount of fragmented resources for your question. I found one book that centralizes and summarizes that information into a process. Disciplined Entrepreneurship. If you're serious about succeeding, pick up this book and follow the steps.

u/ColeGauthier · 3 pointsr/startups

Slicing Pie

Have a read, it's about a hundred pages and it will give you some good insight on this. I'll let others chime in from here.

u/brikis98 · 1 pointr/startups

The "official" definition (if there can be one for a term that has become so ubiquitous) comes from Eric Ries' book, The Lean Startup:

> An MVP is a version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.

A "version of a new product" doesn't have to be a product. The classic example of an MVP that Eric Ries uses is the explainer video Drew Houston created for DropBox before building the actual product. The video worked as an MVP by helping Houston test his assumptions, but I don't think you could say the video itself was a "product."

u/zipadyduda · 2 pointsr/startups

I have no idea if there is a point to any of this or why you are posting it, but this idea has been around for years. If you've just had this epiphany then you are way behind the game.

Uber is Uber because of what it is. A platform to sell rides. A two sided marketplace for anything else is not a two sided platform to sell rides. Uber and Air BnB work because of their simplicity, and the vast pool of both suppliers and consumers. Each of these became prominent because they were in the right place at the right time and got the marketing right.

Check out the book platform revolution.

u/akkashirei · 1 pointr/startups

It's still a few books down on my reading list so I can't say what I think of it, but it's worth at least reading the table of contents.

u/CSBCounsel · 1 pointr/startups

Read this book. Make sure you buy the second edition. Convertible notes weren't in the first edition.

A lot of the content is also on Brad's blog.

He explains all of this better than anyone.

u/GreekSpeek · 0 pointsr/startups

Hi. We're a company developing management systems for fraternities and sororities. We're looking for a developer proficient in PHP and JavaScript to join our team in exchange for equity (fairly).

The equity would be split in accordance with what I've learned from: Slicing Pie.

We are a team of two CEO's (one learning to code) and one developer right now.

Major, major plus if you were part of Greek Life.

u/guancialle · 1 pointr/startups

Here is my list of things you should read/listen before contacting investors. Listen/read every single article/video in every single link because it's suprising how some of the most important knowledge comes from the least expected talk/article

u/maiam · 9 pointsr/startups

Theres a book called Platform Revolution that focuses on this business model. Highly recommended

u/ohai123456789 · 6 pointsr/startups

I recommend:

u/fhatfield · 1 pointr/startups

Fully agree. This book's an oldie but a goodie in terms of getting you thinking about process and automation in building a business:

u/johgo · 5 pointsr/startups

Here are my top three:

  1. Running Lean (

  2. The Lean Startup (

  3. The Startup Owner's Manual (

    You may want to read them in reverse order (3, 2, 1) as Steve Blank influenced Eric Reis who influenced Ash Maurya -- but I really think Running Lean has more practical / applicable insights.
u/Bishop341-B · 2 pointsr/startups

Minimum Viable Product: "That version of the product that enables a full turn of the build-measure-learn loop with a minimum amount of effort and the least amount of development time", according to Eric Ries.

u/ledniv · 3 pointsr/startups

Check out The E-Myth revisited:
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It

He literally uses a Bakery as an example.

Also applicable to startups.

u/nozipp · 2 pointsr/startups

The E-Myth Revisited - Should be required reading for anyone starting a business.

u/SunRaAndHisArkestra · 1 pointr/startups

There is product development, and there is customer development. You get the second one. Read Four Steps to the Epiphany.

u/amacg · 1 pointr/startups

If you're doing a technology startup especially, a couple of books from the YC guys: Hackers and Painters and Founders At Work.

u/intertubeluber · 5 pointsr/startups

This post is a succinct but uncredited summary of The lean Start-up by Eric Ries:

u/race_kerfuffle · 4 pointsr/startups

You should read The Lean Startup by Eric Ries before you waste your money.

Edit: Also I have no idea what an app developing calculator is and there's no way it's correct.