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Startup idea...now what?
Old 02-21-2012, 07:36 PM   #1
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Startup idea...now what?

A friendo of mine would like some guidance re next steps on his startup idea. He only has the idea and is unsure of how to get to that next step/what that next step should be.

Are there any resources to guide a solo enterpreneur after he has pinned down the idea?
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:20 PM   #2
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Hi bog legal, welcome to the forum. I have found Nolo publications to be very helpful. One example Start Your Own Business: 50 Things You'll Need to Do | Nolo.com
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:45 PM   #3
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Shark Tank tv show.
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:12 PM   #4
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Hi bog legal, welcome to the forum.
Hey, maybe it's pronounced Bogle Gal!

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A friendo of mine would like some guidance re next steps on his startup idea. He only has the idea and is unsure of how to get to that next step/what that next step should be.
Are there any resources to guide a solo enterpreneur after he has pinned down the idea?
This might sound like a flip response, but he should Google the heck out of the idea to see how many others have already tried to make money from it. Every time Scott Adams has a new idea for a business (and he has a lot of them) one of his readers will inevitably link to an article or a study about the last person who tried this "new" idea.

If it's an Internet startup then he might also benefit from Paul Graham's Y Combinator website.

Another piece of advice for a solo entrepreneur is to get a partner. Everyone needs someone to help check their thinking, or to at least call bull on their less stellar ideas. From a practical operating approach, "Single Founder Syndrome" is usually fatal through funding starvation.

The 18 Mistakes That Kill Startups
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:35 AM   #5
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Having been there, done that, I would suggest not a partner (they are hell on wheels) but that a mentor or adviser of some sort is indispensable. You need someone who has done something similar in a similar (preferably same) industry. They know the ins and outs of what is required of you and your idea to make a success of it. Plus, they'll be invaluable as a sounding board as you go along.
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:01 AM   #6
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One detail often overlooked is to file for a patent or copyright. One of the things a VC will do is to search for potential competitors or claims of infringement.
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:13 PM   #7
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Having been there, done that, I would suggest not a partner (they are hell on wheels) but that a mentor or adviser of some sort is indispensable.
Advisors & mentors are also a necessary part of a startup, but I wouldn't touch a startup that had only one founder. Too many factors against them. Too hard to figure out whether "this time it's different".

Partners are hell on wheels exactly because they challenge your thinking, get in your way, slow you down, and keep you from doing stupid things what you think you needs doing.
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:27 PM   #8
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Shark Tank tv show.
I like that show. It has been pretty interesting. Really like the "updates". Even the ones that don't get a deal, get a bump from the show.
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:28 AM   #9
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Advisors & mentors are also a necessary part of a startup, but I wouldn't touch a startup that had only one founder. Too many factors against them. Too hard to figure out whether "this time it's different".

Partners are hell on wheels exactly because they challenge your thinking, get in your way, slow you down, and keep you from doing stupid things what you think you needs doing.
What we have here may be a difference between someone with practical experience at it and theoretical. As I have seen, and experienced first hand, "startups" with only one founder are actually just as likely to succeed, if not more so. Partners introduce to many differing opinions right from the get go and create many difficulties with differing visions, operating styles and work ethics.
A single proprietor can turn on a dime, doesn't have to answer to anyone else and can work as hard as necessary without having to worry about who is doing what and how the partner feels they should be compensated for their work or lack thereof. And I don't think the OP is looking for you to invest in their friends company so I'm not sure why you would have "touch it"

Partners are hell on wheels because generally it ends up being capitalism by consensus and nothing gets done or everything gets compromised on, diluted or watered down. And that IS a recipe for failure.
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:50 AM   #10
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Hey, maybe it's pronounced Bogle Gal!
You guys should play tennis together!

I would suggest SCORE. In my small town, they had some surprisingly heavy hitters just waiting to give you the advice you need.

I am going back to talk with them when I get off the expat track.
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:51 AM   #11
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Every time Scott Adams has a new idea for a business (and he has a lot of them) one of his readers will inevitably link to an article or a study about the last person who tried this "new" idea.
I have had the same experience with patents.
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:57 AM   #12
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What we have here may be a difference between someone with practical experience at it and theoretical.
I've never invested in a single-founder startup, so my experience remains theoretical. And I'm willing to take Graham's word for it.

It's like active managers of mutual funds. I'm sure that at least one exists who has done great things for their clients. I just have no faith in being able to find one (let alone determine how they reproduce) and no way of figuring out whether their success was due to their activity or just random chance.

I've seen way too many presentations by "mad scientists" and "Donald Trumps" to be willing to take a chance on finding the next Zuckerberg. Assuming there's a difference.
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Old 02-28-2012, 02:39 PM   #13
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Venture capitalists vet startup ideas thoroughly knowing that a small % will be profitable. I have been told that 10% of their investments account for 90% of their profits.
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Old 02-28-2012, 07:52 PM   #14
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Venture capitalists vet startup ideas thoroughly knowing that a small % will be profitable. I have been told that 10% of their investments account for 90% of their profits.
There's a lot of survivor bias in the business, too!
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:08 PM   #15
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Yes, because there are many startups that don't survive.
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:05 PM   #16
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+1 - Great Show
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Old 03-08-2012, 12:42 AM   #17
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Yes, because there are many startups that don't survive.
I think implication was because many venture capitalists don't survive. Nords, feel free to correct me if the mood strikes you
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:40 AM   #18
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You might consider attending Startup Weekend Upcoming Events | Startup Weekend where you can pitch ideas and a team can form and make a run at a launch. Great fun for technology but other product or service firms can launch too.
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:52 AM   #19
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I have found that developing a "business plan" for your idea is a great way to answers questions about the feasibility of your idea, and how it may progress over time. It will also to force you to look at your own skill set and help you identify areas where you are weak, so you can bring that "needed talent" into your management team. Another poster mentioned SCORE and I reccomend you go to their website and download their business plan template.
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Old 03-10-2012, 12:27 PM   #20
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I think implication was because many venture capitalists don't survive. Nords, feel free to correct me if the mood strikes you
Actually my point was that we lack sufficient data to be objective.

When a VC goes out of business they're not exactly giving their performance data the same sunlight that they'd shine on a portfolio including Facebook, Google, and Apple. The last couple decades of data are way too rosy, especially considering what the last four years have done to the credit & funding that startups have to tap into.

Once again I'd recommend that anyone considering founding a startup, or foolishly optimistic enough to invest in one, read Paul Graham's blog. He had a good one today:
Frighteningly Ambitious Startup Ideas

"Founders at Work" is another good reference. (The author works with Paul Graham.)

It all comes down to diversification. Would you have invested any of your money with these bozos?
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