|By Jim Liddle||
|January 5, 2015 10:00 PM EST||
I've been working in small and large software startups for the last 20 years and currently have the privilege of being the CEO of a startup, Storage Made Easy, for the last 3 years. With the advent of 2015 I have not doubt that there will be many people considering whether to take the plunge and commit to founding a startup. There are a diverse number of resources on the web all offering advice and to that mix I add 10 tips of my own. I've tried to keep them to things I wish I had known before commencing my own journey.
1. If you're not going solo, pick your partner carefully: Many people cast around for a partner or another person to build their startup with. This can be useful to help share risk but remember you have to share any reward it may generate also.
Firstly, be absolutely certain you need a partner and be sure of your reasons for contemplating one as it is one of the most important decisions you will make on your journey.
Also ensure that you can be as certain as possible of your partner. Believe me, it is like a marriage. You will fall out, you will have angry words, you may end up not speaking for a while. How will you cope with that ? How will you cope if your partner does not pull his/her weight in the business? What proviso do you have for this in your agreement ? I cannot stress enough how important this is.
2. Get advice on contracts: At the onset it is not unusual to take a ‘belt and braces' approach to contracts. Don't. If you ever need to revisit them you will be glad that you took time at the onset to have them framed correctly.
3. Only take funding at the start if you really need it: This has been said many times in other startup tips. Bootstrap for as long as you can, certainly until you have a minimum viable product. If you do intend taking funding, the more you have / can show, the more you have to negotiate with.
4. To VC or not VC : You should think really hard about whether taking Venture Capital is the right route for you or not. Obviously having money is great but it's not guaranteed and pursuing funding in and of itself can be very defocusing.
You will need to understand the VC "model", be familiar with terms sheets etc, and be able to run the numbers as to what you would need to exit for to make some money. As an alternative to VC keeping direct control means that you need to bootstrap until you have a viable business, but any exit cash comes directly back to the founders so the exit may be smaller but the rewards could be greater (obviously very dependent on the terms, valuation and exit).
Depending on where you take Venture Capital may mean that you have to move the company across to where the VC is located, and often asked for proviso for the VC being given. You should additionally be aware that you may not receive funding in one lump, you will likely be expected to hit agreed targets and can end up diluting even further if you miss these.
VC's are likely to also add someone to your board and/or add an executive to your company, often in the role of CEO.
You need to consider all of this, and more, if you are going "all in" with VC based funding.
5. Consider crowdfunding / Angels / Private Equity: There are many reasonable alternatives to VC if you need capital, such as crowdfunding, Angels and private equity companies. Each of these can help boost capital whilst enabling you to retain more control of your business and are options you should consider before just deciding upon VC.
6. Find a mentor: In a startup your journey's going to be tough. There are times you are going to want to talk things over and get some advice. Have a thing about your personal network and whom you hold in high esteem and would feel comfortable getting advise from. Approach them and ask if they would consider being your mentor. Outside advice from some not involved in the day to day running of your business can prove invaluable and refreshing.
7. Don't ignore revenue: From day one plot a path to revenue. Many times you may hear that revenue will come if you amass a market, build the product correctly etc. The buck stops where the revenue starts. Never forget revenue, it puts control back into your hands. In my opinion it should be at the heart of the majority of your tactical and strategic thinking and decisions.
8. Don't make do when hiring: Staff define your company. They define the culture and they, together, help you achieve your goals. Never just "make do" with staff. If you can't find them locally look further afield. With modern communication technology there is no excuse when it comes to staffing your startup.
9. Don't forget to delegate: When you work in a startup you learn to be good at everything out of necessity. This means you become above average in many things such as Sales, Marketing, SEO/SEM, Coding, Architecture etc. This can cause a problem further down the line as you find it difficult to find someone to take over parts of what you have had to do out of necessity. It has to be done if you are to grow and this means "delegation rather than doing". Easy to say, hard to do, but essential to aspire to.
10. Don't give up: There will be many times during your journey when all will seem lost. That is often the nature of being in a startup. When this happens seek outside advice, speak to your mentor, figure out whether you should stick with what you have, whether you should pivot or what your genuine option are, but don't give up too quickly. Nine out of ten startups are estimated to fail so there is no shame in it but don't fail because you gave up too quickly the first time you hit a bump.
"delaPlex is a software development company. We do team-based outsourcing development," explained Mark Rivers, COO and Co-founder of delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Mar. 28, 2017 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 9,571
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
Mar. 28, 2017 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,069
SYS-CON Events announced today that Technologic Systems Inc., an embedded systems solutions company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Technologic Systems is an embedded systems company with headquarters in Fountain Hills, Arizona. They have been in business for 32 years, helping more than 8,000 OEM customers and building over a hundred COTS products that have never been discontinued. Technologic Systems’ pr...
Mar. 28, 2017 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,620
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
Mar. 28, 2017 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,161
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Mar. 28, 2017 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 14,232
SYS-CON Events announced today that Auditwerx will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Auditwerx specializes in SOC 1, SOC 2, and SOC 3 attestation services throughout the U.S. and Canada. As a division of Carr, Riggs & Ingram (CRI), one of the top 20 largest CPA firms nationally, you can expect the resources, skills, and experience of a much larger firm combined with the accessibility and atten...
Mar. 28, 2017 01:31 PM EDT Reads: 175
SYS-CON Events announced today that Loom Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2015, Loom Systems delivers an advanced AI solution to predict and prevent problems in the digital business. Loom stands alone in the industry as an AI analysis platform requiring no prior math knowledge from operators, leveraging the existing staff to succeed in the digital era. With offices in S...
Mar. 28, 2017 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,595
What if you could build a web application that could support true web-scale traffic without having to ever provision or manage a single server? Sounds magical, and it is! In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Munns, Senior Developer Advocate for Serverless Applications at Amazon Web Services, will show how to build a serverless website that scales automatically using services like AWS Lambda, Amazon API Gateway, and Amazon S3. We will review several frameworks that can help you build serverle...
Mar. 28, 2017 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,178
SYS-CON Events announced today that HTBase will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. HTBase (Gartner 2016 Cool Vendor) delivers a Composable IT infrastructure solution architected for agility and increased efficiency. It turns compute, storage, and fabric into fluid pools of resources that are easily composed and re-composed to meet each application’s needs. With HTBase, companies can quickly prov...
Mar. 28, 2017 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 3,115
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud computing technologies. Ge...
Mar. 28, 2017 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 4,669
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
Mar. 28, 2017 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,469
MongoDB Atlas leverages VPC peering for AWS, a service that allows multiple VPC networks to interact. This includes VPCs that belong to other AWS account holders. By performing cross account VPC peering, users ensure networks that host and communicate their data are secure. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Jay Gordon, a Developer Advocate at MongoDB, will explain how to properly architect your VPC using existing AWS tools and then peer with your MongoDB Atlas cluster. He'll discuss the secur...
Mar. 28, 2017 11:22 AM EDT Reads: 308
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buyers...
Mar. 28, 2017 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,698
[session] Composable Infrastructure and Multi-Cloud By @HTBase | @CloudExpo #API #Cloud #Storage #DataCenter
Imagine having the ability to leverage all of your current technology and to be able to compose it into one resource pool. Now imagine, as your business grows, not having to deploy a complete new appliance to scale your infrastructure. Also imagine a true multi-cloud capability that allows live migration without any modification between cloud environments regardless of whether that cloud is your private cloud or your public AWS, Azure or Google instance. Now think of a world that is not locked i...
Mar. 28, 2017 10:54 AM EDT Reads: 292
SYS-CON Events announced today that Infranics will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Since 2000, Infranics has developed SysMaster Suite, which is required for the stable and efficient management of ICT infrastructure. The ICT management solution developed and provided by Infranics continues to add intelligence to the ICT infrastructure through the IMC (Infra Management Cycle) based on mathemat...
Mar. 28, 2017 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 3,289
[session] Offshore Development: How Not to Screw It Up | @CloudExpo @MobiDev_ #Cloud #DigitalTransformation
In his session at Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, an entertainment executive/TV producer turned serial entrepreneur, will present a success story of an entrepreneur who has both suffered through and benefited from offshore development across multiple businesses: The smart choice, or how to select the right offshore development partner Warning signs, or how to minimize chances of making the wrong choice Collaboration, or how to establish the most effective work processes Budget control, or how to m...
Mar. 28, 2017 10:21 AM EDT Reads: 276
SYS-CON Events announced today that Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Juniper Networks challenges the status quo with products, solutions and services that transform the economics of networking. The company co-innovates with customers and partners to deliver automated, scalable and secure network...
Mar. 28, 2017 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,551
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
Mar. 28, 2017 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,536
SYS-CON Events announced today that SD Times | BZ Media has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BZ Media LLC is a high-tech media company that produces technical conferences and expositions, and publishes a magazine, newsletters and websites in the software development, SharePoint, mobile development and commercial UAV markets.
Mar. 28, 2017 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 4,428
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
Mar. 28, 2017 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,241