Categories
General idea Leevio Me - Myself

Starting a new startup?

I’ve seen many people asking me how to start a startup. Some even asking “should I start one?”, and some more you should not ask to anyone, like “How do I know that I am ready for starting my own startup”. I try to help them as much as I can with my limited experience I had so far in last 6-7 years, specially from one of the third world countries like Bangladesh. In this article I will try to summarize my experience and I hope that it will help to to make your own decision.

One important thing before starting a startup is that you really need to be a good team player. Usually there are very few “one man only” style startups. If you want one of that type, dont worry, team work is not something until you start looking for VC funding or until having a couple of marketing guys in your team. But keeping in mind that most statups have two or three members, I want to emphasize that team work is really very important thing. You need to be well communicative with your team members, show them respect to their decision and you need to be similar minded. You can’t really start a startup on helping girls to get their kithecn recipes out of the box while your team members want to make one for car lovers. So this is very important that despite of your personal feelings and interest, you must be a good team focusing on one single subject.

Secondly, not really a rocket science but kinda tough, you need an idea. You need a good idea that actually solves other peoples problem. When we started Leevio, our first target was to increase our brand value by making a product that people will actually use. Most of the people I see around, desperately looking to start their startup, are lacking one good idea, but where to get one? Listen, you dont need to spend weeks after weeks and months after months to get a good idea. You dont need a “better” idea from the beginning. Just look at peoples hanging beside you, see how they are doing annoying and repeating tasks in not-such-an-easy way. Try to simplify their everyday life. Think from their perspective and soon you will find that an idea is not such hard to find. So dont waste time, get a good idea that will help people to simplify some of their everyday tasks and boom, go. Gradually you can improve your idea and maybe you can scrap if you get a better one. But too much scrap and start game is bad for your startup. Whatever you get, start with that.

Another important thing in running a startup is that you must keep your ego aside. Thats why I said that you need similar minded people in your team which actually help your team leaning towards the same target. If your team members keep brawling about decisions every now and then, well, good luck with your startup that is never-to-see-the-light. Distribute the roles wisely. In a startup you will be suffering from limited money, limited resources and guess what, you have to run along with that. So be very wise in hiring for your team members. Hire some people that can do whatever they are good at, really well. And in a startup world, its not unexpected that you all have to do multi tasking. So sometime we get people who are good at HTML as well as in Photoshop, or one DBA who has moderately good skill in system administration. From my point, you really need these three types of people in your team

  • An architect, who can layout the project plan better
  • A DBA or someone who understands Database really well. Doesnt matter if it’s N/RDBMS or whatever
  • Designer, at least someone who can design in XHTML
  • System admin
  • Developers who will write the code together

While setting up Leevio, One of us had to play the role of architect and system admin. We together played quite a good role as laying out our DB schema. And then, we distributed our tasks into small parts and started coding. We didnt have a designer in our time. So sometime we outsourced some tasks, and sometime, surprisingly and luckily one of us was good in designing in XHTML and we did some basic ground work with his limited skill.

For today, I will try to end this article focusing on one more important thing. Tell me what is that? Furniture? nope! You are now motivated enough to start even getting a mattress and a decent laptop. Food? nope! who cares if you are even eating or not. Well, I’m just kidding and it’s really important that you always consume healthy foods.

The thing I want to mention here is “Money“. You, no matter if it’s an one man startup or three, need money to run it. You need some savings to run for couple of months. It’s not bad to plan for six months ahead of time so that you can pay your team. And it’s very rare that your startup will help you earning immediately after launch. So backup money is really helpful for these early days. When you start looking for seed money or angel funding, go to your friends and relatives first. Because those are the people who trust you and expect least than a commercial VC. Dont take money unless you really need that and whats more important is be wise in spending that. You dont need a dual quad core xeon server from the first day when your sartup is in incubator. You dont need Aeron Chairs. So try to spend as little as possible and always prepare for the bad days ahead. There’s nothing bad in being prepared. And keep a little saving so that you can restart even if your startup fails.

Thats all for now. I will come back with more articles regarding this very soon and I hope those will really help.

24 replies on “Starting a new startup?”

Well, when you are starting your startup, there are less chances that you have good client base. But you got it right, whatever size is that, you need to maintain a good relation with your users once you are launched. “Getting Real” by 37 signals will help you to get something more regarding this issue.

Focusing on market is not necessary from the very beginning. Develop something that people will use and guess what, you will get a good customer base gradually.

Not really. Bring something good that solves people problem and it will ultimately create business for you and others 🙂

Thanks for the insights Hasin bhai. Leevio really did make life easier for many but I wonder, if a company focus on small-scale mobile application development, what kind of progress do you see it making?

If you are making some like NinJump, Wunderlist or Fruit-Ninja, or Angry Birds, you have a bright future ahead. But I guess thats not the thing you are asking. So let me know in details and I will try to help

Like the post, this is all about your practical experience that you shared with us. Awesome! I hope many people in Bangladesh and from third world countries will get inspire by reading this post.

All the best wishes for Leevio!

Hasin Bhai, Great post. I really learned a lot from it. One point I want to ask you, when you discover a plan which should be a very good product , how you determine the future of the product. I mean, do you start making a user-base or anything else that give you an optimum picture about the future of the product?

Excellent post Hasin vai, its all from your practical experience. I learned a lot from this post, as I was looking for this kind of article, because I have some ideas that I am working on. All are web-based project, but not exactly something that we need a developer team, we can hire a team I mean we can outsource. So if you could focus a little on that would be a help for us.

You said “you need to be similar minded”, but I know most of the project fails because of that strategic point. Expert in Strategic Management says – a project should be criticized by its team, they should talk about if they have different thinking, team should not say “YES” to all the decision.

Siraj bhai, thanks for your nice comment. Actually I tried to mean that people with too different views may actually push your project aside from it’s main course.

And yes, the point you bring up here is also important. If all of you are too similar minded and concur without bringing additional value, there are chances of developing a poor app.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *