How to be patient?

I know I know, one of the main ingredients to success in anything is patience. However, as entrepreneurs, we know that it often take months if not years for the business to take off and some more years will be required for the business to be called a success.

I’m currently transiting from a salaried employee to a full-time entrepreneur. Long story short, I was let go, although I still have the choice to stay for a couple more months or to look for another job. I am very incline to work on my business full-time as I know it is my life-long passion. Also, my day job is extremely demanding and during busy times it’s not uncommon to have 50-60 hours work week. As such, it will be impossible to build my business on the side (while maintaining my sanity). My question is, how do you deal with watching your savings balance getting lower by the day? I understand that it is unlikely to reap rewards during the business building phase. Can anyone share some tips and tricks to reframe my mindset? Or, is there a better plan (than to work full-time on my business) to work around it?

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Would your startup offer goods/services in exchange for a customer making a donation to a charity of your choice?

Hello all. I'm a hobbyist developer with an idea for a socially-conscious sideproject. Before I commit to it though, I was hoping to solicit some brutally honest input on whether anyone here might use it. Would you mind taking a minute to give me your thoughts?

I'd build this as an open-source project and offer the service for free.

The idea: An API that allows your customer to "pay" you for a good or service by making a donation to a charity of your choice. The API would (hypothetically) be compatible with any charity that sends out email confirmations for donations.

Example use case: Customers can pay you $ 20 for your online course, or they can make a $ 25 donation to the Red Cross's COVID response, with the donation verified through my API.

Another example use case: You run a SaaS startup where a subscription is $ 20/month. For their first month of service, the customer has the option of "paying" with a $ 20 donation to Doctor's Without Borders.

How the API works: The customer still makes their donation directly on the charity's website, and my API never sees their credit card details.

  1. At checkout, you direct the customer to a payment page hosted by my "donation API." You specify the amount that they need to donate, and the URL of the charity that they should donate to.
  2. The API-generated payment page creates a one-time-use email address for the customer. The customer is instructed to go to the charity's website and make a donation in the amount you specified, and to provide the one-time-use email address when the charity asks for their email.
  3. The charity sends the donation receipt to the one-time-use email address. My API scrapes the email receipt contents to verify that the amount donated matches or exceeds the amount you specified. You can tweak how this works in the API settings.
  4. My API forwards the donation receipt to the customer's real email address, so that they have the receipt for their records.
  5. My API notifies you (the seller) that the donation has been verified, either through a webhook, Zapier integration, or by just sending you an email notification.

Again, please be brutally honest in your response. If I built this, could you see yourself implementing it with your startup?

Thanks for your time!

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

The 4-Word Startup

Person A: "So what does your startup do?"

Person B: "Oh we use AI, machine learning and neural networks to gather data so we can form synergistic B2B solutions to the autobot messenger problem by creating great biohacking communities and disrupting the massive B2C platforms, in the cloud of course. We're also planning to add scooters and a delivery service around this idea."

Person A: Confused look and silence

Person A: "Oh… Right…"

This scenario is often the case for new founders, including myself.

It's demoralising when you tell someone what your startup does… Only to get a completely confused stare in return.

If you're anything like me, this has happened to you a few times at least… And you've probably seen other founders going through it too.

Our first instinct is to blame other people – but it's our fault.

When you're starting out, it's hard to differentiate a good idea from a confusingly bad idea.

But unfortunately, you need to feel this embarrassing process over and over, to learn what a good idea actually is.

It's what led me to find the 'The 4-Word Startup' method.

I've personally gone through it more than a few times… Sharing an idea with people, only to get demoralised after seeing nothing but looks of confusion on people's faces.

I'm sure you know the look I'm talking about!

The truth is you need to get punched in the face over and over again (proverbially speaking!) until you finally wake up to your mistakes and find a better way forward.

For me, that was 'The 4-Word Startup' method which I want to share with you today…

So how did I go from blank, confused stares on peoples when I told them about my ideas… To consistently receiving that comforting "Aha, I get it! That's very cool." look that we so deeply crave?

Well…

The weird thing I realised is that the best startups (and even big businesses) are quite simple.

So simple, in fact, that they can usually be summed up in 4 words or less.

Here's how it works.

Your startup solves a problem…

But what you need to do is describe the solution, in 4 words or less.

Let's look at some popular examples, to see what I mean…

  • Uber: Hail taxis from anywhere.

  • Amazon: The online everything store.

  • AirBnB: Rent other people's homes.

  • Paypal: Send money with email.

  • SpaceX: Reusable rockets.

  • Snapchat: Send self-destructing photos.

  • Dropbox: Cloud based file storage.

And you can keep practising this method by describing other companies or ideas this way.

Of course, you can do this with your own ideas too.

One of the best ways to remember and describe this process is through a Peter Thiel quote from Zero to One:

"A superior solution, to a specific problem."

From the examples above, you can see that each startup solved a specific problem. But you can describe their superior solutions in 4 words or less.

So as you get used to practicing this method, you'll notice yourself noticing specific problems around you…

And you should then try to describe the superior solution in 4 words or less.

Suddenly, you'll notice when you share ideas with people – they have that pleasant look of "I get it!" on their faces.

Anyway…

I wanted to share this method so some of you can learn from my many mistakes… And avoid the many embarrassing moments I experienced!

Thanks for reading.

P.S. here's the original post from my blog.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Legal Terms

I am building a landing page to validate an idea/project for a potential startup/business, and I wish to use cookies to gather some info on users and see the website statistics, as well as a “contact form” and a “show interest” sections.

Do I need a “privacy policy” & “terms of conditions” pages as well?, even though I don’t have an “office” location, nor a team, nor the product and just wish to test out the idea before committing or pivoting.

Or shall I just not collect Google Analytics and not have “Legal page on my landing-page?

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Programmer looking to the future in startup world

I’m a programmer

More recently I’ve been doing UX and UI and product management (managing teams of developers).

I feel like programming as a job isnt going away, but I question whether it will continue to pay what it does ($ 80-$ 150+ usd per as a freelancer).

I feel like these gold rush days will be done in 24-48 months.

So I’m wondering what’s next and how can I get ahead before all ya coders are making $ 20/hr.

What can a well rounded coder (6-7 years full stack) with extensive startup experience and even additional management/ui/design/ux experience parlay into?

Is there anything somebody like me could do at VC firm without being a partner/investor?

Should I try to scale to an agency? Let other do the coding?

Just crawl my way up to product manager/CTO/management roles?

I’d like to start preparing for this future over he next 2-5 years.

submitted by /u/JustLookingAroundFor
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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

How to get known in the US?

Hi,

I made a Windows application to organize, find, view, tag and rate your photos / images (https://photoinsight.io). Everything I did is in English:

  • Website is in English (French is in a subdomain)
  • Application is localized in English and French
  • Documentation: English and French
  • Twitter: English only
  • Reddit: English only

For the soft launch I contacted many websites specialized in photography, either French or English/American. I was very lucky that two major French websites published a complete review of my application which brought a lot of traffic and many sells. But I had absolutely no answer (even negative) from English/American media.

As a result all the sells I make are from France which is a quite small country 🙁

I wonder if some people here would have advices to help me reach the US market?

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Can you suggest me google alerts free alternatives please? I want to create a startup that resells and installs software. I need to hear about every new online opportunity for that specific software.

Hi everybody. I think I was clear.

I am conducting a market research to choose the software I want to resell. I want to know about all the opportunities in my country (and worldwide) because, firstly, I want to choose which technology to work with, and secondly, I want to apply massively when the time comes .

Thank you.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

After college, I want to join a company that develops and commissions the construction of a new type of power plants. My goal is to move up to the upper management and maybe even become CEO. Should I major in MechE or systems engineering?

I'm very passionate about getting clean energy deployed on a large scale, and there's this newish start up that's claiming it can do so. It's recieved a hefty amount of backing, has operated a demo plant, and is building a commercial plant that'll hopefully be done by 2022. I want to join the company and move into some of the higher up positions once I graduate from college. Any advice on how I should do this? What should I be majoring in? Please note that I'd also be acquiring my MBA in college alongside and major I pick. Also, whichever of the two options (MechE or systems) I don't major it, I'd likely try to minor in that.

submitted by /u/NotVeryMega
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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

5 Rewards Of Independence That Excite Entrepreneurs

independence-day-posterFor all entrepreneurs, starting a business is the route to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” no matter how risky. It’s the American dream that has been the goal of people in this country for over 240 years. If you are here in the U.S., I hope you are all able to take some time off this holiday period, to contemplate what you do, and why you do it.

According to a classic article and poll by Startups.co.uk, having the independence to make your own decisions is considered the key benefit of being an entrepreneur. Nearly 90 percent of respondents said decision-making independence was very important, closely followed by more flexibility for a better work/life balance. Job creation and innovation are the results, not the drivers.

Personal satisfaction also ranked close behind, with 70 percent of respondents claiming it was a key advantage to running their own business. Contrary to popular belief, most business owners did not start a business just to earn more money. Only 32 percent of entrepreneurs cited money a key benefit of running their own firm. This indicates that lifestyle and satisfaction factors are often more important than financial ones.

As with everything in life, there are advantages and disadvantages to every choice we make. Choosing entrepreneurship is no exception. Beyond the obvious advantages mentioned above, there are some additional advantages that get mentioned often.

  1. Challenge of originality. A good entrepreneur feels the incentive to offer a new service/product that no one else has offered before. That’s the same challenge an artist feels on every new canvas, or every musician feels when composing a new work.
  1. High level of excitement. Entrepreneurs love the continuous challenges of a startup, and the satisfaction of solving them. Some are so high on this life, that they hate the fact that they have to “waste” part of their life in sleep!
  1. Minimal rules and regulations. Work in a conventional job is often difficult to get done because of all the “red tape” and consistent administration approval needed. With a startup there are no rules, until you make them.
  1. Flexible work hours and conditions. Entrepreneurs can schedule their work hours around other commitments, including spending quality time with their families. Many love working from their home or garage, in casual clothes, serenaded their by favorite music.
  1. Beat the competition and discover yourself. Competition drives innovation, and innovation drives competition. The cycle never stops. But the best part is that ultimately entrepreneurship isn’t a race against others but an opportunity to discover your potential.

Of course there are some challenges that every entrepreneur knows all too well:

  1. No regular paycheck. Starting your own business means that you must be willing to give up the security of a regular paycheck. In fact, most startup founders work for no salary during the first year or two of company operation.
  1. Few paid benefits. There will likely be no medical and dental benefits, and no vacations or other perks during the formative years. Don’t expect a staff to do the accounting, handle correspondence, or even clean the bathrooms.
  1. Decision responsibility. All the decisions of the business must be made on your own, better known as “the buck stops here.” This may sound like an advantage, but is actually a major source of stress and loneliness for startup CEOs.
  1. Staffing challenges. Hiring and firing decisions are hard, and that’s just the beginning. Often times, you will find yourself working with people who “don’t know the ropes” and require extensive coaching and assistance. Then you have to deal with the mistakes.

By definition, if you see the rewards here as outweighing the risks, you are an entrepreneur. So you should fully appreciate the independence factor fought for so hard by our forefathers. I hope you have had time this holiday weekend to savor the dream. You earned it, and you need the rest.

Marty Zwilling

Startup Professionals Musings