Thursday, November 25, 2010

Defining the key parts of a startup venture - When, Where, How? - Part 2

As I posted in the first part, we discussed the following key questions of our startup adventure:
  1. Why?
  2. What?
  3. Who/How many?
  4. When?
  5. Where?
  6. How?
I will now cover the last three questions: When?, Where? and How?
  1. When?
    We haven't made a real project plan and I think this would be rather a hindrance than of help. Yet we have agreed on the following:
    - we want to stay in our day jobs as along as possible, which is reducing the risks, but maybe also the chances.
    - To enhance the chances we all could take 2-3 months off - a sabbatical to make this work ;)
    - we don't want to do this without any real results for too long. The official startup company will launch in 2011!
    - We still have to determine how we recognize that it all works and we can quit our day jobs
  2. Where?
    Although early angel investors like Paul Graham suggest to move to a Startup Hub, we won't move. At least not now. Maybe this is due to the fact that we live already in the best startup country (which is the European Union), but also within the EU we already live in one of the biggest IT&Software cities - Munich.
    BUT we would move if we recognize that it is necessary.
  3. How?
    Ok, so that is a big one. How to Start a Startup is a good starting read from Paul Graham: "You need three things to create a successful startup: to start with good people, to make something customers actually want, and to spend as little money as possible."
    We are a great bunch, we will make something customers want (see customer development) and we have a Swabian in our team, who are known as excessively stingy.
    Besides this we decided to use the following process:
    - Meet weekly - once for work, once for pleasure - we are still friends and want to keep our strong personal relations as a key success factor
    - Recap some readings - e.g. customer development, other startup blogs, administrative and legislative stuff, ...
    - Idea development - Brainstorm, Business Model Hypotheses, ...
    - Gather a list of To-dos, Know-How, Work-packages and define responsibilities (matching to our personal strengths).
So this is how we made the first step. And we now feel more confident about NemoEtAl and would like to take you with us on our journey.
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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Defining the key parts of a startup venture - Why, What, Who, When, Where, How? - Part 1

After two of us decided to start Nemo et al we sat down and went through the steps of Dan Roam’s “The Back of the Napkin”:
  1. Why?
  2. What?
  3. Who/How many?
  4. When?
  5. Where?
  6. How?
Pretty easy process, but it helped us in exchanging our ideas and getting a common understanding and clarifying our viewpoints.
  1. Why?
    So we first looked at why do we want to start our own company? What is driving us?
    We came up with "being our own boss", "working on own baby", "having it tried", "learn", ...
  2. What?
    We are working in Consulting jobs/companies at the moment but starting another consulting firm is rather uninteresting for us. Perceived as a smaller step, not what we want to do in the long term.
    So we opted for doing a Product. You might wonder, ok so what is it. Actually we are not sure yet and we don't believe you have to have that one great idea to start a new startup. Seth Godin just recently had a good posts related to that ("I don't have any good ideas. So it is not about the idea, it is about shipping it. More about our approach to ideas in a future post.
  3. Who/How many?
    This was one of the next questions, where we recognized how we fit together and who is missing. We think that we are a good fit so far with covering the optimistic, visionary as well as the rational/realistic. We also recognized that one of our closest friends is missing in the journey, so we decided to ask him to join - which finally led to three persons on the journey now - H, M and K ;)
    We all have an IT and Business background, worked for a couple of companies and are getting along very good. so the who and how many is finished so far, although we believe that we need external help e.g. in design.
I know there are still some questions/answers missing, but they will get covered in the upcoming blogpost.

How did you start your business? Anything we are missing so far?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The journey of Nemo et al begins

Already 4 years ago a friend and I decided to start our journey of starting a startup. Since then a lot happened but nothing like a startup. We both changed jobs, developed our career, learned a lot and worked a lot - one did an MBA, the other worked till the wee hours of the morning. Yet noooo startup :(
So we again sat together and decided to do a fresh start, working on the team, idea and the process of getting the startup of the ground.
  • We will try to go the Lean Startup Way
  • We will try to document as much as we can in this blog 
  • We will try to evolve our service with you - our readers - and friends, family, colleagues
  • We are open to suggestions on any issue, is it technical, ideas, team, communication, ...
We hope that you will enjoy the journey as much as we do and help us in getting a great new startup up  and running.