by oneafrikan on June 22, 2006
Just posted something on start-up questions to consider over at e-Consultancy, which looks at the things you should be thinking about when you’re doing a web 2.0 startup, or startup of any sort for that matter…
Here’s the intro for ya:
Thereâ€™s a pretty great post on Particletree about the kind of questions VCs ask when youâ€™re doing a startup, so I thought Iâ€™d highlight them here as there seems to be a profound lack of ‘noisy’ UK-based Web 2.0 startups, and maybe finding finance is one barrier for entrepreneurs?
Where are all the UK web startups? Maybe everybody is just being very quiet (to fail in complete obscurity), or perhaps things are as dead as they seem to be (more than likely). The UK seems almost entirely barren compared with what’s happening in the US.
Itâ€™s probably worth noting that local VCs seem to be a little behind their US conterparts (two local startups that I can think of off the top of my head have been approached by US investors â€“ names of the innocent withheld). This too could be part of the problem.
My take is that you’ve no business starting something without thinking about these questions first, not because I’m this business guru with years and years of experience but because it just makes common sense. My first instinct is to bootstrap as much as possible. If you can survive by bootstrapping then you know you’ll survive for longer than if you take on VC in the first instance in the hope that you’ll find your customers (now that you have oodles of cash in the bank to find them with). Think of it like a wild animal in the bush – if you feed it, you prevent it from learning how to feed itself, the result being that it will almost certainly die because it hasn’t learnt how to survive. However, unlike in the animal world, once you have customers but you need to grow into a market position where you can dominate, taking on VC may be the best choice you can make. These questions should help elucidate that.
Now that I’ve done it for myself, as a public service, I’ve created a Word doc that you can download and print, so you can stick it up on the wall in front of you.. – every time I think of a hare brained idea, I’m going to ask myself these questions and then take a dose of the “reality pill”…