> "Start Small, Stay Small also focuses on the single most important element of a startup that most developers avoid: marketing. There are many great resources for learning how to write code, organize source control, or connect to a database. This book does not cover the technical aspects developers already know or can learn elsewhere. It focuses on finding your idea, testing it before you build, and getting it into the hands of your customers."
Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer's Guide to Launching a Startup
It's also very much targeted at people doing small-scale stuff.
I'd buy Mike's book in a second if I weren't in the middle of a hairy intercontinental move.
* http://www.startupsfortherestofus.com/ - great weekly podcast with a transcript.
* Nice, focused, friendly forum: http://discuss.bootstrapped.fm/
* Book by the guys who did the podcast above that I would highly recommend to pretty much anyone: http://www.amazon.com/Start-Small-Stay-Developers-Launching/...
Those should be enough to lead you to other resources.
He could probably do ok with Ruby on Rails, Django, Node.js or something like that.
Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer's Guide to Launching a Startup by Rob Walling
As a human with a curiosity:
Decoding the Universe: How the New Science of Information Is Explaining Everything in the Cosmos, from Our Brains to Black Holes by Charles Seife
- The 7 day startup (http://wpcurve.com/the-7-day-startup/)
- Start Small, Stay Small (a bit dated, but the concepts are worth the read - http://www.amazon.com/Start-Small-Stay-Developers-Launching/...)
- Startups for the Rest of Us (http://www.startupsfortherestofus.com)
- Bootstrapped with Kids (http://www.bootstrappedwithkids.com)
You're in a good spot to have a full time job you enjoy and (presumably) pays well. For me, the hardest part was building capital. I'd recommend saving every penny you can.
As for how to start, try lots of small things. Most of my ideas that worked took, at most, two weeks to test. Many started from writing an email or making a phone call.
There are countless niches now, full of people prepared to pay money. I chose LSAT prep. I'm sure already there's thing you know how to do that people will pay for. Some ways you can monetize that:
* An e-book guide to something, with free html articles as marketing for organic SEO and links
* Some useful tool people will link to. Serves as marketing for either ads, a product, or a paid version
* Videos on a topic. Can be marketing for any of the above, or lead to a paid video product.
"Start small, stay small" by Rob Walling is an excellent guide to bootstrapping a business. Possibly the best. It's aimed at software developers, but I was able to use it as a non-developer for guiding principles and marketing.
The Moz guide to SEO is a very useful intro to how SEO works. Essential reading if you're planning on going the free marketing route.
Lastly, the Four Hour Workweek is what got me started, and it's a great overview of the hacker mindset applied to business. For me, the idea was not "hehehe, how can I be lazy and work only 4 hours". It was "how can I make a business that can keep running even if I choose not to work on it". I do work quite a bit, but I don't HAVE to now.
(Note: This last book rubs many people the wrong way. If a specific situation irks you, ask what principle he was applying, and if it could be applied to a situation that doesn't annoy you)
Start Small: http://www.amazon.com/Start-Small-Stay-Developers-Launching/...
https://twitter.com/search?src=typd&q=%23microconf - lots of information on the recently concluded MicroConf with patio11 and many others from HN.
And Rob's book, which is a great starting point: http://www.amazon.com/Start-Small-Stay-Developers-Launching/...
Granted, bootstrapping is not viable for some things, but for many others, it's a good path.
I've played around with it a bit, though haven't followed through heavily on any of my PoCs so far, but the market first idea seems to be quite useful for a lot of areas. Enjoyed the book quite a bit, was not a fan of their startup academy at all.
As a side note, I'd like to point out that a lot of scam books appeared on amazon in the marketing and startup sections lately. The worst thing, they all got fake 5 star reviews, so it's not always clear right away this is a scam.
Start Small, Stay Small is a step-by-step guide to launching a self-funded startup. If you're a desktop, mobile or web developer, this book is your blueprint to getting your startup off the ground with no outside investment. This book intentionally avoids topics restricted to venture-backed startups such as: honing your investment pitch, securing funding, and figuring out how to use the piles of cash investors keep placing in your lap. This book assumes: * You don't have $6M of investor funds sitting in your bank account * You're not going to relocate to the handful of startup hubs in the world * You're not going to work 70 hour weeks for low pay with the hope of someday making millions from stock options There's nothing wrong with pursuing venture funding and attempting to grow fast like Amazon, Google, Twitter, and Facebook. It just so happened that most people are not in a place to do this.
What I like about it: You're focused on building something that supplies an actual demand. Good!
What concerns me about it: You're still too focused on yourself. Every one of your bullets was about what you want your business to look like.
I think you're focusing too much inward when you need to be focusing on your prospective customer and how they will benefit from the value you provide them.
Examples are everywhere, just a few off the top of my head:
- salons that wants to optimize their scheduling
- retailers that want to improve one on one communication
- actors/artists that need better portfolios
- shopkeepers who want to capture more POS info
- teachers who want to play bingo in class (never mind)
The rest (your bullets) will take care of itself. The shape of your business will be the byproduct of doing whatever you must to satisfy your customers' needs.
One great resource that will probably help you:
The first is the "E-Myth" -- great book on the difference between a manager, technician, and entrepreneur. Start here for the vocabulary and basic concepts you'll need: http://amzn.to/cn4BHT
The second is a little-known personal favorite, "A Good Hard Kick in the Ass". It's a little dated, but it's a great book about generally separating what's important from what isn't. I found it was a good book to learn attitude. http://amzn.to/hLi5xc
The last book is the book I'm currently reading: "Start Small, Stay Small" http://amzn.to/ictZdR I haven't finished it all yet, but the entire premise of the book is the move between coder and entrepreneur. It exactly answers your question.
From there, you can move on to blogs (which are great, but I find them a little too much in bulleted format for my tastes) or books about the nuts and bolts of what makes a great startup, like customer-driven development, or lean startups, or how best to handle yourself during the development process, like that stoicism book I read last year. Another awesome book. Lots of other great material out there. Too much, in fact.
Hope that helps you get started. I've got an entire site dedicated to answering the question of how hackers become entrepreneurs, http://hn-books.com Might want to check that out too. The initial book list was generated by a google search on Hacker News (hence the "hn" in the title) for books that we consistently recommend to each other here. Your question, or variations on it, is one of HN's recurring themes.
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