Going from zero to startup. What I’ve read and found useful is all enlisted on this page. Our own transition was helped by books, friends and mentors.
This page and is far from complete, your welcome to get in touch with us and help us evolve it.
1st Month: Think Big!
- The pmarca guide to startups Part 1 and Part 2.
- What is your Primary Motivator?
- Failing Cheaper – Redeye VC.
- How to pick a co-founder – Venturehacks.
- Why Accountants don’t Run Startups – Steve Blank (Or, So you want to Startup?).
- So you want to be an entrepreneur? – Naval Ravikant of VentureHacks.
- What Makes Entrepreneurs Entrepreneurial? (pdf).
2nd Month: Bullet-proof your idea (Risk Reduction).
- Customer Development – Steven Gary Blank, Haas School of Business.
- Build a bullet proof Startup – Business 2.0.
- What’s in a name? – Found + Read
- Naming your startup.
- Evaluate a Product Idea – Evan William (Blogger, Twitter Founder).
- Decrease your Assumptions – Steve Barsh.
- Clarify your Story (Internet Businesses).
- How to write a Great Business Plan. (HBR pdf; MIT OpenCourseWare).
- Why most Startups fail? – a Theoretical Model, MarkTaw.com.
- The best Startup advice I have – David Cowan on Customer Development.
- An introduction to Customer Development – Nikhilesh Rao.
3rd Month: Define your value proposition.
- Marketing Myopia – Theodore Levitt, Harvard Business Review Classics. (pdf)
- The Fundamentals of Customer Value.
- Getting customers to pay – The Penny Gap, Redeye VC.
- You need a strategy map.
- The Consumer Technology 3 Act Play (Distribution, Product, Branding).
- Positioning Products and Services Accurately – Edward M. Gurowitz Ph.D.
- How much time should you devote to customers? Harvard Business Publishing.
- The Seminal Web 2.0 Service – A VC on Flickr.
- Is your value proposition better than a Seat Belts? – Steve Barsh – part 1, part 2.
- Product Positioning. Steve Barsh.
- Validated Customer Learning – Lessons Learned.
4th Month: Planning for a Business.
- WTH is TAM, SAM and SOM? – The Window Manager.
- Taxonomy of Web Business Models – Digital Enterprise
- A VC on the Long Tail of Business Models.
- Freemium Business Model, A VC, Andrew Chen.
- Disruptive Models and Asymmetrical Competition – Redeye VC.
- The only thing that matters (is the market). Pmarca guide to startups.
5th Month: Iterative Innovation, Release Early, Release Often
Minimum Viable Product
- Lean Startup – Wikipedia.
- Case Study: Building Aardvark (MVP) Startup Lessons Learned, Justin.tv
- What is the Minimum Viable Product? (VentureHacks)
- The application of Social Media to Web Strategy.
- The cluetrain manifesto.
Pivots: Navigating for Product / Market Fit
- Pivot Case Study: KISSMetrics, Startup Lessons Learned
- Pivoting – Chris Dixon
- Pivoting and Optimization – Ash Maurya
6th Month: Marketing, Awareness, Adoption.
- Public Relations Secrets (TechCrunch).
- BigAdda’s Marketing Push – Sukshma.net.
- Startup Pricing Models. OnStartups.
- Why it pays to give away the store – Freemium. CNNMoney.com. 3 Strategies.
7th Month: Gaining Momentum.
- 7 months in to my 2nd stint as Startup CEO – Jason Goldberg.
- Strategies for New Venture Growth – Babson College.
- How JBoss went to $3Mn in revenue – For Entrepreneurs.
- Crowdsourcing Tools for your Business – Inc.
8th Month: Profit for sustainability.
- The Ugly Adolescent Stage (when you consume more than you produce).
- More on Cash at this stage.
- The Margin Manifesto, part 1 and part 2.
- Financial Models – Two Years of Real Numbers of a Startup.
- Financial guidance for Start-ups – More than business.
- Cash Flow – 101, management basics.
9th Month: Raise Money, or scrape some together.
- The Pecking Order Theory – Where do firms go to raise money first and why?
- How to fund a Startup – Paul Graham.
- The art of Bootstrapping (an excellent article) – “Bootstrapping by Definition”, Vijay Anand.
- The art of Bootstrapping – Guy Kawasaki.
- 101 Unconventional Ways to Raise Money.
- Raising money on Kickstarter – @craigmod
Raising serious money from Professional Investors/Venture Capitalists.
- Build your own Cap Table.
- Term Sheet Hacks – Get a Great Deal.
- What does a Series A term sheet look like?
- Should I use debt or equity?
- How much equity can I give away (Paul Graham)?
- What does a convertible note look like?
- How much funding is too much (or too little)? – pmarca.
- When the VC’s say no – pmarca.
- But I don’t know any VC’s – pmarca.
- What value do VC’s add (or take away) – StartupBoy?
- What is liquidation preference? (get a spreadsheet on computing scenarios here).
- More on VC Term Sheets and Liquidation Preference.
- Term Sheet Glossary – GigaOm.
- Strategic Corporate Investments.
- Are convertible notes valid in India?
- Is Google’s YouTube worth $4.9B? – An analysis around YouTube’s Valuation.
- Financial Models for Startups. Where projections meet reality.
Master your disruptive contribution.
Managing up and down.
- The best business books of all time.
- The Effective Executive – Peter Drucker.
- Effective Leaders Follow these Eight Practices – Peter Drucker.
Other books worth reading.
- The New New Thing: A Silicon Valley Story.
- Founders at work: Stories of startup’s Early Days.
- Good to Great: Why some companies make the leap …and others don’t.
- What the CEO wants you to know – Ram Charan.
- Innovator’s Dilemma – Clayton M. Christensen.
The Economics of Media, Web2.0 and E-Commerce businesses.
- The numbers behind Top Web Applications: RWW1, RWW2.
- 3 ways to build an E-Commerce business with $500M in revenue – Jeremy Liew of LightSpeed Ventures.
- 3 ways to build an online Media business to $50M in revenue – Jeremy Liew of LightSpeed Ventures.
- More on building an online Media business – Jeremy Liew of LightSpeed Ventures.
- USA! USA! USA! We’re number one (in online advertising markets) – Jeremy Liew.
- Web 2.0 revenue models and profitability compared – Center Networks.
I need inspiration. I need to know this has happened to others. It’s never too late to start over.
Read Founders@Work. Just turn to any story, any page and start reading. This is not to be read in one go, it’s most useful when you think you’re a complete idiot. Also, don’t forget to read Guy Kawasaki’s list of best pages from the book. Make your own list. We both have our list that we’ll put on the blog someday.
Startup Resources from around the web.
- Purdue Entrepreneurship Certificate Program Wiki.
- The Stanford Entrepreneurship Corner – eCorner.
- Khosla Ventures, Innovation & Black Swans.
- For Entrepreneurs – case studies & articles focused on startups.
- Garage Technology Ventures – Reference Library for Small Business’.
- The Startup Kit – I; Proto.in blog.
- Free Advice for Software Startups – Dharmesh Shah.
- Technology and Business Discussions.
- MIT OpenCourseware – List of all Entrepreneurship courses.
- Keep Learning – AcademicEarth.org.
- Invention to Startup – University of Washington.
- A compilation of the Web’s best resources for Internet Startups – Tom Eisenmann.
- Methodologist – 6 Essential Startup Decks.
- Startup Lessons Learned, Justin.tv
- Startup Lessons Learned, Eric Ries
- Y Combinator: Startup Library
- Y Combinator: How to Web Startup
Pune startup communities
Business Models & Open Source and Free Software
- Innovation Happens Elsewhere – Read it online, Buy from Amazon.