The desire to be one’s own boss is very common but the courage to do so is not that common. And the knowledge of how to go about it is far less common. Today, we are bringing to you a 4 step guide to start a startup. Sam Altman’s Startup Playbook describes these 4 steps as:
1. The Idea
The first thing that you need is a clear idea of what you want to do and why. The idea has to be simple to understand. If you are not able to make people understand your idea, then it is not a good idea. Complex ideas never blossom into great startups. Your idea has to be simple but also new and exciting. There should be at least a few people who are excited by your idea.
Another thing that you need to consider is what your target market is. Who are the people that need your product? Are you yourself the target customer? If not, how well do you understand your target customers?
Talk about your idea to your potential customers, take their feedback and improve your idea. Make sure you come up with something that is loved by your customers. A product loved by a handful of people is better than a product liked by thousands.
2. A Great Team
With a great idea, you also need a great team to start a great startup. A good founder is someone who is determined and resourceful. He/she is a person who people would love to work with, who is dependable. They have to be clear about their mission and core values. They should be easy to talk to. Effective communication is the most important characteristic of a good founder.
You can be a solo founder of your startup, but it is better to have a co-founder. When you look for a co-founder, look for someone who you know well. Don’t just pick someone randomly. Many start-ups have failed because of a fall-out between their founders. The co-founder of your startup should be a person who shares your passion. Understanding and compatibility between co-founders is a must.
It is always a good idea to talk about equity split at the earliest. Saving the topic for later would not help your case. You can split the equity in nearly equal amounts to prevent any fall-out.
3. A Great Product
The only thing that assures long-term success is a great product. Your product includes everything that you’re offering to your customers. Many start-ups try to use other tricks to succeed. But in the long-term, it is only a great product that will save you.
Your product is great if your users love it. To make your product great, you need to be constantly improving it. Improve your product on a daily basis. Always try to surpass your customers’ expectations.
To be able to create a great product, it is best to interact with your users and observe them very closely. In the early days of the start-up, the founder should try to interact with their customers directly. Take their feedback and try to incorporate it into your product. Don’t just listen to what they say; also observe how they use your product. Try to understand their needs, wants and expectations from the product.
4. Great Execution
Great execution is as necessary as a great product. For a long time, you would need to do everything yourself. You might not have all the skills of a CEO but no one understands your customers better than you.
Growth and momentum are the two keys to great execution. Growth means moving forward. As long as you are not going backwards, you are growing. Growth is very important for a startup.
When you are growing, you feel like you are winning. Growth motivates you to work harder and achieve more.
With growth, momentum is also very important. Momentum should be your top-most priority. To measure the momentum of your company, you need to use a growth metrics. Use a single growth metric that will help you understand the momentum of your company’s growth.