2006 was when facebook opened their platform to everyone above 13. They might had luck at that time, or just the right people invested in them; in any case, it is extremely hard to repeat that in 2013, just because the competition in the IT industry became massive. I am saying this, because many brilliant developers with nice ideas believe that it takes only their code to make it to the top. It might had in couple of years ago, but surely doesn’t nowadays.
There are few really important tips for the very young companies (especially if their founders still wonder whether they have to get co-founders or not).
You’ve heard it before: your idea is nice, but there are at least 20 other startups who do the same thing as we speak. In order to succeed, you have to be better. That could mean that your product solves the same problem in an easier way, or your product has stronger clients and contacts. Somehow you have to give higher value than the competition. So, here are several suggestions how to do that:
# Make a better product. That includes instant test while you create it and getting real feedback from the users. The best way is to see them, see how they use it and discover what they feel about it. If you don’t know them really well, it is highly possible to fail to meet their expectations.
# Make it look good. Not talking about spending too much time on design, but to design really good. That means to create impressive things with not much effort. It is a real talent, so make sure you have it on board.
# Make it the right way. Never underrate the power of today’s marketing tools like measuring your metrics and using social networks to get awareness.
# Make it look big. If you have a greater vision for your stuff and show it from the start, you may impress everyone. Having everyone talking about you, even when you still do not have the huge number of downloads or users, can be an Ace to play with. Use it wisely and do not show off too much.
# Create a story. Even before you have a product, you have a story to share. Sharing your experience with many people will help you a lot in the process: You will get greater exposure even before being a big company; will get more feedback on the go; and will have a good online history to share with your future partners/mentors/investors. They will love that.
# Manage your assets wisely. Your biggest asset is your time. Do not waste it on shitty expensive “startup events”. Be where your clients and conversations are. There is a great post by Tracy Dinunzio covering this topic and I couldn’t agree more with her. I also covered “the event” part of this in Startup e-Bulgaria‘s article “4 things about this “startup hype” that are just not right”. So, startups, be careful and get away from show-offs who don’t offer you value.
Startups became “a thing” and the story repeats every time when something is “a thing”: there is a huge hype and at some point everyone wants to be part of it. The best way to be a startup is to create something you like, build it with love and effort and work on it because people need it. Then to realise it is a “startup”. Not the other way around.