Here is another page that is related on how to startup a high tech company, how to cut-corners and avoid pitfalls. Adam Sah has posted a must-read book list, followed by a list of advices which has some soild information in it. Here are the summaries:
- project, product, company. When deciding to start a company, decide if your NBT (next big thing) is a project, a product or a company.
- product development. Don’t over-invest in the product without solid feedback from the market (target customers– people who’d buy your product and pay-enough for it). Also, it’s a mistake to hire proddevs who don’t know how to cut corners– ideally, you want people who are eager to “do it the right way” when the company gets established, but take equal pleasure in cutting corners like crazy, yet still ship something usable.
- startup experience counts. There are now lots of people who’ve had success in startups. You should focus hiring on people who’ve been in successful startups, ideally several of them (!). Of Addamark’s first 10 employees, the average was 4 startups, and 2 successes; the executive team was 10 for 13 in the previous decade, i.e. before the bubble– and people had heard of these companies and products.
- what to outsource. Outsource legal, HR and as much of IT as you can (e.g. email, mailing lists, etc.). Don’t outsource proddev, busdev or marketing/strategy– these areas have big ramp-ups, and consultants will each make the same early mistakes.
- ignore dilution. Quite apart from the math, “winning is funner than losing” and winners look better on your resume (which leads to better comp packages). Life is short– focus on winning.
- busdev, not sales. Good business development folks can help define the product, and find markets for it– and oftentimes, the first market for a new product or technology is pretty exotic.
- early VC fundraising. Fundraising is a form of sales– understand your customers inside and out, and treat the whole thing like a sales pipeline.
- angel fundraising. Money is money, so take angel fundraising seriously — think of it as a form of sales, i.e. pipeline management.
- recruiting. Recruiting is another form of sales, and there’s an art to it.
- corporate structure and capitalization. It pains me to see great products and technologies floundering in companies that aren’t viable.
- revenue management. Once the product is “sellable” and the company “viable,” the next thing you need is professional revenue management, aka “sales management.”
Go to his page and read through all of the details on those points.
Adam’s Advice and Reading List for High Tech Startup Entrepeneurs – [Adam Sah]
How to start a Start-up
From Start-Up to Success in Internet Years
Visionary Business: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Success