More Than One Way to Build a Startup …

In the start-up world there is a formula, and there are rules (spoken and unspoken) for how one “should” launch a company. There is a lot to be learned from how companies are created and products launched particularly in Silicon Valley. Budding entrepreneurs should consider the fact that an alternative may be more favorable considering your personal circumstances as a founder.

>> Know the “Rules” – Learn, consider everything and then discriminate. Keep only what stands out as true critical success factors for your business. Drop those things that actually pressure you to meet a standard that has nothing to do with business success. 

>> Know the Context – The start-up ecosystem in the Valley and other strong start-up regions are all different — tech history, investing habits, support network, resources etc. A different context requires a different approach. Master your local start-up landscape and understand how you must navigate in it, around it or out of it if necessary.

>> Break the “Rules” – The elitist and purist out there will tell you that if your start-up is not located in 1of 5 places that you are wasting your time; that if you are a business founder and outsourcing coding that you have no “bidnez” in the business; that if you are not working on your start-up full time that you are just a hobbyist.

What I would say is if you are serious about starting a business, you will play with the hand you are dealt and build your business regardless. You can waste a lot of time chasing a standard that you may never meet but will only serve to bog you down. Or you can spend your time doing the right sort of homework to build a solution to a real problem. And gaining traction… and earning money while your window of opportunity exists.

• So what you don’t live in SV.  If you are not willing to move, deal with it; build your company
• So what you are a business founder.  Find a tech co-founder or outsource it; build your company
• So what you cannot work on the product 15 hours each day.  Map out your project plan and a reasonable product roadmap; build your company

Be realistic about your personal situation and build where you are, with what you have.

The bottom line is there are many ways to succeed. The alternative is to do nothing because you do not have the same “hand” as other entrepreneurs … and regret for years to come that you never tried.

There is more than one way to build a startup … and off I go to pursue that “other” way.

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