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Resources, books to help tech startup?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Can anyone recommend me some books, resources etc to give me some guidance on getting a company started?

I have some technology I want to commercialize (industrial, not web 2.whatever).

I have a pretty good idea of the technical details but I know almost nothing about running or starting a business, raising capital, getting a management team together etc.

I figure some people on here would know.
post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ms244 View Post
Can anyone recommend me some books, resources etc to give me some guidance on getting a company started?

I have some technology I want to commercialize (industrial, not web 2.whatever).

I have a pretty good idea of the technical details but I know almost nothing about running or starting a business, raising capital, getting a management team together etc.

I figure some people on here would know.

It's a pretty quick read but Guy Kawasaki's "the Art of the Start" is actually great. Very basic stuff but very well explained.
post #3 of 15
Would advise that you seek a partner that has some management experience from a startup environ
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord-Barrington View Post
It's a pretty quick read but Guy Kawasaki's "the Art of the Start" is actually great. Very basic stuff but very well explained.

+1
post #5 of 15
ya, The Art of the Start seems to be the go-to for this, although admittedly I haven't read it myself. I am grinding my way through a lot of the works listed at personalmba.com. There is a section on entrepreneurship (including another rec for Kawasaki)...but the entire list is worth a browse.
post #6 of 15
The most important question is: can you build the product yourself? Is there some prototype version you can create on your own? If the answer is "no," then you're in for a world of pain. VCs and angel investors have seen, and will see, every idea under the sun. They don't finance groundbreaking ideas. They finance the people whom they feel will best execute and deliver the ideas to market. If you're incapable of building your own technology, then in their estimation, how could you possibly be the best person out there to execute it? "I'll learn on the job" or "I'll hire the right people" will not cut it as responses, btw. And let's say you don't want VC money. You want to bootstrap. Fine. But in this scenario, it's even more important that you be capable of doing it yourself. Because you won't have the money to hire rockstar techies to build it for you. Anyhow, if none of this applies to you, then awesome. That's where you want to be. But this quesion is worth asking, because 9 times out of 10, not having considered it is the death of would-be startups.
post #7 of 15
For those recommending the Kawasaki book, has anyone actually read it, and if yes how practical is it in your opinion. I have taken look through and it seems more like a motivational book than a hands on guide/handbook to me. I may be wrong, but I doubt it has the resources the OP needs e.g. it tells you to write a business model but doesnt say what makes a good one (advised to ask a woman -wtf) .

On success/failure of tech startup, I believe most fail because they are too focused on the technology/product side, and fail on the business side of things. One needs to always remember that it is a business and not a science project.

For the OP: In the beginning, I would expect one to work on having answers to some questions like (not mutually exclusive)
1. What is the problem and what is your intended solution
2. Who are the customers, what is their need that you are trying to meet, and how much are they willing to pay for it
2. Where is the opportunity i.e. market size, growth potential
3. What are the financial characteristics: investment cost, revenue, margins, profit, ramp cost and rate
4. What are your key costs e.g. product developments, customer acquisition, operational etc
5. What is your business model and strategy logic i.e how is what your doing going to make what your are doing better (e.g. more profitable?).
5. What are the technical, business, market, and/or legal risks?
6. Who are your present and future competitors, both direct and indirect, and what are the barriers to entry for others
7. What is your differential advantage that lets you do better than others e.g. better product, patents, or lower price
post #8 of 15
I can tell you how to be successful in a startup - don't run it yourself. one in 10 start ups make it. 1 in 1000 make it if they are run by the inventor. get a partner who knows how to run a business, and make yourself chief technology officer.

good luck
post #9 of 15
Try. Whether you succeed or fail, you'll learn in the process. A friend and I started a med device company and we promptly failed as we were both nerds and neither one of us had the faintest idea of how to start and run a business (especially one as highly regulated as med device).
post #10 of 15
Wow interesting how many people picked art of the start. I read it ages ago, and thought I was the only one reading it.
post #11 of 15
I've also read art of the start. It's a feel good book with some good nuggets of advice, but otherwise average
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Carlos View Post
The most important question is: can you build the product yourself? Is there some prototype version you can create on your own? If the answer is "no," then you're in for a world of pain. VCs and angel investors have seen, and will see, every idea under the sun. They don't finance groundbreaking ideas. They finance the people whom they feel will best execute and deliver the ideas to market. If you're incapable of building your own technology, then in their estimation, how could you possibly be the best person out there to execute it? "I'll learn on the job" or "I'll hire the right people" will not cut it as responses, btw. And let's say you don't want VC money. You want to bootstrap. Fine. But in this scenario, it's even more important that you be capable of doing it yourself. Because you won't have the money to hire rockstar techies to build it for you. Anyhow, if none of this applies to you, then awesome. That's where you want to be. But this quesion is worth asking, because 9 times out of 10, not having considered it is the death of would-be startups.
This is sound advice. I have a friend who is always coming to me with his new ideas for an internet property. While I won't speak for my opinion on how good of ideas they generally are to you all, I will say that I have to constantly remind him that he is fairly computer illiterate and couldn't program/write web code his way out of a bag if his life depended on it. He seems to think that having a good idea is enough. It's not. You have to be able to do some of the hard work yourself when you want to create a start-up.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by gungadin25 View Post
I've also read art of the start. It's a feel good book with some good nuggets of advice, but otherwise average

It's also only $18 on Amazon. Wouldn't hurt someone starting out to give it a read.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by JMRouse View Post
It's also only $18 on Amazon. Wouldn't hurt someone starting out to give it a read.
The question shouldnt be 'will it hurt?', but (in the least), 'will it help?"
That it wouldnt hurt is not sufficient reason to spend time reading the book
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
I got Art of the Start of Amazon, read it in one night. Not technical but definitely worth the $20.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Carlos View Post
The most important question is: can you build the product yourself? Is there some prototype version you can create on your own? If the answer is "no," then you're in for a world of pain.


I was trying to bootstrap some of this, a prototype did exist at one point. Its all based on actual research not some free energy crap on youtube.

Problem is, I'm not independently wealthy to quit my job and buy all the parts and doing this in my (very little) spare time isn't working out.


Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter View Post
I can tell you how to be successful in a startup - don't run it yourself. one in 10 start ups make it. 1 in 1000 make it if they are run by the inventor. get a partner who knows how to run a business, and make yourself chief technology officer.

good luck

I think thats where most startups fail and technical people are notoriously bad managers. So 100% agreement there.
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