Tag: projects

The minimalistic Start-Up – The Setup

In the following weeks, I shall write a couple of blog articles focused on how you can build a fictionary technical product on an extremely tight budget. The product will be defined as a side hustle, which idea will be to restructure, rewrite, and put into a modern shape an old project. We shall try minimizing the amount of time and money spent on the product because side hustles do not pay bills most of the time. At the same time, the approach will show how little is needed for a technical team to create a product and release it.

But what will be the idea – A simple tool that improves the way users plan their work. There are tons of such solutions on the market, and big companies have been developing something like that since the 90s of the last century. Keeping in mind that – we would like our fictionary product team to use new work approaches, check whether they can form a highly effective team, have some fun and focus their attention on something constructive. Of course, in reality, there will be no chances of scaling such a project. In addition, side hustle teams lose their energy and motivation to work long-term. In real life, people shift priorities – they can start working at a big corporation. Some had to focus on their income sources. Others got kids.

You can see a standard Gant chart on the diagram, used in almost every project management and planning solution. Our fictional team will use it heavily during their product development

Such a mental example could be beneficial for every technical team despite these facts. In our fictional situation, the team will manage to make an initial version of the tool; make a website; produce a video; write a couple of technical whitepapers; create “branding” elements, and improve their skills during the period.

In the following parts of this series, I shall explain and discuss how this team will manage to achieve all of this in their “free” time and how much it will cost them in terms of money. Every part will be focused on one of the following items – branding elements, website, video, technical whitepapers, and finally, team structure and way of work. Hopefully, this will help you build your product and structure your team using the same tools and approaches.

Why startups experience is like being in the SAS (Special Air Service)?

Authors around the World publish tons of books on how to create your startup and how to scale it to a multi-billion company. People read these books, praise them and try mimicking the strategies written there. Even courses train you to present yourself in front of investors and get the next significant investment for your startup. All of these books give hope and motivation to the current and future generation of entrepreneurs.

Still, year after year, we see the same trend – 90% of the starting companies will fail until their 2nd year. Or in more human-readable wording – 90% of the new companies can not reach the sustainable revenue phase, and their bubble burst until their 2nd year. At the same time, 97% of the latest companies fail until their 5th year. This statistics is quite sad because it shows that all the courses and books on the World are not enough for your startup to succeed. You need experience and first point of view knowledge of how things are working and what is necessary for success.

On the diagram, you can see a standard corporation versus startup skills distribution. Startups team members need to understand the business side much more than the regular corporation employee

Many people do not realize how difficult it is to create a startup. It would help if you had lots of experience to make it happen. 99% percent of the population on our planet do not have this experience, and to gain it, they need to fail. And to fail hard and often. Let’s analyze why 90% of the startups fail until their second year of running.

  • The average length of an IT project is between 18 and 24 months. If you do not manage to scale your product for this period, then, most probably, your business model does not work, and it will not scale at all.
  • The average person has some resources put aside for this period. If you are trying to make a bootstrapped business, this period is your lifeline to achieving any progress.
  • In case you manage to gain traction for your startup idea. Many people do not know how to scale it out and make this traction a sustainable business. One of the biggest problems is customer support after you manage to get the initial traction.
  • Let’s analyze the stats about startups’ failure. 90% of the startups fail until the second year. It directly says – you will need, on average, nine failures to pass the second year of startup life. If we multiply this number to 18 months (average lifetime of one IT project), then we receive 9 * 18 = 162 months or almost 14 years of working in startups to make one of them successful. That’s why most of the time, one startup needs at least two or three co-founders with enough experience in startups to scale.

In conclusion, making a startup is hard. It is not for everyone, and many people lost time and money trying to create one. Without the proper experience and coaching, the failure of startups will continue. From my personal experience working in startups, some of them, relatively underfunded; if you pass the second year, your chances of success improve dramatically. And yes, the SAS drop rate is, on average, around 94%.