Top 20 Startup Quickies

Your top startup questions answered, in less then 10 seconds each.  Inspired today by a full inbox I’m still trying to get caught up on.

  • I have a great idea.  Where can I get it funded?
Just an idea?  Your mom, if she’s gullible.

  • I have no money though.  How can I start a business?
Go make some money.  Then come back.

  • How do I leave my job to start a business?
Don’t.  Leave your job for self-employment first.  Then start a business.

  • How do I start the next Facebook?
Go away.

  • What is the best way to validate an idea?
Getting someone to pay for it.

  • How much should I charge for my product/service?
As much as customers are willing to pay.

  • But how do I know what my customers are willing to pay?
Ask them.  Then increase it by 20%.  Now decrease in 5% increments till you hit the sweet spot.

  • C-Corp, S-Corp, or LLC?

  • At what point in my startup do I hire an attorney?
When you’re big enough to where it wouldn’t be a complete waste of my time to sue you.

1 year cliff, vest over 5 years.

  • My cofounder bailed early with equity.  What do I do?
Convince him/her the company will fail and buy him/her out on the cheap.  Or sell it.  Or start another company.

  • Should I have investors sign an NDA before speaking with them?
If you want everyone to know you’re an amateur, sure.

  • Why not?
It causes too much paperwork for investors to handle, and the document is rarely enforceable.

  • How do I keep people from stealing my idea?
Execute it.

  • How do I beat my competitors?
Unhappy A-players.  Steal.  Make happy.  Repeat.

  • How do I attract creative talent?
Give: Flex-time.  Goals, not hours.  Incentives.  Don’t make drug testing a condition of employment.

  • I’m in B2B.  How do I get my marketing mailings past their secretary?
Put them in a box instead of envelope.

  • How do I set up an exit strategy?
Find an acquisition similar to your company.  Find the acquirer.  Find the acquirer’s competitor.  Sell it to that guy.

  • How can my startup sell for top dollar?
World class talent.  Unique intellectual property.  Big market share.