Friday, June 19, 2009

Start Me Up!

So, it's been like a month since I declared that I am the founder of a startup company. I also did some formal stuff, like fill out some papers, get a bank account, deposit the seed funding (a whopping $1,000), had some business cards printed, and built (in one night) a website that looks totally ghetto (stock photos of good-looking people are ghetto, if you ask me).

We even have a few customers.

I thought I would document what I have learned so far....

1. Talk to everyone about your idea. They will poke holes in your idea and totally hate on you. But that's great, because you'll build a better product. I am committed to creating a product that honors candidates and actually advances the art/science of recruiting. The current business model is not there yet. In fact, the model evolves almost hourly. I am on the brink of something radically cool.

2. Very few folks care about my radically cool ideas. They are only interested in how well my ghetto website is doing. Surprisingly well, despite the fact that the idea isn't fully formed, the execution is lacking and that I have not focused on marketing. So this encourages me to keep going. I am on to something. The ghetto website poses some risk, though. Potential customers might visit, think, "this is so ghetto" never to return. The ghetto website could kill my brand before it exists. So I am going semi-stealth until -- Pla-dow! -- I can launch something that is truly impressive.

3. Understanding the competition is how I spend most of my time. Really thinking about what space I want to be in, who I want to compete against, what problems need to be addressed. I just finished Guy Kawasaki's The Art of the Start. His advice confirms my intuition. Focus on building a great product that fills a gap or solves a problem. Move fast. Ask for money only if you absolutely must.

4. Luck is important. It just is. If the stars are aligning, acknowledge that it is the stars, not your businessy-prowess that is the catalyst. A little humility will serve me well.

5. Lots of folks are helpful, and will offer advice and assistance. Take them up on all offers.

6. I hate figuring out the money part. And the legal stuff. Grrrr.

7. I fluctuate between a feeling of being invincible, that I have the best idea in the world and a feeling of utter dejection -- why on earth do I feel qualified to start a company? Truth is, I don't feel qualified to do something so bold. But I have a big, awesome network, a blog, an iPhone, some 1500 Twitter followers, and an idea. We will see how far that gets me.


  1. All it takes is one good ghetto idea or website to change the world.

  2. Good luck with the new venture Carmen!

  3. I sympathize with of starting your own company and this is exactly how I feel, especially number 4. You can have all the new ideas and networking and skills you have, there must be someone who will take a chance and that's very tough to convince in my opinion.

    Good luck with your new venture.

  4. Getting into a new venture is always risky, no matter if its a huge Corporation or an Individual.Since I am passionate about Entrepreneurship, this article was of my great interest.
    Lots of Professionals/Entrepreneurs are working on their startups based on Twitter APIs."Some" made fortunes,"many" are just another apps.
    With presence of some really advanced and cool job widgets/websites like -> ,competition is really fierce.Right strategy and great technology is the answer.While technology will eventually depend on Strategy - understanding competitors, market, user behavior is the key here.And its great that you are spending most of time researching the same :)
    Lot's of thoughts can be poured in.
    Best wishes !