Where to start when you don’t know where to start

    For our laziness, we are punished not only by our failures, but also by the successes of others.
    Jules Renard

    Now it has become fashionable to create startups or participate in them. I succumbed to this fashion and want to share my experience. Many business accelerators have appeared that are ready to help in the development of promising new companies, incubators that provide space and equipment for young projects. On the one hand, it seems that all the tools are given, all the expertise is collected in one place and it seems that absolutely anyone can find an outstanding genius in themselves and, most importantly, share this genius with the world. But no, as they say, for every Titanic there is an iceberg.

    After analyzing a large number of various sources of information, I made several conclusions for myself that help me and maybe help inspired startups not to turn into losers. It may seem to someone that I bring common truths, but we need them first of all. And then, each of us is individual, each has his own vision of building a business and implementing his idea. I just want to help, and I will be glad if at least one person says "thank you."

    Firstand the main thing is desire. Desire can turn mountains and lead you to success, but reluctance will not lead anywhere, and there is a good saying about it: “Desire - thousands of opportunities, unwillingness - thousands of reasons.” Any desire can be killed by a couple of arguments about the fact that it is impossible or irrational.

    “Have you done this before?”
    - Not.
    - And I did, you have no idea how difficult it is

    "Best the enemy of the good". In 95 cases out of 100, this approach can kill even the most robust idea.
    Conclusion: Do not be afraid to desire.

    The second is help. You don’t always have to pay for help, they can help for free, in the name of an idea. If you can infect others with your idea, you can get an excellent team. This approach works, including in large work teams, as large companies do not always pay attention to enthusiasts, and employees begin to create a "team in a team." Remember how many cases in a business of forming a full-fledged company from such a team, as a rule, are compact and efficient. As a result, a large company loses some of its competence, but it seems that this is their last concern .
    Conclusion: do not be afraid to look for like-minded people and ask for help.

    The method works when you dream not to change the field of activity, but to raise activity to a new level. When you work in a call center, and you want to create the world's best pizzeria with mini pizzas, your colleagues are unlikely to help you. Although there are always exceptions, do not neglect them.
    Conclusion: break patterns, rules are not always useful.

    Third is financial support. Any startup, like any undertaking in general, needs to be nourished financially, and if at the initial stage it seems that one ideological protein is enough, then after a while there comes a moment of reckoning in all senses. Remember, money is always needed:
    - at the beginning,
    - in the middle,
    - at the end;
    for promotion, for attraction, for development and much more. An analogy with children works here: if you want to develop a child, you invest in it, if you don’t want to, you use the "benefits" of the state.
    Conclusion: take care of the money.

    Here we dwell in more detail. There are many ways to attract finance to a startup, the main ones are attracting mentors, receiving grants, interacting with business angels, getting investments, loans and other standard schemes. These methods require basic steps, such as a business plan and prototype. It’s easy for someone to assemble a prototype, for someone a business plan is fun for children, but you can expect at least one of these stages to become a stumbling block for you. Accordingly, think about at what capacities you sell both of them.
    Here, by the way, an unscheduled conclusion has ripened : first understand what needs to be done, then understand how.

    There is still the opportunity to use the crowdfunding scheme to raise money, but do not build “castles in the sand” - in order to carry out a crowdfunding campaign in a good way, you will have to supplement the basic stages with marketing - constantly keep everyone's goods / service public, otherwise the whole campaign will fail.

    Separately, I will single out the old way of raising funds - Donat, I call it a “beggar”:
    Give, kind people, a genius of thought to realize a brilliant idea.

    In the distant nineties, one of my favorite companies just got out of the crisis. But what a sin to conceal, and today there are companies whose turnover amounts to billions of dollars, and they all ask and ask for help from the NWF.

    Of course, there is still a source in the form of own funds, but here the comments are superfluous.

    Fourth- patron. Now, business accelerators can act as patrons, but because of them, concepts are being replaced. In this case, it refers to the patron. The one who will tell you where, with whom and how you can agree, the one who can write a letter, call, talk, so that you are listened to and helped. A kind of startup sensei. I’m disappointing - in reality I haven’t seen such people. There are consultants, there are those who are ready to share their successes and talk about how they gnawed granite, but are not ready to offer a hand of mutual assistance. We don’t confuse patrons with business angels and mentors, they, in fact, will spoil a piece of a small and promising company for a penny, so that when it grows up, sell more expensive. This is not help, but business.
    Conclusion: weigh the possibilities and throw out the pink glasses.

    Fifth, the last one here, but not the last for beginners. Remember, no matter how brilliant your idea is, there is always someone who implements it faster, and possibly better. You have to be faster than your zuckerberg competitors. In this case, it will be a mistake to develop an idea within four walls, for fear of intellectual theft. You should always be up to date with the latest news regarding the scope of your idea, and for that matter, do not be afraid to share some stages of developing the idea with the public and future consumers. Let it be a kind of usability test.
    I think we need to finish.
    Oh yes, I completely forgot. Still need a pinch of immaterial and unpredictable success. So good luck guys!

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