Simon Willison’s Weblog

Entries tagged startups, leanstartups

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Should I pull the plug?

Is there any way if turning this in to a recurring revenue product? It’s enormously easier to get money from an existing customer (since they already know that your product works for them and is worth the cash) than to sign up a brand new customer.

[... 140 words]

What advice would you give to a new technical co-founder at a startup?

It sounds to me like you’d be better off seeking an engineering role in an existing, relatively mature startup (one with 5-15 engineers) rather than looking to be a technical co-founder of a brand new company. Startup engineering is likely to be pretty different from what you’re used to, and there’s no better environment to learn than a fast-moving company that already has a small and highly talented group of engineers.

[... 102 words]

Besides MTurk, what are some good resources to use when doing market research for a startup?

SurveyMonkey and Google both offer services where you can pay to get responses to a survey from a large number of recipients:

[... 51 words]

How should I evaluate a potential technical co-founder? What qualities matter most to the business, to investors, to future employees?

Build a small weekend project with them. If they can’t build and (more importantly) ship something simple in a couple of days, with you collaborating with them effectively on what it is, how it should work and so on, they aren’t a good fit.

[... 70 words]

What is the inital costs for a tech startup? Do you have any checklist or spreadsheet?

Initial costs can be incredibly low—a few bucks for a domain name, $40/month or so for VPS hosting. Things only start to get expensive when either you need to scale up to multiple servers (which means you’re doing well) or when you start to pay salaries.

[... 70 words]

What’s the best platform I can use for a food delivery startup? Shopify? Or should I instead learn to code?

Don’t build an e-commerce system as your first programming project—I know engineers with many years of experience who wouldn’t trust themselves to write code that handles money.

[... 103 words]