If you want to create a startup, and you've never done that before, you should consult the resources that are relevant to your situation.
[FR] Si vous comprenez le français, je vous invite à regarder la vidéo de mon pote Shubham qui résume assez bien le plus gros des conseils de cette page, en 8 minutes: Vous avez une idée de startup ?.
[FR] ...et si vous voulez comprendre tout ce contenu de manière plus efficace et ludique, inscrivez-vous sur mon MOOC "Startup Tour: créez votre startup en 3h" (gratuit).
Step 0: Are you sure you want to create a startup? Why?
Let's explore some myths about startups and entrepreneurship.
Why are you doing this?!
- [FR] Comment j’ai bousillé ma vie en quittant mon emploi en entreprise pour créer ma start-up rêvée
- Find out why Derek Sivers sold his successful company and gave the money to charity. "Uncommon Sense", very wise entrepreneurial advice from the creator of CD Baby (videos) (spoiler: the key is to discover WHY you want to build a startup)
Your idea is worth nothing, it's execution that matters the most.
- Gentle explanation: Why No One Will Steal Your Startup Idea (video)
- Mathematical demonstration: Ideas are just a multiplier of execution
- [FR] Entrepreneurs, ne croyez pas en vos idées !, par Camille Roux
- [FR] "Une idée n'est qu'une idée. Il est peu probable que ce soit l'idée du siècle, donc ne la mettez pas en avant."
If you're looking for a tech co-founder, you're probably wasting your time
- [FR] A-t-on besoin d’un développeur pour créer sa startup communautaire ?
🤓(retour d'expérience de Marie Robin, wonderparents.fr)
- No, I won’t be your technical co-founder by Martin Grüner
- Is it foolish to go to Startup Weekend-like events and widely pitch my "next Facebook" idea in search of co-founders? on Quora
- William Pietri's answer to Where can I find developers willing to join my startup? on Quora
- Angry reaction by Gary Vaynerchuk: You're Out of Business, towards entrepreneurs whine about the difficulty of finding a tech co-founder.
- [FR] Comments on Comment trouver un associé "développeur" ? by Guilhem Bertholet
- Shubham's rant: "I have the best startup idea, I just need a developer now !"
- [FR] ... et, mon point de vue sur la question: Pourquoi je ne veux pas être ton CTO
- My criteria for helping startups: So, you need help with your startup? Here’s how to ask for it.
If you still think creating a business is the right choice for you, these stories can help you understand why it's not as easy as you think to build a successful startup:
- A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Hardbound Update
- Plancast, an event sharing network
- WeLoveSaaS/Calabio by Guilhem Bertholet
- AllMyApps by Thibauld Favre
- tKaap by Sylvain Weber
...and many more
If you're still not freaked out, congrats! But do you have what it takes to be a good entrepreneur?
- [FR] Oussama Amar, sur l'entrepreneuriat: Les caractéristiques de l'entrepreneur qui réussit (très bon interview!)
- "le courage est la mère de toutes les qualités"
- les caractéristiques de l'entrepreneur: détermination, flexibilité, l'imagination, la ruse (malin / naughty), la fidélité
- [FR] Plein de bons conseils pour la suite: "Evaluer son fucking problème", par Oussama Amar
Step 1: Find a real problem and test your hypotheses (no dev needed!)
Creating a startup is not about building a product from scratch and hope that people will care. (because most times, they don't)
Don't build a solution right away, spend some time finding a real problem by interacting with your users, and experimenting manually first.
- [FR] Video: Nanterre Deter #5 : Testez votre idée en 48h by Côme Courteault (The Family)
- [FR] Outils pour tester ses hypothèses sans dev: Nanterre Deter Toolbox (Google Docs)
- [FR] Introduction au concept de "prétotyping"
- [FR] Exemples de Prétotyping
- [FR] Exemple de growth hacking astucieux: Le fake de Bricool
- The Pretotyping Cheatsheet
- Better product definition with Lean UX and Design Thinking, by Jeff Gothelf (Video)
- Read the part on how to solve users' problems by iterating without building: Road to a Great Product
Step 2: Build software to automatize your solution progressively
So you've found a valuable problem to solve for a precise segment of users, and succesfully tested a working solution for them, manually? Congratulations! :-)
Now that you have a proof that your manual solution/process works and that your users are satisfied, you need to grow your user base. And for this, you need to automatize your solution progressively, in order to scale your business.
There are several ways to do this:
A. Code it yourself
- [FR] Codez votre premier site web sur Le Wagon On Demand ou Wild Code School
- [FR] Apprenez à coder vous même votre prototype, grâce à la formation Pimp My App
- [FR] Passe ton code d'abord !, par Simplon.co
- So You Want to Learn How to Code (tl;dr: try Codeschool, Codeacademy, Coursera...)
- Then build your product using startup tools
- Or use a service to easily build e-commerce websites: SquareSpace
- Pieter Levels shared great advice with you, in a fast-faced and motivating 30-minute video: "Bootstrapping Side Projects into Profitable Startups" (and transcript of the video)
B. Find a developer to code it
When approaching developers, keep in mind that:
- They have ideas too, except they probably don't need you for implementing them.
- They will like you if you are impressed by their side projects and problem solving skills.
- They will appreciate your confidence, but make sure to keep cool and humble.
- They hate being considered as coding slaves at your service. => Show what you bring on the table. (cf [FR] Pourquoi je ne veux pas être ton CTO)
- They expect you to be good at something, but may not know the usefulness and/or difficulty of these skills.
- They hate bullshit => express yourself clearly and concisely.
Here are a few ways to reach developers:
- Train your pitch, create a nice profile, and try to seduce developers online:
- Go out and talk to them directly:
- [FR] Comment réaliser son MVP / séduire un CTO (Video Youtube)
- SeedNetworking (speed dating for CEO and CTOs)
- Adopt a CTO
- Local Meetups and dev conferences to talk with developers (humility, confidence and listening skills are your best friends)
- And susbcribe to your city's Startup Digest to know about upcoming events.
- If it does not work, sponsor a developer meetup that is the most relevant to your startup ideas
Whenever you think that you found a potential associate, you should definitely read this advice: The Perfect Co-founder Checklist; 12 ways to tell if you’ve found The One to work with, from someone who spent 3 years looking.
C. Hire a freelance or agency
- Price estimator (by Crew or by Yeeply) or [FR] Combien coûte la création de mon application?
- Define your app requirements => direct links to template and instructions
- Ask a startup studio like Matters - Product & Startup Studio
Great books to read:
- Zero to One, by Peter Thiel
- Getting Real: The smarter, faster, easier way to build a successful web application by 37signals (creators of Basecamp)
- The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries