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Start with minimal investment. Ideas for starting from scratch. How to organize your startup, a practical guide How to start a startup.


Start with minimal investment. Ideas for starting from scratch. How to organize your startup, a practical guide How to start a startup.

Being involved in a startup is like an emotional rollercoaster ride, one moment you feel like you own the world and the next second it all comes crashing down. This guide will help you get started.

This post is an update of my previous post from 2014. It has been almost three years since then and I would like to update the information in a fresh way.

I have worked exclusively in startups for 6 years. I was a "programmer" - a professional hired to turn an idea into a "real" business. I never wanted to start my own business: was it worth risking my comfortable life for an idea that might not work?

Then 4 years ago I accepted the challenge of founding a 5-day programming startup in London called Steer. Two years later I left Steer to start SuperHi.

Before I start the story, I want to emphasize that I am not a startup expert . In general, I don't think anyone can be an expert because the experience gained in starting a startup varies. However, many people are new to both startups and IT, so I dedicate this guide to anyone interested in diving into the dark waters of this business.


Money on the road does not circulate

The IT industry is the only manufacturing industry where a business model is desirable but not required. Imagine a bakery that gives out donuts for free and has nothing to pay customers - will advertising on the wall save such a bakery? The IT business is driven by a quality that no other industry has. scale ! The Internet allows this business to reach potential customers worldwide.

My previous start-up, Steer, was an on-site training based in London, meaning our client base was geographically limited. SuperHi offers online courses, meaning students from California to Australia are streamed over the Internet.

If your business model is based on millions of non-paying users, there are two options for growth:

Some balance needs to be found to penetrate your market. If the offer is too narrow, there is a risk that there will be too few paying customers; If it's too broad, you may not be able to solve a specific problem. "Simon Sinek's TED Talk: Let's Start with Why?" Watch the video and think about why you want to take on this case.

You need to be sincere in your thoughts and enjoy the thoughts you want. at least , the year to solve it. If you're not excited about hiring Mr. Student Programming or Ms. Taxi, think again. The characteristic of the worst founders is that they only seek to get rich and fail because they don't have a "greater purpose" in mind.

Don't hide your thoughts

It is very interesting to keep your ideas to yourself. Sure, someone can steal your idea, but if you're unsure about it or don't believe you can build the best team to make it happen, it might not be for you.

your ideas to them, you're insecure.

Let's say someone signs your NDC, and you start a project without leaking the idea... What's to stop this "someone" If you force freelancers or consultants to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before pitching from copying your idea and creating an improved version? Google was far from the first search engine, and Facebook was not the first social network.

One of our biggest competitors recently copied what we do in our online courses. The first reaction is always "sweats!" However, you should take it for granted that companies big and small will try to copy you.

Your startup should be best in class, not first to market.

Are you ready to pursue your ideas more consistently than others?

Don't force people to sign non-disclosure agreements or you'll get into trouble.

The initial and final ideas are likely to be very different.

Some successful companies started with completely different ideas. Flickr was a themed photo-sharing chat for gamers, Nintendo sold paper playing cards, and Nokia was a paper factory in Finland.

My first startup, Steer, was originally a business consulting site that evolved into a coding school when we realized we couldn't survive on our original business model.

schools. It took us a year to create such an editor, but over time we listened to what our customers wanted - we use our editor for lectures, but the general idea of ​​our business has changed. We are trying to solve the same problem as before - simplifying programming - but in a different direction.

Start name

Finding the right name for a startup is very difficult. If you want to get the shortest web domain name, the search process is as follows.

Step 1: Find a great name.

Step 2: Check

Step 3: We see that all the top domains of our great name have been taken.

Step 4: Go back to step 1.

Make sure your customers can type your chosen name in 3 tries (think Led Zeppelin or The Beatles), and if possible, get the .com option right away - if you succeed, domain sellers will raise your price. significantly.

The origin of the name is not necessarily completely clear - our SuperHi appeared "Information superway" ("information highway"), a memory of the beginning of the development of the Internet


Steer came from wandering through the thesaurus and checking for good domains.

Outline everything

Once you have an idea, be sure to draw everything on paper. Draw every page and window on the screen. Don't skip any interactions - if there's a link or button, what happens when you activate it? Follow it.

This process allows ideas to move from your head to paper. It helps the people you work with understand what you are doing. As co-founders, this means you'll be able to agree on the content of your idea. For designers and developers, rendering helps them visualize what will be required and how long it will take.

Check your ideas

How do you test your working ideas? Testing future product ideas or prototypes on potential customers.

It is very tempting to believe in compliments rather than your own ideas. Whenever you talk to any potential client, 80% of the time they won't criticize you because people are polite and avoid conflict. It's even more interesting to ignore the criticism of the other 20%: "they don't understand" or "they're just stupid". Maybe they don't really get it, but if they do, maybe your idea is too complicated or you can't express it well enough...

Start small with your ideas. Don't create anything yet. Use your sketches to explore the customer's problems - don't give them a solution right away, remove your own biases and egos - then use the feedback to create a solution that fits their problem.

Get ready to learn at breakneck speed. Learn as much as you can from your customers so that you can implement your ideas tomorrow better than the day before.

Find founders you trust

People are an important part of your startup. Good founders know how and when to change things when something is stagnant. Ideas are nothing! Performance is everything!

It is possible to start a business as a sole founder, but it is more difficult. Some investors prefer not to invest in projects with a single founder, but there are examples to the contrary (Tumblr, Mint, Alibaba, etc.). If you're considering this option, you need support in areas where you feel unprepared. For example, if you are a businessman, get useful advice from development and IT consultants.

I am the sole founder of my startup. I really enjoy being the "dictator" for all aspects of my business, but it's really boring and being the only person among the founders slows down the development of the business. This means that I am the only component that causes the entire system to fail due to failure.

Collaborating with friends is easier than looking for someone to collaborate with you. You believe in them and believe in their abilities. However, startups are a serious test for even the strongest relationships.

If some founders perform the same functions - for example, they are all businessmen or designers or developers - their rights and duties should be very clearly defined. If you all don't like doing bookkeeping or checking accounts, who will?

Disagreements between co-founders are more common than many people realize. I left my first startup due to disagreements with my original co-founder. We ended up disagreeing and arguing every day. It happens and you all move on. Two good blog posts are Mark Suster 's Two Sides of the Table: The Myth of the Co-Founder and the Perils of Founder Battles.

How to find a technical co-founder

When I was a freelancer, I received weekly requests to join a startup as a co-founder-technical officer (CTO). In most cases, I didn't know the person offering the offering, so I always said no. You hardly get married without knowing the bride.

Programmers can be arrogant and believe that they can implement their ideas on their own, but programming is only a small part of what needs to be done in a startup to implement an idea. The list of job areas includes development, sales, marketing, management, production and many others. But right now, you need a tech founder more than he needs you.

What makes you different from other "idea implementers"? You are doing a lot of preparation. You do a lot of research, drawing and branding. You are preparing a business plan. You do everything a programmer doesn't. Show everyone who you are.

Second, acquire the skills to introduce yourself to developers. Learn the basics of programming and/or development so you know what you're talking about. If you've never baked, don't bake. This doesn't mean you'll be programming websites or anything, but the more you know about how it works, the more useful you'll be.

How to find investors

I wrote earlier that I am not a startup entrepreneur: yes, I am not an investment expert. Y Combinator's Paul Graham gets it right, and you should read all of his articles, but especially this one.

You need a "Runway" - the time it takes to get your startup from launch to profitability. Of course, this will only be a guess, as most startups will never leave the metaphorical runway. Expect this to be twice as long as you expect, so fundraise accordingly. It is easier and faster to arrange one large investment than several small ones.

Raising money takes longer than you think. It usually takes 3-6 months, but I've also heard it take up to a year for smaller fundraisers. Be prepared for more difficulty.

There are also "social" and "silent" money. Social money comes from people who have experience in your industry or have a good track record of investing in successful startups. Quiet money comes from people who can't or aren't willing to give you any help other than investing.

To start a startup at the first stage, you need to look for what is called a seed investment. Don't immediately try to approach relatively large companies like Index Ventures and Balderton. For example, Passion Capital in London and Mutual Fund in New York are excellent for initial investment.

How much money to raise depends on the runway, investors and location. The initial round (also called "seed") in the US is $300,000 to $3 million. In Great Britain, this value is much lower - 150-500 thousand pounds. Investors in the US are willing to take more risk than investors in the UK.

Talk to people who have raised money. Connect with startups who can mentor and guide you through the investment process.

How to hire the best

If you don't have enough training yourself, there are many ways to create a startup in the IT industry. You can hire full-time employees, you can hire freelancers, or you can outsource your work.

At the risk of stating the obvious, I will rate the benefits of different methods according to the appropriate scale (0 means "very bad", 10 means "excellent") as follows: external organizations - 0-3 points, freelancers - 3 - 8, full-time employee - 7 -ten.

For outside organizations (agencies), you'll be one of many projects in the queue, and their goal is to get you out the door as quickly as possible. There's a famous saying, "When agencies close, only two contracts remain." Involving external organizations (agencies) is the most expensive method.

I ran a 5-day introductory course on the Ruby on Rails framework at my startup Steer. As part of the course, the last 2 days have been spent learning how to build a website for marketplaces like Airbnb, Etsy, and eBay. I anonymously asked several agencies in London how much they would charge for all the features of this project. Three agencies submitted bids ranging from £35,000 to £60,000 (about $80,000 or €75,000).

Freelancers are better than agencies. They are cheaper, more attentive and more receptive. I also asked a number of freelancers to bid on the marketplace website and got quotes ranging from £8,000 to £25,000 ($35,000, €30,000), which is less than half the agency price. And freelancers can be expected to be more flexible about long-term partnerships.


Hard working staff

The last option is a full-time employee. This is the most difficult option to implement, but is likely to be the cheapest in the long run. Employees make up the bulk of your team and will really care about what you do.

In London, beginner designers cost 18-30 thousand pounds per year, experienced - 30-50, novice developers - 20-30, experienced - 30-60 (beginners here mean employees with less than 5 years of experience).

In New York, the same line looks a little different (thousand dollars per year): 40-80, 80-150, 50-100, 100-250. Consider the huge wage gap between New York and London. This is one of the reasons why American startups are raising more money.

Equity (shares in your company) should also be considered. In most cases, the share in the capital only gives "rights", which basically means that it can be acquired only after a few years. The employee will be able to receive something based on seniority or whether the company is sold. The percentage allocated depends on the stage of development of the startup, the skills of the employees and the amount of capital raised. There is an excellent guide to stock ownership in IT startups.

How to find good employees

When someone starts working at a startup, they may leave their previous stability and accept a pay cut to work with you. However, for good people, money is not the only motivation, otherwise everyone would be working in banks and becoming management consultants. Good people want to be part of some great cause or mission and want to believe that their cause matters. great importance . It's your responsibility to make sure your startup is up to the task.

As always, the best place to find people is the web. Attend various events and ask or make friends in the IT environment. Social networks - personal pages and company pages are good ways to find people. Your supporters and friends will find themselves or know someone who will.

The other way is advertising. Sites like Unicorn Hunt, WorkInStartups, Smashing Magazine Jobs, and Authentic Jobs are great places to find good staff.

Startup job fairs can be quite extensive - I met an ex-employee (how are you? Louise !) at Silicon Milkroundabout - but remember that if you're showing something, you're going to have to put in a lot of effort. Don't mess with these horrible people. Come up with something of your own and focus on it. Be honest with the participants as well; They won't appreciate it if you pretend you know what you're doing now only to find out later that you don't.

Design is just as important as development

Many of the soon-to-be startup founders overlook design as an important part of the process. If you look at any popular website or app, you can see how much effort has gone into creating not just the brand, but the entire user experience.

If you don't plan on having an in-house designer, I suggest hiring a freelancer to create the brand identity for you. A strong brand is essential to stand out in a crowded market. The litmus test of a good logo: can you draw it from memory?

I don't recommend using cheap stuff like 99designs or Fiverr. Pay a little, but the product will not matter. If you can't pay for his work, try to offer the designer some kind of service.

Then deal with user interaction. Read Steve Krug's Don't Make Me Think, Little Big Details and SiteInspire, then take a closer look at everything on your site. Make sure everything is as simple and flawless as possible for users. Use a service like UserTesting to test prototypes.


The first versions are too complicated. Be careful when adding features and keep them to a minimum. Read (or re-read) The Lean Startup by Eric Ries.

For example: at my previous startup Steer, we launched 7 courses. We quickly realized that the four courses were competing with each other and the customers were confused. We narrowed it down to 2 courses and it sold much better than the 7 course. The simple version continues to work.

Even at SuperHi, two years after launch, we're constantly reviewing what we're doing. Should face-to-face classes be eliminated? Should I add another course? We think about it all the time.

According to the famous restaurateur Gordon Ramsay: "The more dishes, the less" his article has a lot of meaning for IT companies.

If you want to add new features (and you will), do it step by step. If you make changes step by step instead of running multiple features at once, it's easier to test whether a new feature works and you'll love it.

Test, discuss, and analyze your customers using services like UserTesting, Optimizely, Intercom, and Mixpanel. The more information you have, the more informed decisions you can make.

For example, we use Intercom for our live chat on the site. Talking to our users helps us identify information gaps on our site, what issues our users are experiencing, and how we can improve our products. This kind of feedback is invaluable to us.

Sales and marketing are key to success

And now it is built - but no one comes. If you or your co-founder aren't well-known in your industry, starting a startup can be a little prestigious. Your next step is to get the name of your startup out to your audience.

Read Dan Pink's excellent book, The Salesman. See user experience and why it matters.

I also highly recommend Sense of Style by Steven Pinker. This is a book about brevity. This will allow you to write better about everything that is not directly related to sales and marketing, but related to them.

Depending on your startup and industry, different sales and marketing methods will and will not work for you:

Partnerships Customers have companies that will benefit from your startup. For example, if you've created an online store for young parents, offer discounts to bloggers who write about parenting.

Internet advertising Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, etc. It's relatively inexpensive and makes it easy to see what works and what doesn't. Invest small amounts in each campaign and tweak ads to track performance. You will be surprised by the results.

Advertising through traditional media such as newspapers and radio. This will work if you want to focus on a specific area or city first. This is great for building brand awareness, but it may not translate into sales or customers.

Advertising campaign . I've seen many startups make the mistake of using ad campaigns to promote their founders rather than their business. Manage yourself. Staying on the newspaper page may not give you anything to sell. At Steer, we were featured in a national newspaper, but that didn't lead to additional sales.

Personal recommendations are the best form of advertising. If people like what you do, they will tell others about it. Pay close attention to the quality of customer service and it will increase your chances of being promoted. Every customer should be convinced that they should be a part of what you do and a follower of you.

Times Square Marketing Approach

The last thing you want to do after 8 o'clock in the day is launch your startup. But if you don't do that, if you don't open up on your own, you'll end up in an endless loop of working for someone else. And you will adapt to corporate rules, climb the career ladder and rush to the office at 9:00 every morning.

How to learn to get up at 5 in the morning

I woke up at 5am and decided to launch my startup before the office juicer started the day. I decided to get up early, only to find that my morning zombie brain had cleverly tricked me into going back to sleep. In those happy days, when I got out of bed, I just sat staring at one point.

Performance blogs make it all look easy and constantly bombard you with examples of legendary morning feats: 8 things everyone should do before 8am, 7 things early birds do differently, why wake up early? ». .Reading about the achievements of these superheroes who have saved the world several times before 8 in the morning makes me feel guilty for another sleepless night. Are they people at all?

For example, Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter and Square, gets up at 5:30, meditates, runs 9.5 km, and then works on Twitter and Square for about 8 hours.

The truth is, getting up at 5 am is hell. Good morning, you are the enemy of your actions. This is your second person, who turns off the alarm before an important meeting in the morning and constantly presses the snooze button to miss the train. You can't believe the morning devil, but you can overcome it by changing your morning routine.

Find an alarm clock smarter than you

I don't know where this tradition of jumping at the sound of the alarm clock came from, but for some reason we are happy with our daily shock therapy. Instead of voluntarily attacking an alarm clock that flashes wildly every morning, find an alarm clock that wakes you slowly and gently. Waking up slowly allows your body to acknowledge that it is waking up. When your brain really wakes up, you won't want to break through the noise you hate.

You can use the alarm clock to brew coffee at the set time and wake up with the aroma. Or an alarm clock that gently glows to mimic a sunrise. It feels like the sun is rising in the body and it's easier to wake up.

Or try a smart alarm clock for a fitness band. It will wake you up with a vibration on your wrist during your REM sleep cycle, but won't disturb your partners and they won't want to kill you for getting up early. By the way, it helps to wake up a cat, dog or child who decides to walk on your face at 5 in the morning.

I personally use the Warmly app with my default alarm clock on my smartphone. I am gently awakened by 5 minutes of birds chirping and finally by Yo-Yo Ma's vibrating violin. Defeat the morning devil by starting with the alarm clock.

Establish a long-distance relationship with an alarm clock

Developing good habits isn't rocket science, it can be learned quickly. A simple strategy for acquiring good habits and breaking bad ones is to set reasonable limits.

In design, we create opportunities when we want the user to take some action. In this way, desirable behaviors are rewarded (easier for the user) and undesirable behaviors are discouraged (these behaviors are harder to perform).

If you need to get into the habit of not turning off your alarm in the morning, create multiple barriers to turning it off. Set a few alarms, download them to your smartphone that won't ring until you solve the puzzle, put your phone in the jar and close it. I want to go to sleep with my smartphone in my arms, and when I wake up look at social media. But if I decide to get up early, I'll have to ditch it.

Force yourself to drink coffee

For those of you who have survived the struggle with the pillow, gotten rid of it, and even seemed to wake up, another problem awaits you: you want to go back to sleep. You are still very young and have a lot of time ahead of you, so why not get up early tomorrow? Oh, I listen to that song every day and it lures me to bed. Morning me is the scary type. So let's kick it.

You can prepare coffee as usual. Stand up and pour coffee into the coffee maker or put the kettle on to brew instant coffee. But be prepared that your morning monster will not lead you to the kitchen. His goal is to get you back to bed with all his might, and he will ignore your attempts to reach for the refreshing drink.

Coffee should be integrated into your wake-up routine. The goal is to make the alarm clock a habit of drinking coffee. The alarm goes off - you drink coffee. Experiments on the automation of the beverage preparation process.

At first I tried to start making coffee on the alarm clock. But I couldn't get into the kitchen. Then I brewed coffee at night and put it on my desktop. But I did not sit at the table. Finally, I started making a cup of coffee on my smartphone. In other words, I had to remove the cup to turn off the alarm. Not drinking coffee when it's in your hand is total weakness. Make five in the morning the start of your workday, grab a coffee, and build your startup.

By the way, another easy way to learn how to get up early: Twitter will help you. With help, schedule a tweet like this in the morning: "I want to get up at 5 a.m. If you see this tweet and reply within 5 minutes, I'll send you 100 rubles." Schedule a tweet at 5:15. You have 15 minutes to get up and cancel or you will have to pay the lucky draw fee.

Snooze to wake up

Still not awake? A little bit never hurt anyone. Ignore all the self-taught productivity tips on the Internet.

I spend an absurd amount of time looking at funny cats on Reddit, Imgur, and 9GAG. I refresh the page again and again hoping to see something new there. Although I know there is nothing new there.

Looking at funny pictures before bed can help you sleep, and seeing them in the morning can help you wake up.

If you look at your smartphone or computer screen first thing in the morning, it really helps to wake you up. Blue light from LED screens affects melanopsin photopigment and suppresses melatonin production, as a result of which we lose the feeling of sleepiness.

If you can't jump right into your startup in the morning, spend some time playing on your smartphone or computer until the morning demons subside.

How to build a startup business

Divide the project into several micro-projects

And I got up after defeating myself. And I don't want to start my day fixing server bugs. I'm stupid in the morning. And the challenging task is an added bonus of getting back to the crib.

Do you know why all this doesn't work? 88% of people don't achieve it because raising the bar is unrealistic. "I want to fight world hunger" and "I'm going to push the press" (although I've never been to the gym since school). It's not Miss Universe, so why waste money?

The Art of Manliness explores how small things turn into big changes. The goal is not to do a big job in the morning for the benefit of the startup, but at least to start doing something. Once you've got your engine running, you'll find it easier to move on to more serious business.

If you want to get used to flossing, start by brushing just one tooth. Just one tooth is your goal for the day. Cleared - cross the case from the list. But here's the trick: once this microhabit is in place, you'll find it hard not to finish.

Break your project down into micro-steps that you can do in the morning when you're half asleep. Develop your app by adding one line of code a day. Write blog posts one paragraph at a time. Add one sketch per day to your portfolio. By adding a little bit each day, you're more likely to create your own, rather than trying to spend a full day. And as soon as you get close to launching a startup, you won't want to go to sleep in the morning.

Build a Lean Startup

It's hard to believe, but no one understands how a project will turn out at the beginning. Even the current monsters took some time to find their feet. Airbnb survived by selling Obama O and Cap'n McCain cereal with political leaders painted on the packaging. Slack was born out of the failed game Glitch. Even YouTube started as a video dating service called Tune in Hook Up.

Micro-startups fit well with the Lean Startup approach (read more about it in Eric Ries' book Startup Business). Micro startups are easier to launch and provide a shorter feedback loop, allowing you to stay in touch with your audience. Considering that 75% of startups fail, would you rather sit in a basement for 100 days inventing something that appeals to your audience, or constantly engage with customers to build a project that fits your needs?

Always think it's your fault. Test all your ideas and hypotheses with micro-experiments.

When I founded, I described the function of the service as: "A bookmarking blogging platform". After a while, I realized that most people don't know what "annotation" is. We tested smart blog, featured blog, feedback blog and contextual blog platform. Here's the surprising thing: people still don't understand what we mean. Next, we added the phrase "Select text and add a comment to the selected area" below the title...

Check your guess.

Submit your work

We all have an irrational fear that once we submit our project, trolls from all over the world will join us and express their displeasure at us. The truth is, they don't care. There is so much going on in the world every day that you have to try to get noticed. It's not an easy job, you really have to stand out.

If you can't get up early and create it yourself, why is it popular? It's like he's worried about becoming a Harvard professor if he studies too much. If you've been struggling with your work for a long time, publicizing it will help you get up early and finish it.

Keep a daily project log on your blog

The blog will be useful in any case for further promotion of the project. If you start writing down what's going on in your startup every day before you launch, it will help in the following ways.

I am talking about the progress of my project as I write this post. How to improve the relationship with the audience? Should I Abandon WordPress Commenting System and Switch to Disqus? What tasks can I automate? And did I lose my mind when I started my own business?

Niche blogging takes time and you need at least 1000 short articles to start getting organic traffic from Google. Daily entries in the project log form the basis of the blog.

I blog TechMob on my Krown platform, which is hosted on the subdomain, so every post promotes my blog platform.

Get ready to run a marathon

At 7 in the morning you will have to switch to your main job - 8 hours, 5 days a week. Of course, I want to devote all my time to the startup business, but unfortunately, people are trapped in a biological trap: we have to eat, drink and sleep with other people. Damn you, Darwin!

Be careful. Don't risk your whole life in poker. Bet a portion of your capital on a game that can change your life, but keep working at the casino. Growing a startup takes time and you need something to eat.

Based on Nassim Taleb's Barbell Theory of Antifragility, you should allocate 20% of your resources to high-risk, high-reward activities (starting a business, bungee jumping) and 80% to low-risk activities: school, daily chores, family meals . Get the best of both worlds. Run the startup as a side hustle, make sure your assumptions are correct, then jump into the unknown.

Get up early and build your startup

Find activities that match your goals. If you're going to spend 8 hours doing a job you hate, spend at least one hour doing something you love. It is very strange to do the same thing every day and expect new results. Don't let "reality" rub you the wrong way. Face a risk that will change your life. Get up early and build your startup!

According to the materials of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, there are about 305 million registered startups in the world, and about 100 million startups are opened annually. Dining tableware, non-liquid merchandise - 2019 startup ideas are already successful and profitable.


What is a startup and what is the secret of success?

Translated from English, it starts with:

the beginning of the process;



"Startup" does not duplicate the concepts of "small business" and "own business". Hundreds of entrepreneurs register every day, but only a few of them are called startups.

Features of startups

The term "startup" was first coined by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Steve Blank, who has successfully launched at least eight innovative projects. According to his definition, a startup is a temporary organization created to search for a repeatable and easily scalable business model. However, this definition is vague and interpreted differently in each industry and business area.

However, there are several characteristics of startups that most entrepreneurs and investors recognize:

A startup is a company that has just been established and is in the development stage.

The ability to grow without geographic limitations is a key difference between startups and other types of small businesses. Small stores and coffee shops are not designed for rapid growth. Real startups can match the financial performance of Volkswagen or Samsung anywhere in a few years.

The basis of ideas is innovation. Startups are always based on the use of innovative technologies, or the implementation of new interesting ideas, or products that have never been produced before.

Lack of start-up funds. In the early days, startups were called garage businesses because their founders didn't have the money to pay for their basic expenses. Opportunity attracts millions of people to startups. But due to funding issues, startups are forced to register on crowdfunding platforms that seek investors and raise money to find attractive ideas.

Uncertainty, predictability and business plan are well defined. Due to these qualities, startups are on the one hand more vulnerable than other types of businesses. On the other hand, it allows you to find effective iterations, quickly test the viability of a business model, and be flexible to market changes and customer needs.

The classic image of a startup:

a young person without start-up capital, usually a student of yesterday, who wants to implement some new idea;

he is essentially disinterested;

For the sake of the project, he is ready to risk everything, his interest and confidence in success are great.

Principles of a successful startup

Startup activity, as a rule, is associated with risk. Even if it's a great and innovative business idea, it's bound to be in demand.

There are several factors that influence the success of a startup.

Idea. Its success cannot be predicted, but it should be distinguished by its originality, originality and practicality.

Team. Team interest, professionalism, and unity are essential to the successful and competent development of a startup. Without such a team, the idea cannot be brought to market.

Money. Before starting the search for financing, it is important to make the project attractive to investors. For example, creating a promotional version of the product, creating a business plan for the coming months, arguing about the feasibility of the chosen business model. An additional factor that increases confidence in a startup is own investment, at least minimal investment, in its development.

Time. Bill Gross, the owner of the world's first business incubator Idealab, conducted a survey of 200 companies founded on his platform. He found that time is the most powerful factor in the success of a startup. It's important to keep your ideas fresh and market when consumers are ready to accept them. Being "on top of the wave" and intelligently assessing people's readiness for new products is a key quality of a startup.

Startup Genome found that 94% of startups close within the first three years.

Main reasons for failure:

wrong business model;

error in grid selection;

misuse of investment.

How to choose a startup idea?

Creating a business concept is a learnable skill.

To create a successful startup idea, you need the following:

Decide for yourself which activity brings you the most pleasure. An idea that attracts people will bring success in business. Oftentimes, hobbies tell us what to do in life.

Check out the latest innovations and innovations in various industries. Read about them on the Internet and use them in your daily life.

Be an expert in a certain area, or even better - in several areas. In many fields, you can be successful with a certain amount of experience. If a person specializes in several fields at once, it significantly increases his chances of success. There are many unrealized ideas at the intersection of the IT industry and government agencies, the culinary arts, and commerce.

Ability to solve problems. A startup should practice this: think about what is hindering him and the people around him, and find a ready-made solution to this discomfort. For example, the popular photo-sharing website Flickr was born out of the development of an online game. Its creators couldn't find a convenient and simple storage place to store user photos, so they decided to create it themselves. As a result, few people will remember this game by 2019, and Flickr is used by millions of people around the world.

Improve what is there. It is necessary to observe what people use every day, what causes them negative emotions - renting an apartment, receiving documents. Think of ways to help people do it easier and better.

Copy, but do it better. Many famous companies have started as clones but have added their own twist to existing successful business models. It can be an unusual distribution channel, an attractive promotion for customers or a special guarantee of quality. The same applies to products - old things "sound" completely different after upgrading or adding a few options.

Follow global market conditions. New fashion trends are constantly emerging in business circles - today there is a demand for mini-gardens, tomorrow there will be a co-working space for mothers. Such trends are unevenly distributed around the world. You can take the time to get inspired by new ideas and create your own thing before it becomes a public phenomenon.

Travel. It is good to see the world through the eyes of people from other countries and study their achievements, lifestyle and culture. The best abroad often succeeds at home.

Consider creating special options for new markets. New products released by successful market participants promise great opportunities for those who can quickly respond to changes and compensate for them in an original way. The use of Bitcoin, Facebook services, large construction projects - all this attracts the attention of investors and enterprising businessmen.

Meet successful people. Many businessmen have more ideas in their arsenal than implementation. I. Musk gave the idea of ​​producing and selling solar panels to his relatives. Currently, their company, SolarCity, generates billions of dollars in annual revenue.

The most interesting startup ideas from around the world

Before you start creating a business model, it can be useful to familiarize yourself with the most interesting startups that have recently appeared or are gaining momentum.

However, the following projects are already considered successful and bring profit to their owners.

food utensils;

compressed napkins for restaurants;

release of mobile applications;

opening an economy store;

production of daylight-imitating lamps;

release shampoo in a special package.


Tableware does not pollute the environment and does not need to be disposed of or washed. This idea attracts customers with its originality and innovation.

While pursuing the same goal, different companies pursue it in different ways.

In 2017, the KFC fast food chain offered its customers a cup of coffee. The inside of the "dish" is coated with a special heat-resistant chocolate, and the outside is painted with sugar in the company's style. The layer of chocolate makes the drink slightly sweeter and prevents it from spilling out. Of course, coffee cannot stay in such a container for a long time - it is better to drink it immediately, but this will not disturb the guests at all. You can choose not only the taste of the cup, but also its aroma to attract more interest to customers with novelty. Freshly cut grass, coconut oil, wild flowers - such aromas, according to the creators of food containers, will help you fully enjoy your drink.

There are jellies or marmalade-like edible jars in various flavors, such as orange, raspberry, apple, and cherry. They are suitable for serving alcoholic drinks and juices. mineral water and ice cream.

Do not eat only a cup after a meal. ButtFoods recently launched a 2nd meal plate made of specially baked bread, vegetable and fruit strings.

In Japan, startup entrepreneurs simultaneously came up with the idea of ​​​​making dishes from flour, salt and water in several restaurants.

In France, the soup is served on a special cheese plate.

In Spain, Monier, a designer, experimented with cooking food based on rice flour, adding plant extracts and seeds to it. "Green" food is expected to be particularly popular with picnickers.

Such start-ups improve the environment and positively affect the income of the organization. After all, food plates and bowls are not only designed for serving food, but also make a profit and position themselves as tasty and stylish innovations.

Jelly cup KFC cup Unleavened dough product First cooking plate

Pressed napkins for restaurants

This innovation is intended to replace outdated hygiene practices in public catering establishments. Visitors to cafes and restaurants are offered special tablets that turn into napkins after being dipped in a special sanitizing solution. The printed fabric "unfolds" before the customers' eyes, acquires a pleasant aroma and becomes a hand sanitizer.

Release of mobile applications

Minimal investment in development with potential for high returns attracts startups and investors to mobile technology.

Startups with limited resources should focus on platform-specific applications.



With their help, it is easy to create various mobile applications and only one programmer is used for development.

After reaching a large number of customers, it will be possible to earn money from the project:

advertising sales;

paid version of the program;


The channel " Mobile apps for everyone" presents viewers with detailed instructions for creating apps for mobile devices for beginners.

Economic store opening

Often, startups are not only profitable, but also reflect the social values ​​of society. In the Danish supermarket BeFood, they display products that should be excluded in other stores. On the shelves, you can see expired products, dents, and semi-finished products with torn packaging. This project reduced the amount of food waste in Denmark by a quarter. Thanks to its implementation, thousands of people who were forced to save money were able to start eating a variety of nutritious foods.

Production of daylight-imitating lamps

If you start producing not only light bulbs, but also lamps that simulate daylight, manufacturing lighting equipment can be a great business idea. Such light is not only much more pleasant than "regular" artificial, but also more useful. Innovative light bulbs allow you to adjust the intensity of the light flow depending on the time of day. The disadvantage of the development is the high price in the domestic market (about 70 dollars per unit), which does not prevent it from gaining popularity abroad.

Produce shampoo in special packaging

Liquid hygiene products are products for daily use. They are usually stored in plastic containers that rot for hundreds of years. Using special packaging from the creators of Nephentes, you can maintain personal hygiene and do not harm. environment . The startup's idea is to sell skin care cosmetics in huge packaging in stores, which are then packaged in reusable nephentes-bottles for consumers.

Its design is worked out to the smallest detail.




instead of the lid - the bent neck of the container.

Bottles that can be filled by the creators of Nephentes

Business startup ideas with minimum investment

Start-ups are a form of entrepreneurship that allows people living in small towns and cities with limited financial resources to start a business.

After studying the ideas below, you can choose the one you like from the list and organize your business at the lowest cost.

online counseling;

advertising services;


manufacture of handmade products;

beauty services;

image processing and editing;

organizing events;

resale of items;

maintenance of the population;

catering and catering;

animal husbandry.