The Complete Guide to Launching Your Own Startup

Look at those founders, nonchalantly strutting the hallways, casually worth billions. You have ideas. All you need is a cool name and a URL and you're basically there.

The Complete Guide to Launching Your Own Startup

Look at those founders. Nonchalantly strutting the hallways, casually worth, what, billions? They could fund fifty of your ideas in a second, and then you could be like them, providing unlimited gourmet food to thousands of eternally dissatisfied engineers. Stop dreaming and act today. Here’s how.

Step 1: Constantly brainstorm about brilliant ideas.

You’re in the cradle of innovation. Well, one of them. You see new decacorns arising by the day! A good rubric for thinking of your own is to combine two or more similar ideas into one new one. Billion person problems are so 2010; now it’s all about microniches. Some suggestions:

  • Credit default swaps for garbage men using lasers
  • Tinder for engineers using an extreme amount of magnets
  • Autonomous vehicles for interstellar travel using leftovers from restaurants

(For more suggestions, visit our Business Idea Generator.)

Step 2: Tell one idea to one person, ideally your closest friend. They will definitely think it’s money. It will remind them of something they heard on “How I Built This” or on Tim Ferris’ podcasts! (Note: Do not tell your spouse/partner. They remember last time you went through this process.)

Step 3: Conduct a long brainstorming workshop to come up with the perfect name. Think of all the amazing names you’ve heard for businesses and how evocative they are. Yours could be like that one day! Imagine googling for your sector and coming up first or second in the search results. You’ve read everything about SEO on the first two pages of that Guide to SEO. You can get there with the perfect name that’s just witty enough to be catchy, and just relevant enough to the niche to be recognizable!

Step 4: Do not pause. Immediately purchase domain names!! Get them for anything available related to your idea. Don’t forget, those pesky Brits might jump on your idea when it even gets a small amount of traffic and then you’ll be down, what, thousands of dollars.

Step 5. Spend at least $300 on set-up. Don’t skimp. You're the seed investor in the first round of funding! Your first purchases are a year-long website subscription (this is much better value), a logo, and if you’re in Asia, business cards. Spend a while figuring out the social media properties and Google Analytics. Invite all your friends to like your pages, several times. Keep repeating this step from scratch until they like your logo and business cards. Popular belief is true; first impressions really count.

Step 6. Decide you need a landing page and buy a membership to one of those too. Wow, these are also much cheaper for a year long subscription. You’re going to A/B test everything. Set up a spreadsheet with two rows: A and B. You’re ready!

Step 7. Tell five people. They will all either be generally supportive, validating your product and encouraging you to move forwards, or tell you about a huge company already doing it, encouraging you to think about the advantages of your agility and how the arena is ripe for disruption. Some people will not get it at all, informing you that you need to work on your elevator pitch.

Step 8. Do a small pivot after a few days in response to feedback, something you heard on a podcast and your collection of vague feelings that constitutes your gut instincts.

Step 9. Do a large pivot.

Step 10. Entirely abandon the idea.

Do these steps every month or two. Success is around the corner!