That was the title of the presentation I gave last night at PHP Quebec. Overall feedback was positive. My goal for the presentation was to convince at least 1 person to start a company. I didn’t ask the audience after if I had accomplished my goal, but I think I moved the needle … at least a little bit.
The presentation is below:
As with any presentation that’s more visual than text-based, some of the context gets lost. But here are some of the highlights:
- Build equity in yourself. More than anything, starting a company is about building equity and value in yourself, as opposed to doing it for other people. I don’t think a lot of people put enough emphasis on this point and its importance.
- No one knows if your idea is good. Ideas don’t really survive once you start talking to customers and collecting measurable feedback, so whether an idea is good or not isn’t super important. But a lot of people don’t start companies or move towards starting companies because they’re concerned their idea is not good enough. If you have the right framework for testing your idea and validating it, then it’s a moot point at the beginning – you’ll figure it out.
- Finding business co-founders. I was speaking to an audience of developers so I wanted to make it clear that going out and finding a business co-founder isn’t necessarily the right thing to do. I don’t like it when co-founders are so separated in their tasks that they could end up working in silos. Developers have to be capable front-people for their businesses. They can’t sit in back rooms and code away, oblivious to what’s going on in the real world.
- Starting companies part-time. This is a tough one. It’s extremely difficult to run a startup part-time, but it’s not impossible to start one part-time. You’re stacking the deck against yourself by doing so, but I don’t think it’s reasonable to say that you can’t do it. People have done it.
I look forward to follow-up questions and comments from attendees at PHP Quebec, and I’ll probably rejig and edit this presentation over time so I can share it with others in the future.