I have been working on Startizer for around 4.5 years. Having gone through over 2000 sources, and working with startup clients tweaking and/or overhauling as and when. There are also a few founders who have used the Excel version and who basically shake my tree and keep me in check. MVP v1 was an Excel file that mapped out the whole startup system that I propose. MVP v2 is currently being made in Access, I won’t be doing all of it in that, just a few steps.
Guiding Founders From Idea To Launch
As it is a database thing, I needed to change somethings, as well as take advantage of the benefits of a database system rather than a spreadsheet. It is why I created the flowchart below.
What you see is not the complete version, for obvious reasons I am not going to show the whole thing, which is why after Phase 3 things are collapsed and arrows and what-not removed.
The Issues With Startup Guides, Frameworks...
And Tool-Kits, Canvases, Books, Courses, Etc.
You’ve got a startup idea, but you’re not sure what to do.
You know it’s down to the execution, but what are you meant to execute? How do you know that what you’re doing, is what you should be doing?
You will have read many books, listened to podcasts, got hold of guides, tool-kits and frameworks to aid you.
But there are issues.
1 - Inappropriate Level Of Detail
Startup guides with peripheral information like ‘now do some marketing’, to the other end of the spectrum beyond mere application, and into the realm of painful paralysis.
2 - Out Of Date
Frameworks need to incorporate the failures of others, and adapt with the times in order to stay relevant, rather than being suspended in time, echoes from a place that no longer exists.
3 - Narrow Scope
Paradigm defining frameworks that are focused solely on product development. You have to not only “make something people want”, but make people want something.
Ok, so startup guides and frameworks don’t cover the whole shebang, and if they do, it’s often lopsided or superficial. It would be alright if you were building a product, but you’re not; you’re building a business.
You’ll have to venture further afield to address marketing, sales, you name it. Hacks, tactics, tips, cook-books, courses, etc, etc.
Do you think you’ll get similar results? Are you equipped to verify it as a ‘best practice’? More importantly do you understand the underlying themes, and the context?
4 - Micro Macro Discord
The lack of big picture small detail compatibility means that what may appear as insightful and actionable in and of itself, may not be truly suitable when looking at it from another place.
Utilisation of things that are either not applicable, or at the wrong time and in the wrong place, can result in outcomes that are not aligned to achieving overall objectives.
5 - Lack Of Context
‘I used this email, I used this landing page, I used Midas’s middle finger, boom. More riches than a pharaoh.’ These snapshots in time fail to show a complete holistic picture.
Without context; the part that is typically left out, you are unable to attain comparable results. And when you do get the context, you realise comparable results were never on the cards.
Orphaned hacks and tactics, tips and how-to’s; do this, get that. This isn’t learning, this is indoctrination.
Anyway, let’s assume you got hold of some great resources (and there are many available), that cover the various things you need to do. You’ll then try to figure out how they fit together.
What order should you do things in? How do these things fit into the bigger picture? Is there alignment and contribution to long term goals?
6 - Inefficient Data Application
Validated assumptions and data is used in many places, be it for product development, customer persona’s and traction. So, why is there no framework that breaks the segregation and compartmentalisation of data?
We are meant to learn in this stage, but the utilisation of what we learn is diminished, plagued by inefficiencies, and riddled with confusion, because of the lack of an all encompassing startup guide that systemises how to get from idea to launch.
A Startup System That Does This
And My Ideas
Like all good entrepreneurial stories, we start with a spark and an overdose of delusion.
Blinding, illuminating, searing, as if Apollo himself conjured it.
The type of idea that emotionally stunted, socially awkward, geniuses have, causing them to run naked in the streets.
The type that blurs the line between magic and science, that draws a line in the sands of time, dividing before and after.
Looks a lot like my 3 am ideas, the ones that prevent me from sleeping.
So, this is what I wake up to. Et tu, idea?
There’s no shine, no sparkle, looks like Edison’s 1st rather than his thousand and 1st.
Unfortunately the only similarity between me and geniuses, is getting out of the bath in the nude.
I don’t know why it’s not shining, although I do believe it will. I’ll have to work on it, and look at it piece by piece.
But where do I begin?
Get to a certain level of understanding and appreciation about the problem, before any solution is proposed.
Potential audiences have many factors that need to be addressed before you can say this particular audience, is the one.
Why You Shouldn't Get Out Of The Building Straight Away
Going in with an open mind is good, but open doesn’t mean empty. The people you interview will have their own biases, frames, filters and anchors, and you may not be equipped to sieve through it. You’ll lack the deeper insight and context, because you don’t know what you don’t know.
The danger is blank slates may well accept all that is shared at face value. Be in a more informed position to evaluate the value in the responses you obtain.
What Is Typically Being Done After Minimal Research And Why You Should Avoid It
The Cost Of A Lame Landing Page
I get multiple great ideas while using the toilet. More if it’s a number 2. But you’ve seen the state of my ‘great idea’. Should I really test that with a landing page? And say what exactly? Superficial words that fail to show insight, understanding and resonance?
Stop invalidating by default, or validating ignorance. Either way, I seriously need to stop listening to my toilet. [Courtesy flush].
Drive Traffic (& Invalidation) Quickly
Ok, so I’m going drive traffic to ‘3 lines and a sign-up form’ landing page. Waste of time, capital and resources. I am all in favour of bootstrapping, but it has to be resource efficient. If this is what bootstrapping has become: bourgeois bootstrapping, then it isn’t for me. I’ll jock-strap it.
Besides, am I really testing market demand when I don’t know the problem, the solution, the audience, the channels nor the message?