Let’s face it: with the amount of information we get on a daily basis through browsing and reading news, RSS, Twitter, Facebook and other sources, it’s becoming increasingly harder to cut the wheat from the chaff. After using Quora for a few months, I’ve found it a very helpful source of information on anything startup related: from technology, to strategy and even gossip, if that’s what you’re after.
I wanted to share some of the questions I’ve found particularly useful for startups:
Start building your community from day one, and put a real emphasis on building it offline. Surround yourself with people that either fit your user profile, or are actively involved in the industry you’re about to enter. Attend networking events, trade shows, participate on blogs, @ people on Twitter and hit people up on LinkedIN offering to shout them coffee’s in return for their time.
Then when you’ve formed your tribe get them involved – link them up in a Facebook or Google Group, or run a meet-up that they can come along too and build the product around their needs; create a sense of ownership and excitement about the product.
You can then give your most passionate advocates an informal role, or ask them to join a non-exec board, or if they can really open doors give them equity. Then look after your little group, keep them updated, share cool stuff, surprise them and repay the favour by showing equal enthusiasm for their projects and ideas
we posted in Craigslist for “Founding Engineers” when we were starting and couldn’t pay salaries. Instead of a 20% option pool, we created a 40% option pool, and gave out half of it to the first half-dozen hires who came on and were willing to work without salary for a period of time, forming the core team
Actually, incorporation is important and it’s worth paying a good lawyer to do it right. There are things here you can get wrong (including important tax filings) that it’s a big pain to fix, or that can’t be fixed and will cost you potentially a lot of money.
Even the best lawyers in the Valley will charge only a few thousand for this, and you can often get them to defer fees until your seed round.
Incidentally, the advice I’ve heard is *not* to form an LLC. You’re probably going to want a C-corp. Again, a good lawyer can advise you on this and get it right from the beginning. See also http://www.startupcompanylawyer.com
Assuming 6 people
1. 5 engineers
2. 1 CEO who doubles as head of product management
3. Nothing else
- Kayak – http://paulenglish.com/hiring.html
- Both Google and Apple
You quit when you can’t find any customers, you stick when all signs point upward and you pivot when your customers keep asking you too.
This list could go on forever, and I think you get the point. Quora has a deep and wide range of information. All you have to do is sign up, follow the topics you are passionate about and the people you can learn from and start learning.
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