A guide on sales through cold emails for tech startups.

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Photo by Webaroo.com.au on Unsplash

A tech startup has to have two main focus from the first day: Product development and sales.

Once you successfully get some clients to use your product, it helps you get investment, you spend the funds to improve the product, which in turn increases your sales.

There are several popular ways to generate leads in B2B startups

  1. Social media advertising
    When you are in the early stages, it can be too costly for you to advertise on Google, Facebook or Linkedin. And you probably do not have thousands of dollars to spend on lead generation.
  2. Events
    It depends on your domain, but for most domains, specific events are once every quarter. Whereas it will be useful to attend them, they might not be the most effective…


“You cannot learn entrepreneurship from books“ and other common non-sense about startups

I remember my first class at university. It was the Economics 101 course, the instructor jokingly said he was very unhappy with his decision to become an Economics instructor. “I wish I had studied chemistry or physics,” he said. “because everybody has ideas about economics that I always end up arguing about basic facts with people. If I was a chemistry professor and I was talking about chemistry, really few people would argue with the facts I state”

Entrepreneurship talks

This case is even worse with tech entrepreneurship, so many people have very bold ideas about entrepreneurship that would make anyone insecure about their entrepreneurship knowledge. …


A guide on how to set up a great team to found a successful tech startup

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

We have once made a big mistake of starting a software startup as 5 software developers. If you are a software developer, you might be thinking of doing the same, “it is mostly about the product anyways, what can go wrong?”

The answer is, many things will go wrong. Because technology entrepreneurship is not software development, your priority should be to create value for your customers, not to develop the best product.

In this article, we will have a look at what roles you would need in a technology startup team.

The balance between product and customers

In his book, Traction, Gabriel Weinberg argues you have to have a 50:50 balance between product and customer sides at the beginning. His point is that many entrepreneurs focus only on the product at the beginning and they miss the important feedback they need to get at the early stages. …


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Photo by Hal Gatewood on Unsplash

Prototyping is a vital step in product development for startups. Here is a guide on what to include in the prototype.

Before the startup era, software projects were developed in a way that you would develop them to completion before getting any feedback from the users.

There are several disadvantages to that approach when it comes to new products

  • You cannot get any user feedback until you spend months, maybe years on development. And when you get the feedback, it takes another long period to implement changes.
  • It is very costly to implement a product without validating it.

Put yourself in an investor’s shoes, one entrepreneur asks for your $2M without showing you any proof of traction, and you will see the first signs of traction in one year. Another entrepreneur asks for $100K and already has a prototype on which 45 users signed up to try. …


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Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Here is what I learned on what not to do in early-stage startups, after 12 startups and a top-notch master’s degree in entrepreneurship

“Startups don’t fail because they lack a product; they fail because they lack customers and a profitable business model.” — Steve Blank, author of the four steps to the epiphany

No matter how good of a software development team you have, customers never pay for a piece of code you wrote, they only pay for solutions to their problems.

In March 2016, I was devastated when the website that we developed for 5 months, ended up getting only 3 customers after launch. The idea was to create a database and a search engine for sports facilities in Istanbul so that if someone wants a gym with a sauna or a park to run in, they could find on the website, with a very flexible search engine. …


A guide on how to do customer development for a technology startup.

“No business plan survives first contact with customers.” — Steve Blank, Author

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Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash

The first step to start a new business is to come up with an idea, with the assumption of a problem. Every assumption at any stage has to be tested and validated to minimize the costs and time spent. Thus, to validate the problem, the entrepreneur must create a customer segment and talk to the targeted customers, about the problems they encounter in the specific domain that the entrepreneur wants to provide a solution.

The initial idea, before talking to any customers, is full of assumptions, may be proven wrong and will be changed after getting some insights. It is better to build your company on a good problem-solution fit, then try and create a fit later. …


42% of startups fail because there is no market need. Here is a guide on how to reduce the risk of building something nobody wants.

“All human situations have their inconveniences” —Benjamin Franklin, American Political Leader and Polymath

I remember our first week at University College London, Entrepreneurship masters course. Many of us had business ideas that we were very passionate about and thought they would be the next big thing. Within two weeks, 90% of those ideas were abandoned.

As our first assignment, we were asked to talk to at least 50 potential customers, spot their problems, and try to validate our ideas.

You probably think of the same excuses as we did.

  • “50? How do we even find that many people?”
  • “Do I really have to do this? My idea is already validated.” …


I remember talking to a cafe owner in Larisa, Greece, he told me, “I am an entrepreneur like you, I know about startups and this cafe is a good example” He was a nice and successful guy, and he helped me a lot with my research, but it was astonishing for me that he called his cafe “a startup”. Surely, this cafe owner is not the only one to call his business a startup mistakenly.

But what is a startup then?
Does it have to be three geniuses coding the next Facebook in a co-working space?

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Eric Ries, the author of the Lean Startup, defines a startup…

About

Ulas Can Erguney

Co-founder and CEO at Dignum.io. UCL MSc Entrepreneurship alumnus.

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