CEO Diary #3: Why Does the U+Startup Guide Exist?

At the beginning of the year, we were brainstorming about what’s special about our company and why each year more and more clients come our way to build innovative products.

Looking back at our 8-year history, we recognized that we’ve seen and lent a helping hand to startups that would grow from germinal ideas into industry-leading companies.

A Google Launchpad mentor meeting I attended helped solidify and validate an idea: a lot of people could benefit from a straightforward guide, all in one place, demystifying the four main steps of startup building:

Thus you have what would become the backbone of our Startup Guide.

There are a lot of articles on the internet that solve many hot questions that keep startup founders up at night, but we couldn’t find anything useful that was really comprehensive. We saw an opening to provide a full manual, free and online, for building a startup and facing the next steps. Since we’ve gone through this process many times on our own and with the startups we’ve helped build, we know all the difficulties that can arise. This is why we’ve decided to share our knowledge and save a lot of entrepreneurs their time and money.

As a document that can help define our company, we thought this would be something different.

And at its most basic level, the guide could be a way to share knowledge between our employees; to help our more junior members learn and get the big picture. For everyone else, rather than just trying to explain ourselves and what we do, we thought we’d simply share what’s in our heads and let people read it for themselves. We wanted to identify the parts of our knowledge with the most value. From another angle, it’s brand recognition in the most comprehensive, literal way possible. Technophiles put out books; this is the book of U+.

We think that part of our secret sauce is definitely great people, superior processes, and superior knowledge. In the beginning, we drew up a mind map of over 200 topics related to startup building. We decided to select 33 initial articles on really salient topics. We set out to write the guide with a small group of core leads (about 10 people), with the intention of codifying our knowledge base and making it accessible for anyone. We were able to put the first version together in one month. This was our MVP.

It should be said that the Startup Guide is a community resource of unifying potential, to bring more people from the sphere of startup development along with us on the trail of digital innovation. The guide is also something that every new person who comes to the company has to read and, in line with our company culture, point out things to improve.

What’s next?

The Guide is currently at over 100 pages. For the next phase of adding content, we invited the whole company to help produce more articles. By looking at data analytics, we’ll understand which content is the most interesting and see which parts of our knowledge base are the most “productizable”. We’re also inviting our partners such as Google Launchpad and Startup Grind to contribute articles and we invite others interested in contributing to contact us.