I know, I know, the internet already has a million posts about agile and other management strategies, but there’s not a lot of meta advice about how to combine them in real life — especially for startups. Even if you’re a solo founder, incorporating agile ideas can keep you productive and pull you out of constantly putting out fires.

How to be a lean startup

First of all, successful startups have to be lean. This means more than just cutting bloat and cruft from your business. …

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As 2018 draws to a close, it’s already time to start thinking about new year’s resolutions. If you’ve been sitting on the fence about starting your own business, don’t let 2019 pass as another year you didn’t chase your dream.

Entrepreneurship is in my blood, and I’ve spent the last decade living and breathing the risks and rewards of ultimately being responsible for my own decisions. I was doing the Taleb thing before Taleb was a thing. I see a collection of myths and startup lore as the number one thing holding back other potential founders.

Time to smash the icons and challenge established dogma. Let’s take a look at the myths I keep hearing that are holding founders back. …

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At eTeam, we’ve got all your software development needs covered under one roof. We’re a team by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs. So, we’re excited to announce that Clutch, a ratings and reviews platform based in Washington, D.C., recently included eTeam in the top 1000 companies of their global press release. This list comprises the 1000 companies with the best history of delivering quality services to satisfied customers.

Clutch’s mission is to help buyers make the most informed decision when selecting a service provider. Their research allows us to see where our company stands compared to others in our industry. Our ranking on Clutch depends on various factors: our expertise, our media recognition, and more. Clutch conducts telephone interviews with our former clients to analyze how our work has served them. …

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As much as the Shark Tank has inspired people to become entrepreneurs, the show perpetuates the myth that investors are looking for ideas. Investors are looking for businesses.

A good half hour of working out a lean canvas is what you need to make sure your startup idea is a potential business and not just a great product.

The difference between a product and business

I’m often surprised when I talk to would be founders that many of them don’t seem to really grasp the key difference between a product and business.

First, look at meta problems and find a solution. That’s your product. Your business is finding a product that people will pay for. …

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You’re at the make or break stage of your startup: you have an MVP and are ploughing ahead. The decisions you make now about funding and growth will determine the course your company takes and how you engage with both your employees and customers.

I don’t see a one size fits all solution to startup funding. Instead, it’s worth taking the time to sort through all the options and figure out the best one for your startup. Working off of a lean canvas is a solid way to make sure you look at funding options that support your long-term goals.

The first question to ask yourself is what role your MVP is playing for your startup. …

Going from idea to MVP is both exciting and bewildering at the same time. A quick search of the interwebs reveals plenty of info about tech stacks, funding, a whole industry of motivational charlatans for startups. But, there’s precious little about the process of finding and working with an external development partner.

It really hit me how absurd the whole process is when a fellow founder mentioned that he’d reached out to 150 agencies to build his startup’s MVP. He settled on one and was satisfied with the result. Nonetheless, the whole ordeal created more questions than it answered. …

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Innovation. Disruption. Startups.

These words have been thrown around so much lately and with such different meanings that they’ve become useless. That’s unfortunate, since budding entrepreneurs need to cut through the hype in order to build sustainable small businesses.

Startups shouldn’t try to be innovative.

I’m not trying to call a urinal art or anything in the iconoclastic vein. I’m a startup founder, have spent my entire adult life in tech and have gone through a traditional MBA program. So what gives?

First, we need some definitions.

A startup is a small business. Obviously, the definition has some level of fluidity. We can adapt the two pizza rule into a general heuristic: startups have a founder, are new enough not to be the entrenched company in their niche and are small enough for everybody to at least know everybody else’s name. …

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The fracas over Gutenberg and WordPress is the latest installment in the death of PHP. Take a deep breath everybody. Let’s ignore the trolls and take a look at what Mark Twain, Fidel Castro and PHP have in common — and more to the point, why PHP is still a reasonable choice for startups and small businesses.

When did PHP start dying?

It looks like ‘PHP is dead’ blog posts started cropping up in 2011 (let me know if you find older ones). If you search around Medium and the coding bootcamps that are popping up like mushrooms, the only common denominator is that everyone hates on PHP or simply ignores it. …

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You don’t have to wade your way through a sea of buzzwords to find the right tech stack for your startup. As you get ready to present your app to an engineer, you also need to think about what technology you’re eventually going to use.

This is the time that founders are most vulnerable to being bamboozled by hype driven development. Ask a ‘hypester’ and you’re bound to hear that the current JS framework of the week is the only option for your startup; ask a programmer’s programmer and you’ll get some moralistic sermon about Elm or Elixir. …

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Many startups think of hosting as an afterthought — if they even think of it at all. This is a serious mistake. Using comprehensive hosting that’s been configured by an experienced engineer can save you thousands of dollars of dollars and open a world of untapped opportunities. That’s why every startup needs to seriously look into AWS optimization.

Ye olde hosting

When I first started tinkering around with computers and websites, running your own server was almost a rite of passage to earn your geeky chops. For a 2000s fandom site with a counter at the bottom, that was fine.

As the web became more widespread, hosting as a paid service grew in popularity. This marked the internet going mainstream. Businesses were using the internet as a tool rather than the internet being a place for enthusiasts to discuss Dungeons and Dragons. …


Sergii Shanin

Co-founder and CEO of eteam.io and sapience.io

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