You can call me “Debbie Downer” or “Negative Nancy” [though I prefer Realistic Rick or Logical Larry or Accurate Alex], but the truth is…
If ~99% of startups fail, yet ~100% of entrepreneurs believe they’ll succeed, then YOUR Assumptions, Beliefs, Confidence about YOUR startup, simply can’t be viewed as objective or valid (because EVERY entrepreneur feels that strongly about THEIR startup!)…
So, the honest/harsh (objective!) reality is that you (and your startup) are NOT A SMART BET (for an investor, or even for yourself to make the All-In / Full-Time leap!) — UNLESS or UNTIL you have AT LEAST one of…
We’re living in a time when countless entrepreneur-friendly services (like WordPress, Amazon Web Services, Shopify, MailChimp, Google Analytics, Facebook Ad-Targeting, and MANY others) make it EASIER, CHEAPER, and FASTER than ever before to build, launch, and A-B test a Startup MVP (minimally viable product).
So … it is not only possible, but we actually RECOMMEND getting started in a PART-time capacity to build your MVP and test your assumptions. THEN, if/when you’ve achieved one of the aforementioned “OBJECTIVE Indicators”, you will be able to make the “Go All-In?” decision with much more OBJECTIVE information at your disposal (and investors will have a much better way of objectively evaluating you!) in regard to whether or not you have a better than average chance of success!
PART-TIME PURSUIT OF… *PROOF!
*Proof of Concept?
*Proof of Assumptions?
*Proof of MVP Viability?
*Proof of Product-Market Fit?
*Proof of Reliable Objective Indicators — of above-average (~1%) success likelihood
PRIMARY PRINCIPLES & PHILOSOPHIES:
(For “STARTER STARTUPS” and Our “PART-TIME PURSUIT Of PROOF” Programs & Improvement Initiatives)
- Entrepreneurial Self-Awareness
- Complementary Co-Founders
- Objectivity Over Optimism
(“statistically probable” > “theoretically possible”)
- Bootstrapped / Low Overhead / #HustleFunded
(at least initially, “prior to proof”)
- Risk-Mitigation (not risk glorification & celebration)
- Shared Resources / Economies of Scale
- Blurring the lines between Products, Content, Marketing
- Anticipate Pivots BEFORE you’re forced to
- A-B Testing isn’t just for marketing! A-B Test EVERYTHING — even Potential Pivots (on your core product!)
- Short-Term Goals: PROVE Key Assumptions and/or Achieve “Reliable OBJECTIVE Indicators”
- Crawl → then Walk → then Run
- PART-Time Pursuit of Proof (…of Concept, of Assumptions, of MVP Viability, of Reliable Objective Indicators…)
To the “Startup Purists” out there who are rolling their eyes at any of our thoughts/plans/philosophies, we only ask that you keep in mind that the status quo — “the right way” — currently looks something like this: