Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup

Author: Bill Aulet
This Month Reddit 4


by whenihittheground   2019-11-17

First off check out this video.

So to me it sounds like you are looking for purpose from your work. You want your work life to be meaningful in some way and actually have an impact.

Are you looking for general impact or more charity/EA "doing good" type of stuff?

I don't really know much about EA stuff so I'll speak to the "general impact".

First off, you don't really need a credential if you want to be an entrepreneur. Do you have some specific business ideas that drove you down the tech start up route in the first place? If yes, this is the best road map I've found on starting your own business.

You should take a look at a bunch of start ups (or established firms) and make a list of 10-20 ones that if they offered you a job today then you'd wake up at 5:00 AM tomorrow to start working there. What problems are they trying to solve? Are they things that in 5,10,15 years you'd look back on and say "wow"?

Check out what type of roles these places are looking for then figure out if those roles are something you can already jump into. If you can't jump in directly then go to linkedin or google and reverse engineer the role to figure out what these people's resumes look like & what background do these people have who are already working in the field. Contact some of them off linkedin. Check out the schools, or online classes or certifications these people have etc. Take online classes on Edx, udemy etc, check out the relevant subreddits etc just to try and get a taste for the role(s). Try to jump into the new role as far as you can to see if you like it & if it's something that you really want to pursue further. Obviously start easy and progress naturally...for example if your math skills are OK but you've never taken a calc class then maybe stay away from differential equations.

I mention start ups because this is where you will most likely have maximum impact & responsibility considering you will be helping a firm grow or die. Though, some established firms also have impactful roles too. Start ups can sometimes be hard to find but I guess one way to do it is to check out VCs & look at their portfolios. Those start ups will at least have funding.

Another way to try and answer the "what should I do question" is if you were independently wealthy what would a year in your life look like? What types of stuff would you ideally like to be working on? What type of stuff would you be learning?

As far as the anxiety about the application process goes, & this might sound harsh, but to me it sounds like you're afraid of failure/rejection & so you are using your uncertainty about establishing a priority in what you should be doing career wise as an excuse for not actually filling out apps thus avoiding the possibility of rejection. So, the question I have is would you still be anxious about filling out the app if you bumped into a CEO who really liked you and the perfect job landed in your lap you basically just had to give them a resume/fill out some forms to show you're "real" and the job was yours?

I feel you the uncertainty sucks about whether or not you'll actually get hired. Taking a hard look at yourself in order to market yourself also sucks. But IMO the best way to think about it is to just play the lottery...apply to as many places as possible & eventually you'll land something good. It's only hard at the beginning once you get experience then recruiters will be breathing down your neck & the tables will be flipped. So shotgun that resume. Maybe write a little python script to help you apply?

Good luck & feel free to DM me if you wanna chat.

by fullstak   2019-11-17


I'm kind of on the same boat as you (starting a software/media company with strong technical skills and some concern for the business side of things)


Few things I've learned and realized these past few years of coding and trying to make my side-projects into businesses:

- Create a high-level overview / design doc based on these principles to align your vision, technical requirements and business objectives.

https://www.oreilly.com/library/view/disciplined-entrepreneurship-24/9781118692288/images/p01-f001.jpg (taken for an MIT entrepreneurship course taught by Bill Aulet. I highly recommend you buy his book: https://www.amazon.com/Disciplined-Entrepreneurship-Steps-Successful-Startup/dp/1118692284)


- Learn how to create an effective marketing plan including an end-user profile, persona, market research, advertising on Youtube, Google Ads and Instagram/Facebook, Google Analytics, re-targeting with custom audiences, creating funnels in Google Analytics to see what parts of your app may be causing churn. Here's a good course for this: https://www.udemy.com/learn-digital-marketing-course/ (does not include churn detecting with funnels in GA, you can find more about this on youtube)


- For everything else there's Slidebean's CEO, FounderHub and Patrick from Valuetainment to help you out tremendously:

- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vz9n-2W33WY&list=PLnhdsL4kFmVYMNq6F8k8UiFkc6fwIdk3o

- https://founderhub.io/

- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KB442EchOTY

- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfLLcqC-D7Y


- On the technical side of things, I recommend you start with a stack that's easy to work with, can scale without significant effort on your part / without growing your team, and ultimately that gets you to an MVP as fast as possible with minimal trade-offs. For this I recommend Firebase and Cloud Functions to get you up and running quickly without worrying about making an entire API or running servers.


Most important of all, DO NOT build a monolithic app thinking that every feature you're building will be something your users will enjoy or that what you'll build may useful in the future. Your goal is to build the most minimal version of your key value proposition. From there, establish an effective means of communicating with beta testers / first customers to determine what features to build out. Think of your product as a psychology / design experiment. You need to establish a baseline problem / solution / theory. Then test that theory through small iterations of changes with QA processes / feedback loops to measure the impact of these changes. Eventually you'll have a product that's centered around your user / problem and not your idea of what's best for them (which is rarely ever going to be perfect). Check out Jobs Theory for a better grasp on how to predict and understand your customer's needs: https://medium.com/frameplay/pt-3-defining-the-job-in-jobs-to-be-done-838087696490

I also recommend looking at successful competitors as their platforms have undergone this extensive process of understanding their customer needs. Don't be afraid to emulate what's successful in the market in terms of design, business model and value propositions / mission. Look at their growth over time and old versions of their site with Wayback machine to get a feel for how they re-aligned their vision to target their customer's true needs.

by koverda   2019-07-27

Give this a read. Literally a step by step to get a successful company off the ground.

by vsolanki19   2019-05-26
Thanks dude. Link didn't work but I'm adding it here: https://www.amazon.com/Disciplined-Entrepreneurship-Steps-Su...
by ljw1001   2017-08-19
I would second this advice. To be a little more concrete:

What aspects of your specialty are the most expensive, the most time-consuming, the most error-prone, and/or the most dangerous?

Alternately, you can look at the delivery systems for improvement. Are there people who lack access to professionals with the needed skills, equipment, or supplies? Or who can't access them when they are needed.

I would strongly recommend you take a look at this book if you haven't already: https://www.amazon.com/Disciplined-Entrepreneurship-Steps-Su...

The book is quite awesome and there are two EdX courses that go with it that I'd also recommend: They are called Entrepreneurship 101 and 102. See: https://www.edx.org/course/entrepreneurship-101-who-customer...

Finally, there other online courses (Coursera or EdX) that specifically cover new product development in the Medical Device space.