Startup Starter Pack: the advice I give aspiring founders - Jo York

April 3, 2024

As the CEO of Ignite, I am often asked by aspiring founders and entrepreneurs for advice on how to get started with their own tech startup. Over the years, I've cultivated a "startup starter pack" of resources and frameworks that I recommend to anyone looking to embark on the exhilarating but challenging journey of building a company from the ground up. This starter pack contains some of the most important concepts and tools I've found from my own experience founding startups. Whether you're just beginning to flesh out an idea or have already launched, I believe there are insights here that can provide guidance and support at any stage of the process.

From understanding your customers more deeply to running lean experiments that drive growth, consider this a mini-syllabus, or Startup 101. While by no means exhaustive, these are the lessons (and resources) I wish I knew about when I first became a startup founder.

Lesson 1: Startups are learning machines

There are many books that cover the importance of this. The most famous is "The Lean Startup" By Eric Reis but there is still a place for "4 Steps to the Epiphany" by Steve Blank (who taught Eric Reis), which explains the concept slightly differently. My advice is to focus on the first two steps: "customer discovery" and "customer validation". You should loop around these stages constantly throughout the life of your business.    

Lesson 2: Be problem-focused rather than solution focused

The jobs to be done framework is a great way to understand and build the personas you want to focus on. It's written for B2B projects, but it's equally as applicable to consumer products too.    

Lesson 3: Speak to people

The way to really understand the problems you want to solve is to talk to real people, ask the right questions and listen to what they say. There is no better approach and guide to this than the MOM test.

And there you have it - my starter pack of advice for getting started on your startup journey! Of course, this is just scratching the surface of all there is to learn. Starting a successful tech company requires continuous learning, adaptation, grit and perseverance from founding to scaling. But it all begins with the right foundations. Focus on truly connecting with your customers, embracing constant experimentation and learning, and absorbing wisdom from those who have built companies before you.

And don't forget to reach out for support when you need it.

Please let me know if this was useful or not - I'm always trying to get better at helping as many founders as possible and your feedback is gratefully received 😀

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