Back in 2011-12, I was passionately driven to light a fire in the startup ecosystem that would catch, grow, spread and brightly illuminate the future. I’d spent my career, spanning a quarter of a century, building, nurturing, investing in and exiting startups – not without success. For over 20 of those years I’d been giving back by mentoring others, but now I felt was the time to move into a new phase – to more fully devote my energy to paying it forward. Two tangible outcomes took form that year:
- I cofounded, with Nasir Ali and Martin Babinec, the StartFast Venture Accelerator, and
- I wrote and published, Start Fast! How to accelerate your software / internet / mobile venture.
The book is intended as a crisp manual on how to build a startup from scratch. I poured into it everything I’d learned and then used Occam’s razor again and again to cut away everything unnecessary. One reviewer calls it “The Lean Guide for Lean Startups.” Here’s an excerpt:
There are tremendous advantages to a fast start. You’ll be able to see your idea in action quickly, get feedback from early adopters, adapt your product or service in response to that feedback, test and refine your business model all before investing a lot of money (yours or someone else’s).
I’m going to give you a method, specific tools and action steps to start fast, build a real business fast and attain as much success as possible in the least time and with the least capital. Bear in mind that this method will not be applicable to every business. Not every business can be capital-efficient. Some take longer to build than others. I know that this method applies to a business if it is software-based and your customers can be reached through the Internet or mobile phone network. If your business is of a different character entirely, some but not everything here will apply to you.
There are reasons that software, internet and mobile companies can start fast, and most of these reasons are obvious once you know them. But most of them weren’t true 10 years ago, some five years ago, and a few weren’t true only 1 year ago.