Starting a Startup

September 23, 2015

Read The Full Prompt

The thesis of our course is that early decisions that founders make have a disproportionate  impact on their ultimate success or failure. What pathways did they open? What chains did they forge around their own ankles?  Consider the choices that Jessica Matthews  of Uncharted Play, Lew Cirne of Wily, or Hillary Mallow of ProLabs made. Their choices resulted in stable or unstable business partnerships, years of sacrifice and struggle, loss of  control of their companies and even the destruction of a marriage.  In other situations early founding decisions have resulted  in  financial and personal success. The challenges founders face as a business matures can often be traced back to the seeds they sowed at the founding stage.

The founders we have studied often stumbled into these choices blindfolded – without much consideration of their implications or regard for their consequences. They often did not even recognize their decisions as choices. What observations can you share with entrepreneurs that are seeking co-founders and making their first commitments to the business? What questions still intrigue you?  What factors would you advice others to consider before taking the plunge into the ocean of possibilities that entrepreneurship offers? When should they persevere, when should they close the business?

Please limit your post to 500 words. include pictures, links to other sites and videos, if they make the entry more compelling. Remember that to make an impact, your entry has to be read by others. Try and make it visually appealing, provocative and thoughtful.  And,  please comment on the blog entries of others.  Your blog post will be accessible on the internet. It is due before 9 pm on September 22nd, 2015. We will be discussing a few of your posts in class on the 23rd.

Responses (55)

The Great Unknown, Unneeded, and Unproven
Posted on September 22, 2015 at 9:17 pm
One of the main causes of a startup's death is no market demand. But what if your product has no market? How do you know when to push your idea, and what steps can you take to lower the chances [...]
Maintaining morale
Phil Hu
Last modified on September 22, 2015 at 4:05 am
Building a company is a multi-year process. Maintaining morale during that process requires constant reminder of the original spark and passion that started the business because at some point, external validation and milestones become mundane.
Hiring a Cofounder
Last modified on September 22, 2015 at 8:48 pm
A refreshing alternative that addresses the core issues of cofounding
Don’t cut your own wings
Last modified on September 22, 2015 at 9:52 pm
Most startups will fail, but if you are going to fail, at least make sure it is not because you made simple avoidable mistakes. Even though there are very few rules of thumbs for startups, these simple considerations might help [...]
How should you pick your co-founder?
Madeleine Goldstein
Madeleine Goldstein
Last modified on September 22, 2015 at 10:10 pm
  Founding a venture is all-consuming, highly painful, and often solitary. Having a co-founder offers the opportunity to enhance the probability of a venture’s success through distributing work, mitigating risk, providing comfort and collaboration, and presenting a diversity of ideas [...]
You Absolutely Positively Should Not Start a Business
Eric Sung
Posted on September 22, 2015 at 6:57 pm
It’s hard. It takes a ton of sacrifice. You’ll probably get fat, broke, depressed, burnt out, divorced, or all of the above. You should absolutely positively not start a business… unless you can do the following: 1. Envision yourself doing [...]