Friday, June 6, 2008

Starting a Startup

As has been recently established, I have been working full time at my new company for all of about two weeks now. I remember reading many an article and blog about how much work starting a company is. Those authors are not lying. There are many, many things that need to be done. When working for other people, there were always other people to do those things and make sure they got done. Nice how that works out.

But I'd like to talk about the opportunities that having so much to do affords you. You get to learn so much more about a much wider variety of tasks. And you get to try doing all of it for yourself. If you read that last bit and understood it as, "You have to learn how to do everything and and there is no one else to pick up the slack," while you would be correct, it is also obvious that you don't have the mind set to be an entrepreneur. Learning and doing many different things is an opportunity, not a chore. I think the greatest thing about having a list roughly 44 square feet of whiteboard area to accomplish is there is always something else to do when you find yourself grinding on something. Maybe that's procrastination speaking, but if what you are working on helps get the company off the ground, it can't be that bad.

For instance, I learned that you can make yourself a great 8' x 4' whiteboard for only $11 U.S. To all you companies pushing 3' x 4' whiteboards for $70 at Office Depot I say, "Shame on you!" I learned that there are at least five different ways to create almost any visual effect in Silverlight. I learned about, and continue to learn about, and could probably receive a masters degree in the difficulties of naming a company. I have learned that every VC firm out there seems to want a different amount of detail in your business plan; from 3 pages to 50 and different details about each and every facet of a business. And I have learned scads about the new business space we are writing our software for. I guess what makes the entrepreneur types different is that we find it all fun.