Business Strategy

Do you recommend starting more than one startup at one time or should you rather focus on one startup at a time?

Marc Cicatello Head of Finance & Ops, former CEO, Startup obsessed

August 18th, 2017

I've three good startup ideas that I want to start working on with 2 different cofounders as side projects as I work full time but I'm unsure of which ones to start first as I think there is potential for all 3 of them.So do I work on 2 or 3 of them if I use different cofounder teams or should I focus on one startup at a time?

Ashish Bhatia CoFounder, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, Investment Banking Technologies

August 20th, 2017

Unless the 2-3 ideas you have are linked in some way, I would echo what others have recommended - start with one, validate if what you are thinking is what your potential customers are thinking, and pivot (or move to the next idea) based on the traction you get from the customers.


For any startup you need:

1. A product or service: What are you going to sell

2. A group of people willing to pay for it: Your Customers

3. A way to get paid: How you'll exchange your product or service for money


Working on more than one idea along with a full time job would make it much harder, if not impossible, to gather any meaningful customer feedback, analyze it and move forward.

Abdul Wadood Team member at conception.pk

August 19th, 2017

The first year of a startup is the most critical era. The most of the startup don't get pass this era.

Although some people are good at multi-tasking, but you're working a full time job too. I'd never suggest someone who's working full time to jump into three different battlegrounds at the same time. This can highly minimize your efficiency. Rather, I'd suggest you to go with one at a time. And once you feel that your startup is well established and is growing then you can spare some time for the second idea.

Kaustuva Mukherjee CoFounder & CEO @ibuysell_app

August 22nd, 2017

Here are my two cents about it.

Starting a startup is a full time job. Validating your idea, building a product, acquiring users, building a team, managing daily operations and more. If you are looking to raise money at some stage, then that is an incredibly involved process as well. Each startup needs undivided focus and attention.


Do you visualize being able to start 3 startups and still able to devote time and effort to each equally? If not start with one and focus completely on it. You can always start the others once you have been successful with one.



Alejandro Cremades Executive Chairman at CoFoundersLab

August 18th, 2017

Marc- my recommendation will be to validate the ideas very quickly via quantitive analysis and qualitive analysis with potential customers. Once you know which idea has the most potential then go all in. Your biggest challenge is going to be focus so I would recommend staying away from executing the 3 ideas at the same time.


Validation could be a very quick process where you can use Facebook ads to drive potential customers to a landing page and see what reaction they have towards the value proposition.

Thomas Sutrina Inventor at Retired Pursue Personal interrests and family

August 20th, 2017

I assume your at the very beginning. SC Johnson starts 50 ideas a year. How many products do they launch each year? It takes time to do the do diligence. I have about 3 dozen patent and I have had about two or three ideas in my head at a time for most of my working life. Those three ideas you want to start have unknowns that need to be answered. Working on all the unknowns together is like going on a scavenger hunt. So long as there are unknowns that the same scavenger hunt would likely answer for the ideas, go for it. Your getting higher value then conduction a scavenger hunt for one at a time. But at some time in the future you will have to let go or put on hold two of those ideas. Once the unknowns of one of the ideas that you choose to move forward are answered then you need to concentrate time, money, and effort.

rich minchuk Technical Entrepreneur and Product Developer

Last updated on August 22nd, 2017

I'd first ask myself which market I knew better, if they're unrelated markets, it's unlikely you'll have necessary insights to give each it's fair due.

That aside, it never hurts to have something to fall back on. I'd be careful not to spread myself to thin, which could end up hurting relationships with partners.

Mauricio De la Orta Serial Entrepreneur and Investor

August 22nd, 2017

I've done that in the past, but one of the startups was already doing really well and I had quality team members on board before I started the second... and yet, It drove me crazy. I ended up exiting the first company so I could devote proper time to the second one.

Michael Turek Passionate about connecting the left & right brain

August 18th, 2017

Marc - Pursuing getting 3 start-ups off the ground while also working full-time, I feel you would quickly find yourself spread very thin and unable to fully execute on each of the ideas. Even if you determine that all 3 are extremely viable, execution is critical in the beginning stages and you would become victim to a difficult balancing act.


As Alejandro indicated, determine the viability of each first and rank them based on the outcome of your analysis. Focus on the most promising at the beginning. As that begins to take off and resources open up, shift to the next idea, and so on. Also, take a look at the book 'Sprint' by Jake Knapp for some ideas/methodologies for quickly validating ideas.


Best,

Michael

Kelvin Kiama Adept brain strategists ,flexible and risk taker

August 18th, 2017

It depends on ones personality...and demeanor.. people are different.some are best at multitasking some are best at one task at a time.

Talha Butt senior manager at LMEC ( LUMS marketing executive Club), leader in many different projects

August 18th, 2017

I don't think that starting more than one start up at one time is nice idea and additional to different co-founder that is not at all thumbs up from my side. Instead of becoming all-rounder and get in trouble with that it is better to focus on one and flourish that. It is not a wise idea to row two boats to shore at same time. Good luck.