So, ill keep it simple.
I am working on a start-up with a viable business plan and high customer demand.
I have tried to hire people, with no luck and have tried to raise revenue, with no luck, because the website does not have any traction yet. Everyone I want to hire are either too expensive, or do not want to work for equity ( and want a fixed salary ).
I decided to build the prototype/MVP myself and now it is ready to launch, but I am not sure if I should. I was thinking maybe I could start it, gather my first 40-50 customers, and use that as evidence of traction while pursuing funding, and then once I get funding, I would hire more people.
Is this a smart thing to do ? I really do not want to wait anymore and launch it already, so that people know about it and it starts making some noise.
A simple response.
Determine all the daily task that need to happen to realize your 40-50 customers and then if you have the time & skills to complete all those tasks. This will include getting the funding after you've reached your goal. Make this plan in writing and be careful you've identified all the tasks and if possible see if you have the resources to outsource the activities that do not require skill execution that might exceed the competency of whom your outsourcing it to that avoid it jeopardizing you reaching your goal. Making this plan will likely be exciting as you'll be visualizing the accomplishing of your goal as your creating this plan. Then develop iron clad discipline to complete those tasks as effectively and efficiently as possible when you begin the execute, the more productive you can be each day as long as you can will be key for you to wearing all the hats you'll be wearing, and beyond after you've hired your team. Also develop awareness of your self talk to make sure you discover & identify any negative self talk about anything to do with your project. These quips are expressions of limiting beliefs you will need to overcome for you to realize your objective. Investing time daily to visualize your business operating effectively to reach the many levels of production will be extremely beneficial and will serve to counter act if you have any limiting beliefs below your awareness. Best of luck. Know you will create good luck with powerful desire supported by expectation, empowering beliefs, of you realizing your dreams in this business venture.
I can perfectly understand where you're coming from as I'm in the same situation: solo founder, mvp ready for launch, looking for potential co-founders or early employees with complimentary skills who believe in the idea and the vision. Your plan sounds good, but don't expect to be easy. What you can make in 80h/, two people can make in 40h/week. Common sense, I know, but just want to underline how important it is to have a "team". Not to mention the decisions you take might not always be the right ones...Plus most of the investors out there invest in the team first aand after that your idea and the way you're planning to execute it. The good thing is: It's possible as long as you can see it happening. Don't give up looking for people who believe what you believe and I'm sure you'll find the first members of the team willing to work for equity. You need to bare in mind people with experience and knowledge in your industry won't give up their full time jobs to join you or work for equity. It's also very important what you bring to the table.
My advice: set yourself a launch date as target and do the you can to find at least the first member of the team in this period. If you won't, just have a soft launch while looking for the first customers and if you'll end up being overwhelmed with requests after this, it'll be much easier to find people to join you. At least this is what my plan is. Good luck!
Launch the site - but look at your financial model or revenue models - your objective should be traction and paying customers , with a model that can sustain the business - once that is achieved everything else is much easier -
just launched it..don't wait for any support until you have proved yourself with at least 1 customer base..same thing was happen with me, every friends and co- founders left me alone due to funding but when I work every things on my own like, sales, marketing, software development etc and and build a customer base of around 40 they started calling to re-join the team. so first yo have work on your end. then funding will not an issue..Currently my start-up has been recognized through Govt. and they have funded me Rs. 10 Lakh and one angel investor has also be in touch to invest.
Well, you have not talked to the right investors yet, so keep looking. On the other hand, PAAS is not easy since amazon and Microsoft are big in the market, while docker and openshift, etc are opensource. In the past 3 weeks, I have been searching for a PAAS with minimum configuration, local install, and hope there is a solution on windows platforms but there is none. Since I am not a Linux user, it took me many many hrs trying to install openshift on centos. I am sure there are many startups looking for PAAS solution like me. I do agree to launch your product, but make sure you have the bandwidth to handle supports. If you have local installation with minimum configuration, meaning less yum or sudo. I will be happy to try out your PAAS solution. This is from user point of view. Good Luck!
I cannot tell you what is a smart thing to do or not. What I can share with you is that I have been doing the same thing for many years and have a lifetime of experience under my belt. if you can get 50 customers, you can get a 1000. If you have written a viable MVP yourself and can manage the business while you grow that is a fantastic accomplishment. It is really important to focus on where you started, how far you have come, and where you can go. It takes a long time to figure out a market, massage a product, understand how to get others to believe in what you do and get on board. It takes a lifetime.
There is a tacit assumption by some that 40 or 50 customers will fund outsourcing when in fact it may only be $2,500 a month and only pay your hosting bills. What those customers do suggest is that you learned to sell to 40 or 50 customers. If you have learned to sell to 40 or 50 customers, you can learn to sell yourself to the media and to influencers.
What you will have learned in the not to distant future is how to position yourself, how to position your product, how to execute with almost no resources, how to retain customers, and how to stay thin. If you can weather the storm to profit, any profit, you can weather the storm to gross profits. If you can get there, you do not need someone's hand in your future pocket with the magic growth pill.
There is one caveat and it is huge. Hiring is the real game in town and you have already experienced the effects of a diluted market. You are competing in an arena where there is high pay for little proof and almost no investment. Till now you have tried to attract partners and found that all want money for nothing and tricks for free. What I have learned in this regard is that there are damned few who believe enough in themselves to put their future on the line. You are one of them. There are others, they are hard to find, and it is absolutely critical in the beginning to hire those who invest not those who take.Those who invest stay to see a return and those who take leave for more money and more tricks.
In order of importance:
What not to focus on:
Merry Christmas, Happy New, Best of life to you and yours.
Yes, I totally agree with you. Go ahead launch your startup and tell people about it.
Simplest idea to spread is to share information with your family, friends and colleagues. Also, promote it on social media which will give you more users.
If the product is strong, this should be good enough start.
Post, you can hire a marketing person to do the job (may be on contact)
Yes ! Launch it, prove concept, and everything gets easier.
Agreed. Launch. Team, technology, and traction are what investors look for. If you can get two on your own, you will be able to attract the 3rd.
There is a rule in sailing about reefing the sails (reefing means reducing the sail area in anticipation of strong winds) - if you're thinking about reefing you are reefing too late. The same applies to launching. If you think about launching you are already late. So just do it. In the worst case everybody ignore you and nobody will learn about your venture. But you are already there, aren't you? Nobody know about you. So you can't lose anything you can only gain. Imagine you are buying a liquid security on stock exchange knowing that this security can not go down, it can only stay at the current price or go up. Decision seems to be pretty easy to make?