As a startup CEO a key challenge is knowing how to build a startup up to Seed Stage.
You need a vision of what your offering will accomplish. You need a team of key co-founders. Having a team with a balanced set of skills for your intended offering is best. So; do not have only technical co-founders unless that is appropriate (i.e. for a fabless semiconductor startup).
How to build a startup
You need to do several things before you create the company. Thoroughly understanding your anticipated markets and their relevant pains is key. Please see John Gale’s Post To Do Before Company Formation
We live in an evolving world; a transforming world of change and disruption. How will your offering participate? Please see John Gale’s Post Transforming World. You need to think through how well your offering will disrupt (or not) existing products that are already on the market. Please see John Gale’s Post Disruption To Sales of Legacy Products
Develop your first and second and third drafts of your business plan. Include a well thought out draft Business Model. Please see John Gale’s Post and White Paper Seed Stage Business Plan Please see John Gale’s Post Robust Business Model
You need an operational prototype. When you show it to qualified prospects; why do they perceive it as being Mission Critical to their business? Then you need to go through your product development process and acquire your first paying customers. Usually; investors will not invest before there are paying customers.
What should your startup look like? Please see John Gale’s Post Early Stage Startup Desired Characteristics
Planning your startup life cycle
Plan well. Build a sound business plan based on a robust Business Model. Educate yourself to minimize mistakes. Please see John Gale’s Post List of Startup Mistakes That Can Be Fatal
You need to think through your optimal Financial Exit and also the other possible types of Financial Exits. Your anticipations will need to align with those of all of the major stockholders and investors. Please John Gale’s Post Financial Exit
Know your market. Know your competition. Plan well. Execute better. Keep talking to your market.