So, you have a kick-ass idea, you wanna build a startup with it ? Good. There are literally many ways to make it a reality - some may be relevant to you, some not. I’d like to share some thoughts on this subject from my relatively small experience dealing with ‘em.
- Financial health of your team is very important as it affects their productivity, so you need seed money to kickstart your startup
- Even with as few as 5-6 good engineers, it will take about 1yr to build a reasonable product which puts your seed money requirement at at least ~$.5 to1M
What could go wrong:
- Idea could never get the seed-funded
You can do all the Sand Hill Shuffle, and pitch your idea with VCs, but for reasons unknown, they could fail to see or might take time to recognize the potential, so, it’s better not to put all your hopes on one single channel. So, while you are chasing VCs, invest some of your resources around services (a service is work done by a person for another party), which will keep you afloat. Services revenues are surpassing the real product revenues these days, after all. It’s important to keep your services portfolio closer to the product(s) you are building, for eg., if your product idea is around cloud, you could offer Openstack DevOps support for other companies who use openstack - Mirantis is making $1B in revenue with this approach. If you generate enough revenue with your service offerings, you can even totally bypass VCs and self-fund your startup (why lose stake for VCs ;)).
So, I think the optimal path is to give the same attention to services aspects as productaspects of your company, so that the former could nurture the later and when your product matures and people start using it, you can bundle up product with services and create solutions (a solution is a product, combination of products, services, or a mix of products and services that a vendor, service provider will offer to their client) _that can further drive the growth of your startup.