I run two companies;
- Untrite: a B2B enterprise software company
- Oishya: a B2C eCommerce japanese knives store. I don’t consider traditional online stores like Oishya as startups, but there are some stores like Net-a-Porter or Farfetch which qualify as semi tech companies.
That’s why I thought to divide all specific advice between B2B and B2C businesses. Some advice, especially on leadership, networking is pretty universal, so you’ll find it
For Tech Startups
This handbook helps tech startup founders improve their product, growth, recruiting, and fundraising.
Here are the core lessons, which you can read in any order:
- Market pull: Which startups succeed the most?
- Finding ideas: Where can you find big startup ideas?
- Acquiring customers: What’s the most effective way to acquire customers?
- Retaining users: What are you doing to keep customers around?
- Hiring: How can you convince the best people to join your startup?
- Fundraising: What are the most common reasons why investors pass on a startup?
Below are additional resources.
- Landing pages: How do you write an enticing homepage?
- Growth channels: Which paid and organic channels should you pursue?
- Growth team: How do you structure an effective growth marketing team?
For B2B eCommerce
About this handbook
As I’m selling both as B2C (Oishya) and B2B (Untrite), I have this unique mix of learnings of what works and what doesn’t (that’s even more important!). Oishya is not a tech business, but more standard ecommerce platform type of business, nevertheless,
I’ve spent years sifting through thousands of companies to try identifying what the successful ones have in common and what makes companies fail. This handbook represent those findings. The data comes from three sources:
- I founded and failed a tech startup Evoque (LinkedIn for PR and Media)
- I founded NGO Girls in Tech Poland and managed for 6 years London chapter – the local chapter at the point of me managing it had an active member base of more than 9 000 people, with more than 125 000 globally (Girls in Tech International).
Standard startup process
Here’s the loose process we’ll follow for building a startup:
Step 1: Experience a problem yourself so that you can propose a realistic solution in the form of a startup. Talk to others to ensure there’s enough people who suffer from the same problem.
Step 2: Identify the market opportunity. Use the “Why now” market timing process from Lesson 2 to identify the most promising startup ideas. The most de-risked idea is often whichever has the most “market pull,” which ensures people will actually buy your product.
Step 3: Build the smallest effective version of your product. Do not do more work than is necessary to roughly solve the problem and prove that people will continually use the product.
Step 4: Iterate on your product so that it maximizes user happiness (“net promoter score”) and users’ desires to continue using the product (“stickiness”). Stickiness is covered in Lesson 4.
Step 5: Scale growth—targeting one persona at a time. Don’t make your product everything to everyone. Instead, be an incredible solution for a select few then iteratively expand your audience until you’re sticky for as many people as possible without diluting or bloating your product. (If you go too broad, competitors can pick you apart by doing a better job focusing on narrower use cases.)
Step 6: Hire an increasingly better team.