Two Ways to Build a Startup
There are two ways to build a startup from scratch. One involves creating a product and taking it to market. The other consists of coming up with an idea and chasing investors to have it funded.
The first approach gets you results. You spend your time building a product people want, putting it out there, iterating on the feedback, and maybe even making some profits. At the end of this effort, you’ll end up with something of value that has the potential to improve people’s lives and be the basis of a real business.
The second one involves doing everything that makes you feel like a legitimate operation but not actually doing the work. You spend your time creating business plans, pitch decks, and trying to raise money. At the end of this effort, you’ll likely either end up right where you started, or worse, get funded and give up enough ownership to not even be in control of your non-existent company.
What would be a better learning experience (and more fun) if you project forward a year from now? Creating and shipping a product on your own will leave you with valuable insight and skills. You will learn a ton and be in complete control to execute your vision how you see fit. Even if you have to start over, you’ll be much better equipped for the next time around.
You’ll also be able to validate your idea much faster instead of being at the whims of whomever you are trying to convince. You can get actionable feedback from the market and definitively know whether the idea is worth pursuing. If it goes well, you will be better positioned to scale the company as you’ll likely progress enough to start generating some actual revenue.
It might sound daunting, but it’s just a matter of believing in yourself and learning the necessary skills to move the idea forward. You can then continuously improve along the way and correct course as needed. Finally, don’t forget to enjoy the process and check in on how much you’ve grown. That’s one way to build a startup.