Starter Startups

Posted by Jeff Goldblatt on

Whether you’re a 9-to-5'er with an entrepreneurial itch, a student looking to start early, or even a current entrepreneur wanting to put multiple horses in the race, there are MANY benefits to starting small with “STARTER STARTUPS”
  1. Learn while doing; an easy way to gain startup experience
  2. Make mistakes before they really matter
  3. Find out if you actually like startup life
  4. See how well you work with potential co-founders, employees, etc.
  5. Test your ideas and hypotheses
  6. Great for “Proof of Concept” or MVPs (or even a “pre-mvp”)
  7. Put multiple horses in the race — faster, quicker, cheaper.
  8. You can always attempt to take it bigger later — expanding to larger markets, adding new products/services, pivoting to a bigger idea and/or consciously moving from “low risk / low reward” to “higher risk / higher reward” (see below for more on this)
  9. All of the above without necessarily quitting your day job, risking a lot of money (yours or investors’), wasting a lot of time, getting in over your head, etc.

  • You learned to walk before you could run.
  • You used training wheels before you could ride a bike.
  • You date before you get engaged or married.
  • You start with a list of 4 analogies before you attempt a list of 10 ;)
Another Way To Think About “STARTER STARTUPS”:
  • High Risk; High Reward —>  Traditional Startups
  • Low Risk; Low Reward —>  “STARTER STARTUPS”
  • Low Risk; High Reward —>  The Ideal (but this is easier said than done)
  • High Risk; Low Reward —>  Um… yeah, I wouldn’t really advise this one!

So, What Exactly Do We Mean By “STARTER STARTUPS”?
Many more examples coming soon, but we’re talking about very small/simple MINI-businesses (that more resemble a class project in a college entrepreneurship class than a traditional startup). Things that can be launched quickly (in a matter of days or weeks, rather than months) and inexpensively (with little or no capital required). We’re talking about an online t-shirt shop, a curated-content site, becoming a reseller or affiliate for one more existing products/services, or any number of other similar mini-businesses.

Despite their simplicity, these “Starter Startups” often require many of the same tasks and decisions as real startups — picking a domain name, creating a website and/or social media presence, prioritizing projects… market research / customer discovery, defining a product mix, setting prices… establishing roles and responsibilities, delegating tasks, meetings and progress updates… creating a marketing plan (albeit a simple/inexpensive one), launching or beta-testing… Etc. Etc. Etc.

No, you are obviously not likely to make a lot of money on any of these “Starter Startups” but profit is not the point of these “Starter Startups”.
[Editor’s Note: If you’re still not clear on what the point actually IS, please scroll up and read the 9 benefits bullets again] 

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