So one day, we’ve just begun brainstorming for Hellol.com, and while we were preparing, I was feeling pretty frustrated. It was frustrating because we were just kind of doing things or thinking of things as they go. We have to do everything all over again. We have to remember what we did right, and what we did wrong. Coding and all is all quite easy. Yitao does the back-end, and I do the front-end. However, what’s really hard is all the other stuff. How do we validate our MVP again? Where can we find our early adopters? How should we create our interview script? How about content marketing? When and where do we launch our MVP. The list goes on.
I’ve done it before, but where did I put all my notes again? I have a bunch of bookmarks of great articles from the internet and notes I’ve taken while reading great startup books by Eric Ries, Ash Maurya, or Steve Blank, but they’re just all scattered everywhere. I’ve read and saved great growth hacking trips from people like Mattan Griffel, Noah Kagan, or Andrew Chen. And while each piece of information is great, starting a startup is requires knowledge from all of those experts.
Also, we needed a way to keep track of what we’ve already done, and what else can we do to make our startup more awesome. We didn’t know if all the tricks and knowledge I’ve saved are still current. All those frustration piled up and that kind transformed into an idea.
So…we have a few problems here:
1. We do know how to start a startup, and the team does have prior experience to building and growing startups, but most of our actions are more like reactions, and not proactively planning on action items before we realize we need something.
2. We do have these knowledge and tips saved somewhere, but we’d have to look at them separately. Also, the collection of them is not organized, and most of the knowledge are macro, not micro. They focus on telling, not showing. We needed action items that can give us immediate results (for things like Growth Hacking, getting early adopters, or getting feedback, etc)
3. We have no way to know which stage we’re at, or where we should be at. We don’t have a way to track what we’ve done, and what more we can do to improve.
4. Startup knowledge gets outdated quickly.
5. It wasn’t easy to just get a bunch of early adopters to test out your service or give you feedback on how you can improve your startup. Yes there is reddit, hacker news, quora, or what not, but most of them are not for this purpose.
So I said to Yitao “I wish we had this step-by-step guide that we could follow to help us do everything that’s right to building a startup. Lean startup shit, and it’ll have all the tricks to growth hacking and stuff.”
Enter StartitUp. So we decided to make something that we would love to use ourselves. Therefore, we ended up creating a startup guide, with constantly updated step-by-step action items collected from the best startup masters, where a startup can track their own progress, and get feedback from a community of other startups. We also want to make this guide free, so we can get the best information to entrepreneurs everywhere. We want this guide to help people succeed. Starting something you are passionate about is just about one of the best things anyone can do in their lifetimes…except for Ice Cream and perhaps sex (I love Ice Cream so much it’s a pronoun for me). The point is, we want people to be happy. Yitao and my dreams are to help people get the information they need, in the way they want it.
Ok, so other than that…I think it’d be interesting to discuss about why we think we’re qualified to create a guide that claims to be the ultimate startup guide. The truth is, we don’t necessarily think that we are. We’re just the guys who consolidates and organizes all the best startup knowledge from the people who ARE the shit, and organizes them. However, that’s not to say we’re not at all qualified. We’ve build and failed with startups before, and while we haven’t had a hit startup, we have learned a lot from the mistakes we’ve made, and we definitely have learned from that.
Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia doesn’t know every single history in the world, but he collected all the information and made a platform that made it possible to create the most complete encyclopedia in the world. Like Jimmy Wales, we’re merely consolidating and creating a platform to collect the best startup knowledge. And we’re creating the Ultimate Startup Guide.