February 27, 2013
Launched last week, StartItUp is a step-by-step guide to starting a company and building a website – essentially, a seriously long to-do list with instructions.
The free site, inspired by the lean startup methodology, includes sections like doing customer development, coming up with a value proposition, and outlining your MVP. Cofounder Edward Liu is a mentor for startups in Taiwan, including Pinkoi (the country’s Etsy). To create the guide, he pulled in techniques from Steve Blank and Eric Ries, and from Ash Maurya’s book Running Lean.
If the to-do list becomes overwhelming – and it might, since it has 150 items – you can head to the StartItUp forums and get advice from other entrepreneurs.
To an outsider and someone who isn’t a startup entrepreneur, this site sounds like a godsend. It’s similar to StartupPlays, which sells detailed guides on different aspects of starting up. But some entrepreneurs might find it oppressive and limiting. Entrepreneurs “have their own ways of doing things,” admits Liu. In response, he says that founders can start in the middle and pick and choose sections that might be relevant – for example, doing a brush-up on inbound marketing or fundraising. “I don’t think there’s one true way to do this,” he says.
But however entrepreneurs feel, Liu is actually after a different demographic: “wantrepreneurs,” people who have full-time jobs but are curious about startup life.
As StartItUp grows, Liu plans to keep the site free and open it up for entrepreneurs to edit, like a wiki. He dreams of plugging it into the backend of a startup’s website to automatically measure analytics and offer targeted suggestions, like tips on improving organic search traffic.
“We could convert that data into real action items for you, and that would be pretty damn exciting,” he says.
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