- #1 Amazon Best Seller in two categories: Startups & Starting a Business
- How to build your Silicon Valley startup
- How to find co-founders
- Find accelerators, incubators, co-working spaces
- How to deal with angel investors and VC venture capital
- 26 interviews with founders, heads of accelerators, and VCs
Jump to: Downloads | Interviews | Resources | Websites & Blogs | Corrections
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- Startup by Andreas Ramos. ISBN-13: 978-0-9893600-5-0. 142 pages in print (paperback) (US$ 9.99), digital (Kindle) ($3.99), and audio podcast. Available at Amazon worldwide.
- Want to read a chapter? Go to Amazon and click Look Inside
Here are several useful documents. Right-click and copy.
- One-page Business Plan for Your Startup (Word document). A summary of your startup on one page. Download, edit, and use it for your startup.
- Ten-page pitch deck (Powerpoint). Download, edit, and use it for your startup.
- Need a 60-page business plan? Hundreds of business plans at BPlans.com. However, read my book BEFORE you start writing a 60-page business plan.
Interviews in the Book
I interviewed 26 founders to learn about the reality of building startups. They’re doing startups in Silicon Valley, France, Germany, Cote d’Ivoire (West Africa), China, Colombia, Denmark, Hawaii, India, Jakarta, South Korea, Spain, and the US. (Listed alphabetically):
- Andrea Lynn Cianflone, Founder. The Be Delighted Movement uses the power of creativity to bring joy into our lives. Our platform includes live events, edutainment programming, a singing wellness program, artist retreat center, festival, and travel retreats. Based in New York. Seeking funding. Visit via-enterprises.com/be-delighted
- Brienne Ghafourifar, co-founder. Entefy seamlessly brings together all of your communications, search, and storage in one application on any device. Visit Entefy.com
- Clément Gonthier & Arthur Pages, co-founders. We help surfers to film themselves with our waterproof camera which follows you while you’re surfing. Visit Surfup.strikingly.com
- Dick Brunebjerg, Founder. The 100% standard MDM solution for product data fully integrated with ERP. Fast and easy management of a single source of truth for all of a company’s product data, keeping all output channels fully up-to-date with correct information (web stores, websites, Amazon, eBay, price lists, catalogs, supplier portals, fact sheets, social media, newsletters etc.). Visit Perfion.com
- Gala Gil Amat, founder. Developing an IoT system to measure a building’s structural integrity. Co-founders include Stanford and UC Berkeley engineers. Based in Palo Alto. Looking for funding. Visit Yellowfinch.co
- Kenneth Low, Co-founder. Our multi-vendor SaaS platform enables anyone to build their own marketplaces within minutes. No developers needed. Founders are ex-PayPal senior executives. Based in Singapore with offices in Sydney, Manila, and San Francisco. Looking for funding and customers. Visit Arcadier.com
- Lars Birkemose, co-founder. Emote is a video editor for mobile devices. You can cut, dissolve, split audio/video, adjust sound, add tracks, music, graphics, color grade, and more for your videos on Snapchat, MSQRDE, Artisto, FXguru, and so on. Visit Emote.com
- Maruf Yusupov, co-founder. Cloudy helps companies send emails with high open rates at low cost. Looking for investors. Go Cloudy.email
- Mehdi Coly & Stéphane Pétrot, founders. We created the first SEO software that can quickly resolve problems on websites and saves time for all web marketers on the planet. Based in Lyon, France; coming to SF and NYC. Visit Optimiz.me
- Nick Hurd, Founder. With Niftycart, you can sell from your Facebook page or email newsletters. Easy to use and built for mobile. It connects to QuickBooks and GetResponse, to automate your online business. Founder has developed several successful software products. Looking for funding. Based in Maui, Hawaii. Visit Niftycart.com
- Oscar Gómez, founder. JuanRegala.com is the biggest e-commerce in Colombia for the gifts sector. Same day delivery of flowers, chocolates, edible arrangements, and surprise breakfast. It solves the lack of time for young professionals who want to stay in touch with their loved ones. Go JuanRegala.com
- Rahul Aggarwal & Varun Aggarwal, co-founders. Designhill is a leading online graphic design marketplace helping businesses source high quality designs at an affordable price. With over 37,000 registered graphic designers, Designhill has helped thousands of businesses outsource their graphic design needs. Visit DesignHill.com
- Sandro Groganz, founder. Manage all of your marketing with one tool. Based in Germany. Looking for investors. CampaignChain.com
- Sara Green Brodersen, Founder & CEO. Our vision is to build trust for the sharing economy by allowing users to take their entire online reputation across platforms while helping platforms increase activity. Based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Looking for funding. Visit Deemly.co and Deemly.co/business
- Scott Stouffer, co-founder. MarketBrew is AI-powered search engine modeling software. Some of the largest marketing teams in the world use MarketBrew to make changes to their websites and predict how Google will rank their pages. Visit MarketBrew.com
- Rahul Aggarwal and Varun Aggarwal, co-founders. Designhill is a marketplace for graphic design, graphics, logo design, banner design, packaging design, merchandise design, web design and other design work. Graphics people can create their portfolio to showcase their design works. Customers can find designers. New Delhi, India. Go DesignHill.com
- Virginie Glaenzer, co-founder. SoHo Place is an on-demand local community environment for freelancers to meet and create their best possible lives. Based in NYC. Looking for partners and property owners. Visit SohoPlace.net
- Yeni Kim, Founder and CEO. TeamPL lets you find local groups, events, and members. Over 600,000 users. Based in South Korea. Looking for investors and global partners. Visit Teampl.co.kr
Suggested Books for Further Reading
These books often came up when talking with founders. Some of these are the leading technical books on SEO, PPC, and so on. I strongly recommend The Business of Venture Capital by Mahendra Ramsinghani and Founders at Work by Jessica Livingston. In no particular order:
- Search Engine Marketing, Inc. by Mike Moran and Bill Hunt (IBM Press, 2014, 3rd ed). Mike Moran is a former IBM Distinguished Engineer and was head of SEO at IBM for 15 years. Bill Hunt is a global expert on SEO. This is the leading technical book on SEO.
- Google Adwords by Brad Geddes (3rd ed). I’ve read practically every book on Adwords and Brad’s book is the best. Buy it. Study it. Use it.
- The Business of Venture Capital by Mahendra Ramsinghani (2nd ed.). Like a college textbook on the VC industry. The leading book on how venture capital works. The author has 15 years of experience as a VC.
- Venture Deals by Brad Feld (3rd ed., 2016). He is also a VC and explains how VC works.
- Founders at Work by Jessica Livingston. As co-founder of Y-Combinator, she interviewed 25-30 startup founders who tell how they built their startups.
- From Zero to IPO by David Smith (2013). David has a degree in computer science, an MBA, and a law degree. He has built a bunch of startups and sold several. His 400-page book details the steps to building a startup for IPO. Go Zero-to-IPO.com
- Self-Publishing Boot Camp Guide for Authors by Carla King (4th ed., 2017). Excellent hands-on guide to publishing your books. At Amazon.
- Startup Owner’s Manual by Steve Blank (2008). This book introduced the idea of lean startups. It’s a great book but too many tables, charts, and checklists in a 600-page $40 hardback textbook.
- Lean Startup by Eric Ries (2011). He developed Steve Blank’s Startup Owner’s Manual into a shorter book on lean startups and pivots. The core idea is good, but the rest of it (metrics, statistics, scientific method) doesn’t work.
- Running Lean by Ash Maurya. A good guide for the transition from seed to mid-stage.
More Books by Me
Several books by me. Get these at Amazon:
- The Big Book of Content Marketing. Learn about content marketing. Amazon Best Seller. Get it at Amazon.
- How to Write a Book! Learn how to write books to get more opportunities and jobs. #1 Amazon Best Seller. Get it at Amazon.
- #TwitterBook. Learn about Twitter. #1 Amazon Best Seller. At Amazon.
Free eBooks by Me
A few ebooks by me. Free download. Right-click and select “Save As…”
- SEO eBook.Learn more about SEO and how search engines index,Evaluate , and rank sites.
- PPC eBook. A short ebook on Adwords.
- KPI eBook. Learn how to calculate key performance indicators (KPI), cost-per-lead (CPL) and cost-per-acquisition (CPA), and other key metrics.
- ASO eBook. A short ebook on ASO (app store optimization).
Websites & Blogs
A bunch of blogs and sites that founders said were useful. If a link doesn’t work, let me know.
- Find accelerators and incubators at the Global Accelerator Network (GAN.co), National Business Incubator Association (NBIA.org), angel.co, and seed-db.com.
- Y-Combinator blog. YC’s blog is a good way to keep up on what’s happening at YC. Go blog.ycombinator.com
- Sam Altman is the head of Y-Combinator. Here are his lectures and videos on startups: startupclass.samaltman.com
- Lots of YC blog postings at ycombinator.com/resources/
- New Yorker writes about Sam Altman and YC: New Yorker
- This is a like LinkedIn for startups and Silicon Valley. You can look up people, startups, investors, and so on. Add your profile and startup to CrunchBase.com
- Info for co-founders. Add your profile and startup to Angel.co
- Get a mailing address in Palo Alto for your corporation: Playce.io
- Resources for founders: F6S.com
- Because it’s cool: socialphysics.media.mit.edu
- Lots of resources and books: SteveBlank.com
- Gary Vaynerchuk’s site: garyvaynerchuk.com
- Stanford Graduate School of Business. Their blog at gsb.stanford.edu/insights
- Lots of articles at TNW about what is going on. TheNextWeb.com
- List of +1,300 domain name extensions: Iana.org/TLDs
- Free stock photography: Medium/pixs
- How to do a storyboard: Storyboarding at Google
- Joint Venture 2016
- StartupStudyGroup led by Charles Jo. Forum for +7,000 startup founders. Join at Startup Study Group
- List of incubators:
- Questions to ask your VC: 36 questions for your VC
- Website for the venture industry. VentureBeat.com
- Learn about investing: Investorpedia.com
- Limited partners (LPs are the ones who invest in VCs) use Trusted Insight where 60,000 LPs in 98 countries share information about VCs. It’s Yelp for LPs. TheTrustedInsight.com
- Ratings and reviews by founders of their investors. More Yelp on VCs. Yes, this includes a blacklist. VCs aren’t allowed to write reviews. When you start dealing with VCs, check this site. TheFunded.com
Associations in Silicon Valley: InnovationChain.org (Chinese), BACES.net (Chinese), TiE (India), Silicon Vikings (Scandinavia), Silicon France, SVASE (for engineers), BASES (Stanford engineering students), ASES (ases.stanford.edu), Stanford Women in Business (SWIB), BEA (Berkeley Entrepreneurs Association). The groups for students are only for enrolled students.
Key Ideas in the Book
Ideas in the book: 500Startups, accelerators, acquisition, advisors, analytics, board meetings, board of directors, business bank account, business plan, co-founders, co-working spaces, connections, convertible notes, digital presence, dilution, due diligence, elevator pitch, Founders Space, funding, grandmother pitch, incorporate, incubators, intellectual property, investors, IPO, jobs at startups, lawyer, lean startup, merger & acquisitions, Palo Alto, pitch decks, Silicon Valley, startup documents, term sheet, unicorns, valuation models, VCs and venture capital, vesting, and Y-Combinator.
If you find errors in the book, let me know. I’ll add corrections here. Just post a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!