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How to Build a Startup?

So I’ve been asked to do a talk about How to Build a Startup. Since it can’t be covered in 1 talk. I figured to collect keywords and topics which any one starting up (especially in software startups – web and mobile) should know or be expert in within first 2 years of operations. If someone is really serious about starting up, they should research as much of the below before starting, the rest they will learn as they go.

Just Google [startup + any keyword below] to learn more about it.

My favorite startup references at the bottom too…

Startup Jargon You Must Know if You Run a Startup

1 – Ownership: co-founder vs employee (understand differences in risk level). shares .equity. vesting.
2 – Understand Stages: Idea. Seed. Early. Late/Growth.
3 – Understand Product Management. Prioritization / Focus. Minimal viable product (MVP), Time-to-market, Customer Validation, Product/Market fit, Pivot. Launch. Iterate. Agile. Lean. Design. UI/UX – User Experience. Pricing (subscription, commission, etc..) Freemium vs Premium.
4 – Understand your Category/Type/Business model: Web. Mobile. Desktop. B2B. B2C. Hardware. e-commerce, Marketplace, SaaS. Content/ads. IoT, Big Data, Mobile App, Wearables,
5 – Understand Fundraising. Pick the right Investors. 3F (friends, family, and fools), Angel Investors. Incubators and Accelerators (YC, 500Startups, Flat6labs, etc… ). AngelList. Seed fund. VCs. Series A round. Bootstrapping. Burn rate and Runway. Monetize. Pitch deck. Pitching. Valuation. Term sheet. Silicon Valley. Exit. Acquisition.
6 – Know Your Metrics and KPIs. Revenue. Growth. Traction. Conversion, Retention (DAU. MAU), User Analytics (e.g. using Google Analytics), Funnels. CAC. LTV. ARPU. Churn.
7 – Understand your Market and Marketing Techniques. Market Size. User segmentation and targeting. Acquisition Channels. Paid vs Organic. Inbound marketing. SEO. Ads. Social media. Email. Videos. Growth hacking.
8 – Know Your Ecosystem. Support organizations (MIT Startup Competition, ArabNet, Wamda, etc). Mentors. Advisors. Other founders and startups. Networking. Events (e.g. RiseUp).
9 – Learn how to Build a Company (Management and Business functions) : learn those with time as you go. Business Planning, Recruiting, Product Management. Customer Service. Culture. Cash Management. Marketing. Sales. Operations. Finance. HR. Organization Development.

Yes, you need to learn all this + be very LUCKY to have a chance of growing a successful startup. It’s that HARD.

Here are my favorite books to read on startups and business:
1 – Founders at Work – (for inspiration)
2 – Good to Great – (for focus, management, and strategy)
3 – The Lean Startup – (for MVP, product, customer feedback)

Also for those really serious. Watch How to start a startup (20 videos) – Y Combinator
http://startupclass.samaltman.com/

For those in Egypt, learn more about the local ecosystem in my presentation from Dec 2015: Egypt Startup Ecosystem

Egypt Startups Ecosystem 101 – Country Overview Dec 2015 from Ameer Sherif

https://www.facebook.com/ameer.sherif/posts/10157376396900447