We did it! CarProfilez has graduated from the Founders Institute Sydney. Was it hard? Yep! Was it challenging? Yep! But it was exactly where I wanted to be. Adeo Ressi and the team behind Founders have managed to recreate the fast paced, highly engaged mode of working in a startup. For those that are thinking of quitting their steady jobs and pursuing their ideas, this is a good way to test the waters
I have written a few tips which I found to be helpful.
Know what you are passionate about
In the first weeks you will be generating ideas and testing their viability in the market. A startup is after all, an entity in search of a business model and you will probably be making lots of pivots on your journey. However the course moves really fast and you risk falling behind if you change your idea one too many times. Knowing your passion makes it easy to find something workable within the same idea space.
Make it Real
From building launch pages to setting up twitter accounts. The program has assignments where you will actually be bulding your company week after week. By mid point you will have an incorporated company. So don’t just do the assignments to pass. Treat these exercises seriously and it’s like hitching your startup to a rocketship.
For me personally, this was the best aspect of the program. Getting to meet the mentors, who are all successful entrepreneurs. getting to know how they think and just being able to chat with them over a Beer or two.
The key to change is to firstly change the way you think, and being around these guys is the best way to do that.
Being in a team of up and coming entrepreneurs, Working with people who are driven and passionate really drives you to want to succeed. I’ve made good friends over the last 3 months and I am just as amped about their businesses and will be rooting for them when they launch.
Read the supplementary material
Startup owners manual
Lean startup machine
There’s also a wealth of online video from other alumnis available in the course.
Flying every week takes up some valuable time when you are working on a startup. This is how I maximised the down time while flying.
Emails – Boarding planes is possibly the worst waste of time ever. I pull out my iPhone to catch up on emails.
Take off & Landing
Idea Generation – No electronic devices are allowed. So pull out the Moleskine and start scribbling.
I am really digging Udemy. I downloaded the app to get additional material for the Founders course. But have since downloaded a lectures on gamification, startup funding and more.
Evernote. This is where everything goes.
I have found Instapaper to work really well. Offline cache webpages for reading on the plane.
Don’t check your luggage in. Waiting for cargo sucks time.
Flying to Sydney over the last 3 months for the Founder Institute course, I have been lucky enough to be able to crash at my cousin’s place. I have also been basing myself at the Metro at Central.
It’s my make shift office and where I get work done when I am in Sydney. Nice desk and chair (I am surprised how many hotels don’t have a workable desk), clean environment, quick access to good food, and one of the closest stations to the airport line (saves you 15 mins). Only gripe – the wi-fi si pretty unreliable.
Today, CarProfilez scored a free upgrade to a suite.
A big part of the Founder Institute program is pitching. To be able to tell people about your product in 1 min, 3 min, bar time formats. Gotta say that this does not come natural to me. I have always found it easier to visualise the end product via a video or prototype. But to go outside your comfort zone is one of the main reasons you take the entrepreneurial path, and what I have learnt so far has been really useful.
Here’s a video MVP for AutoProfilez.com I made when I first thought up the idea.
Supercars PRO is on the app store! This is a pretty big step for me. It’s the first IOS app for me and everything on this project just seemed to flow nicely. Worked with a great team, got the project done on schedule, and had a super time learning the ins and outs of app development. This is the way work should feel.. totally engaged.
Having been a coder for almost a decade.. Is it strange that I just don’t get into the technicalities of it much. I know people who go crazy about the next version of SQL server and the power of the .NET platform , and that’s just not me. Like my Macbook, I just want all that stuff to work.
For a while. I almost thought I was on the wrong path. But how times have changed, and at such speed.
Introducing Parse.com – your cloud based back end. What does it mean? It means we can finally ditch SQL, setting up servers and all that stuff. Why? Smarter people have done it for you. All you have to do is hook into their service. It’s like the shackles have been taken off for the first time. You are free at last to create something at the speed of your own thought.