A co-entrepreneurial checklist

2009DEC071313

I’m going to try some co-entrepreneurship tomorrow. So I thought I’d go over a checklist of things I’ll be asking myself. Why the need for a checklist? Curiosity for one. I want to know where this particular Startup is at the moment. I haven’t talked to Steve why he’s working on his idea. I need to know, quickly where he is coming from. I need to work out where the idea is going before I can help.

  • Show don’t tell

    I don’t just want to hear someone talk about their idea, I want to see it in action. Hearing something from a founder succinctly tells me they have thought about the idea and can explain it. Showing me tells me they have built a demo or product that they can unleash. The later is important because everything till this point is rehearsal for the real thing.

    • Give me a 10 second pitch?

    • Give me a demo?

  • Make something people want?

    If you are making something is what your users want? Will they pay for it? The difficult bit is adjusting your idea to what users are telling you, then find ways to charge.

    • Are you making something people want?

      • Are they willing to pay for it?

      • How did you decide on pricing?

    • What problem are you trying to solve

    • Who are you making this product for?

      • Is there a real need or are you trying to change attitudes?
    • Are you selling to a growing market?

  • Change & acceleration

    What does the communication & feedback loop look like? Most initial ideas are broken. One way to build a product is to release, then quickly make changes by listening to users. Is this happening? How can the rate of change be increased to improve the product.

    • What type of company are you building?

    • How do you communicate to your users?

    • What’s the last unit of hacking or changes you made to the code-base or idea?

    • What is holding development back?

  • Growth

    If you are making changes how are you measuring the growth? Users are what you need but it’s more subtle than that. You have to encourage users to come back to use your product.

    • Are your users increasing?

    • Are you making the necessary changes to increase users?

    • What is the churn rate?

  • Profitable?

    Ramen profitability means you are covering basic costs and not much else. It also means you don’t have to take money from other sources.

    • Are you “ramen profitable” yet?

    • have you made any sales?

    • how did you determine price?

The list is a bit rough. But forcing myself to ask these questions gives me a baseline of what needs to be done and where to start. It should take no longer than 5-10 minutes. While I was having some “big trouble in little China” in Box Hill I drove over to Doncaster to take a shot of the building the first Startup company I worked in. This was the second move. The first location was above a hairdresser.

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    • 240Km in 25 days #

    • stacks of ppl out tonite, had a pacer in front tonight, burned them off in the last 2Km, bit sore but happy ~ 1360/1600 #pt 1kg #wt 20 x #ex

    • @stokely if u “meet lots of people” be aware of the downsides to freedom of choice #ted #barryshwartz #pardox #choice ~ http://is.gd/5eBxM

    • @stevehopkins some questions I’ll be asking tomorrow ~ http://bootload.posterous.com/a-co-entrepreneurial-checklist #

    • @davewiner do the libraries you have, allow conversion to unix timestamp for comparison? #

    • ♬ Tried to save the trees / Bought a plastic bag / The bottom fell out / It was a piece of crap ♬ #

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    • parity ~ 250Km in 25 days #

    • pt1 1350/1600 #pt 1kg #wt 20 x #ex #

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    • @beatonna Osamu Tezuka 手塚 治虫 an illustrator all should know about ~ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osamu_Tezuka & http://tezukainenglish.com #

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  • created 2009DEC07

Peter Renshaw Copyright 1994 – 2009 for all text and images using the Creative Commons ‘Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Australia’ License.

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