Hello World!

Day 1! Last week, as a preview, we wrote a bit about how we prepared this site (you can read the entries at Day -1 and Day 0) and now it’s time to finally get started. The first important part is the idea of what to build, so today we’ll post some of our ideas about.. ideation.

As a quick intro though, I thought I’d also quickly mention all the stuff we’re not going to worry about. Although it might seem obvious, I think it’s good to mention because I often read people worry about all kinds of aspects before starting their first business, which once you’ve actually built something you know just don’t matter. The beginning is a very fun/creative process, but it’s just too easy to come up with reasons why something wouldn’t work and then not get started:

  • Lack of “business experience”. You don’t need a fancy company structure (nobody succeeded by having more companies than customers), you don’t need to write BusinessPlanLastVersion3.docx, know what SWOT means or start by printing business cards. That’s just how it works in movies (and in school textbooks maybe). All the stuff which actually matters you can learn on the fly.
  • I don’t have “a network”. Neither do we, and it’s very very rare to have people actually care about what you’re doing right from the start anyway. Chances are nobody will read these initial posts, or not until we’re much further in the process. You can only get the ball running by putting things out there, so just start.
  • There’s not enough new things left to interest people. That’s why it’s so great to launch online businesses today. If this is a worry then people vastly underestimate how big “the internet” actually is. Even a tiny niche idea in the context of billions of people will get you some initial fans.
  • “That’s not how things are done”. When we bootstrapped our first web business, I think quite some people we knew just assumed it wouldn’t really work out, because it was different from all the examples they had seen and were told about as things proven to be “possible in life”. If everything worked like this, nothing new would ever be tried. As long as you don’t break any laws of physics, no reason not to try it because you assume it’s impossible.
  • What if it’s bad and fails? Only way to improve is to start. We have plenty of experience with code and business aspects of online startups, but there’s always new developments and many things we haven’t tried. The idea for 80daystartup is going to involve lots of writing, maybe things like podcasts, who knows what else. All of which I have little to no experience with, so it’s very likely I’ll be very embarrassed looking at all the writing a year from now. Which is great, that means progress!

Anyway, enough with the worries ;). Next step, ideas!

You can follow us on Twitter @jdvhouten and @wcools and look for #80daystartup

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