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Five Stages of Startup: Level 2 -- Start
Risk, Creativity, Logistics, Planning, Execution
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The five stages of startup I'm discussing are not THE five stages of startup. They're just landmarks, broken down and generalized into something that we can all hopefully use as a guide, not gospel.

Last time, I defined and discussed the first level of what's basically a generalized startup timeline. Level 1: The Jump, covers the period of time before the thing is actually a thing -- when it's just a great idea that will become a great product that can be sold to a market by a company.

And, of course, the moment when the entrepreneur has decided that they're all in on starting that company.

Read Level 1: The Jump if you haven't.

Now let's start making stuff.

Level 2: Start

Level 2 begins at that all-important point when the company is real and you arrive for your first day of work. Oh yeah, congratulations on the new job. Celebrate, but then get to work. This is where you make your new job into a real job.

Start is entirely about creating both the product and the company - they will work together as one symbiotic machine that, ultimately, will solve a big problem for your market. The company and product are usually indistinguishable, and the founders are tasked with getting both off the ground at the same time.

This is also the level that everyone associates with the Hollywood version of startup. This is the daring young genius tucked into a dorm room under a hoodie level. This is the Mark Zuckerberg wanna-be level. The Shark Tank level.

Don't fall for any of that, because despite everything you've learned from television and the movies, this is the level at which you will most likely fail.

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Why Do We Make Startup So Damn Boring?
The Show - Episode 1.3
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That time we talked about sucking all the fun out of startup, keeping people out of the club, and Joe's cut-rate accelerator idea.

Startup can be like a club where the people who are behind the velvet rope keep talking about how much it sucks in order to keep people from wanting to get in. It shouldn't be like that. We should keep preaching about how awesome being an entrepreneur is.

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THE SHOW: Why Startup is Like Being an NFL Quarterback
Episode 3.1 featuring 49ers QB Thad Lewis
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This episode features a very special guest and extremely cool human being: San Francisco 49er quarterback and entrepreneur Thad Lewis. Aside from being a working NFL QB, Thad founded TL9 for his future after football and as a way to give back to the system that got him where he is. He's not alone as an athlete entrepreneur, and that's because there are a ridiculous number of parallels between sports and startup. We start covering them here.

Thad is funding TL9 himself. He's also overseeing all production, marketing the company -- hell, he's even shipping hats himself at the moment. You need to go to thadlewis.com and buy a hat, if just because Thad will be the one sending it to you.

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How to Start a Company Outside of Silicon Valley
The Startup Show - Episode 6.4
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In Episode 6.4 of The Startup Show, Joe Procopio (Automated Insights, ExitEvent), Jon Colgan (Veeto, Cellbreaker), and Andy Roth (RocketBolt) are kind of done with all the thinkpieces coming down from on high that plead with every startup ecosystem that isn't Silicon Valley to stop trying to be like Silicon Valley. Trust us. We're not. But we do need to focus on all the ways in which we're different and how to play to our strengths.

Look. We get it. West coast investors don't invest in places outside of Silicon Valley because there's so much money and opportunity falling out of pockets on Sand Hill Road. See Episode 5.1: Why West Coast VCs Won't Fund Your Business.

The thing about startup is that it doesn't work well unless there's a community built around it. Techstars' Brad Feld likes to say that building a startup community is a 20-year proposition that needs to be led by the entrepreneurs.

But can that 20-year window shortened if we start leaning on technology, like video conferencing, teleworking, and freelance marketplaces? Shouldn't we be able to connect and bring the physical hubs closer together with digital hubs (like with, say, Teaching Startup)?

It depends.

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Why West Coast VCs Won't Fund Your Business
The Startup Show - Episode 5.1
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In Episode 5.1 of The Startup Show, entrepreneurs Joe Procopio (Automated Insights, ExitEvent, Intrepid Media), Jon Colgan (Veeto, Cellbreaker), and Andy Roth (RocketBolt) talk about everything from beer to religion to creative writing to west coast venture capitalists and how they can influence and impact local economies.

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VIDEO: How To Get Noticed
Teaching Startup: The Show - Episode 2.3
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Getting noticed in startup is all about building relationships -- with your investors, with your customers, and with your potential investors and customers. Cultivating these relationships is one of the most important jobs for every founder, and it's a shame that a lot of entrepreneurs don't do it right.

WedPics co-founder Justin Miller is an entrepreneur you should try to be like, and not just because Jon Colgan and everyone he's ever met has said so. In this episode, Justin details how he establishes and maintains those relationships, and why they're so important. Getting noticed is about the long game, the slow burn, and there's rarely such a thing as overnight success.

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Five Stages of Startup

Five Roles of Startup

Five Kinds of Startup

Five Funding Sources

Five Reasons for Startup