Topic:   Startups

How to maximize learning from pre-launch customer surveys and interviews

Your job as a wild-eyed entrepreneur with the next big idea is to start validating your idea early and often, long before any code is written or designs are sketched up.

How to identify “ideal” early customers

So you have a solid idea, team, and market analysis under your belt, now it's time to accelerate the validation process. It's time to start selling. At this point you've made some noise with a set of friends that — let's be honest — are mostly there to support you. As long as you don't charge too much (or annoy them too much), they will likely be your customers. But, they are not the early customers that matter.

How to evaluate a market for your potential startup

So you have an idea, and you're in the process of convincing one or more people to co-found your company with you, now what? The next step is for you to do a much deeper evaluation of the market than you have probably done thus far in order to determine whether you should proceed.

How to compose a co-founder team

The number one reason why investors write checks to fund an early-stage startup is because of the team; most specifically, because of the CEO. Your startup will look very different in the not-so-distant future, so the insane people who give you money are really betting on you.

How to generate startup ideas

Ok, so you spend time looking at the green grass and mythical creatures over in startup fairytale land. Awesome. Now what?

How to create, grow, and fund a tech startup: an operational framework

Throughout the course of co-founding, advising, and investing in startups over the past couple of decades, my partners/advisors and I at Prota Ventures have developed the following practical operations framework to help founders through the early stages of startup life.

How to work with a visual designer to efficiently build mockups for your app

Next up in our intro to web and mobile development series, here we'll discuss how to move from wireframes to more detailed images of your user interface (i.e. the “mockups”). This may sound obvious, but the actual creation of mockups should be reserved for the most talented visual designer on your team. If you don't have a legit person for this, recruit one before attempting to move forward here (seriously).

How to build and iterate wireframes for modern app development

Moving forward in our web and mobile development introduction series, here we'll briefly walk through the process of building wireframes based on the UI Spec and UX Flow Chart we put together previously. Wireframe construction usually goes faster if the designer is the one doing the work, but regardless it should be a collaborative process with the entire founding team of your startup.

How to create a user experience flow chart (UX Flow Chart)

Next up in our web and mobile development tutorial series, here we'll examine the process of moving from a User Interface Spec to the construction of a flow chart that describes the detailed user experience (UX) through the app. This is where the engineer(s) and creative(s) must work closely together to decide what kind of software tools can best support the intended interfaces and click/swipe behavior, down to every last tab, tooltip, lightbox, icon, etc…

How to create a user interface specifications document (UI Spec)

Continuing forward in our web and mobile development tutorial series, here we'll take a look at what to do next after you have created an Overview Spec and before you create a UI Flow Chart. Coming up with the UI Spec is an essential step for the product lead (usually the same person as the CEO/project lead in a small startup), as it forces them to visualize a rough draft of the app and put it in writing for the team to kick around.

How to work with a visual designer to quickly produce a logo

Moving forward in our web and mobile development tutorial series, here we'll take a break from writing code and get back to the branding and visual design aspects of our app that we'll be building step-by-step together. Specifically, we'll look at the process of coming up with a suitable logo for launch (i.e. it always changes later, so relax and trust your designer).

Introducing the app we’ll be building publicly step-by-step

At this point in our web and mobile development series I'll introduce you to the specific app we will be building together. We'll follow the steps we mentioned in my previous post “So you have an app idea. Now what?” — which means I'll attempt to actually “walk the walk” and follow my own advice.

So you have an app idea. Now what?

Having already introduced the major software tools we'll be using as we move forward in our web and mobile development series, here we'll pause for a moment to consider the process of what to do, step-by-step, after you get an idea for an “app” (which we'll define generally as user-facing software, knowing the modern context is usually browser-based and native-mobile interfaces).

Introduction to web and mobile development for startup founders

This series of tutorials is a fast-paced, step-by-step, get-to-the-point introduction to building, deploying, and scaling software applications for desktop and mobile devices.