Step 1: Think up some idea for a feature.
Have your team use this tag cloud to assemble a “feature mash-up” which looks like it could drive value through the startup life cycle. Remember, you’re #1 job is to be featureful, provide a rich user experience and drive value throughout the entire vertical you are about to make-up define.
Think up a name ending in “er”, drop the “e” before the “r”, register the .com domain
Was the domain available?
Yes -> Step 3
No -> PIVOT – register the .io version of the name
Did it work?
Yes -> Step 3
No -> PIVOT – think up a different name ending in .ly and register that instead.
Secure your seed round funding.
Did it work?
Yes -> Step 4
No -> PIVOT – reverse the order of the words in your feature mash-up from step 1, if you registered an .io domain, switch to a .ly, if you registered a .ly domain, switch to the .io. Book a Facebook campaign along the lines that “odious.ly is now odi.io” (or vice versa), repeat Step 3
Put up a launchrock page, declare yourself to be in stealth mode and allocate 50% of seed round funding to promote Facebook posts and marketing to garner awareness of your launchrock page.
Hire a growth hacker to get you written up in techcrunch.
Secure your Series B funding.
Use funding on bigger office and hire 1 “rock star” developer away from Google, 1 “support ninja” away from anybody with a product pipeline and get either Guy Kawasaki or Kevin Rose to sit on your Board.
Now the real work begins…
Put a full wall size white board up in the new office – on the extreme right side of the Board write PRODUCT LAUNCH! LOOKOUT WORLD and draw a party hat. About 1/3 of the way in from the left side of the Board write “Completed Product Spec”. Fill the distance between “Completed Product Spec” and “LAUNCH!” with 5 or 6 evenly spaced lines, and write “Milestone #1” through “Milestone X” over each line.
Declare an “open collaborative process” on finalizing your killer app. Invite the entire team to brainstorm the core MVP. High tech: get a Basecamp account. Bootstrapping? A jar with a pad of paper (a.k.a suggestion box) near the Ascaso machine will do.
The MVP product spec should have magically materialized. Task your rockstar from step 7 to code it in time for SXSW.
Series C funding round. Anything not pocketed by founders in a partial-exit should be used to hire an in-house sous-chef, create a farm-to-table organic lunch program and the rest to keep the lights on until LAUNCH DATE!.
If you aren’t being actively scouted for Series C funding or acquisition something is wrong – have a team meeting around a possible PIVOT.
It’s time to come out of stealth mode. Put up a bare-bones ajax website coded in either twitter bootstrap or node.js, put a menu across the top with the following items:
Home | About us | What We Do | The Team | Our Investors | Contact Us | Join Our Mailing List
Blast your launch rock list that your website is now open and provide easy methods for them to share the news among their friends and contacts.
If your CEO hasn’t done a Tedx talk on the economic ephemerals of an emergent collaborative digital ecosystem, something is wrong. Could be time to import a rockstar co-CEO. Reach out to any mid-level Yahoo execs who have ever viewed your profile on LinkedIn.
Has LAUNCH DATE passed?
Yes -> form an exploratory committee to sell the company.
No -> form an exploratory committee to sell the company.
Exit! Acqui-hire your entire team and IP to (pick one) Yahoo, Facebook, or the other company in your space whose domain ends in .ly (or if you’re the one with .ly, sell to the one that ends in .io)
Become entrepreneur-in-residence at the lead VC from Funding Round C.
Rinse, lather, repeat.