Preface

You are reading the Startup Lore - Deyan's guide to creating successful startups.

Table of Contents:
  1. Introduction to the Startup Lore
  2. Understanding Startups
  3. Building the Startup Organization
  4. Achieving Product/Market Fit
  5. Conclusion

Version 0.3 (alpha, i.e. still needs lots of work). Last update on 7/13/2014.

Summary: The Startup Lore is just a collection of (informed) personal opinions: read critically, challenge assumptions, and feel free to send constructive feedback.

People often ask why I wrote the Startup Lore. So I thought I would get this out of the way first. I have three main goals in writing this text:

I have put a lot of thought and time into writing and organizing the Startup Lore in a way that reflects my entrepreneurial experience and knowledge. Personally, I am very happy with the way it came together and use it on a daily basis. With the Startup Lore, I have developed a much deeper understanding of startups and as a result have become a better entrepreneur. [1]

Nevertheless, at the end of the day this guide is simply a collection of personal opinions. I do not claim it is "the one true answer" or that it is devoid of errors or omissions. That is why I urge everyone to read the Startup Lore with a critical mind, carefully examining arguments, challenging assumptions, and forming their own conclusions. Then, if something makes sense, doesn't make sense, is missing, or is superfluous, let me know. I am always looking for ways to make the Startup Lore better.

Before I continue, I would like to pause and thank the many people without which the Startup Lore would not be possible. I have attempted to make a list below, but I am sure I have missed many, for which I apologize. I am very thankful for the privilege to work with so many outstanding professionals, who have mentored and advised me on numerous occasions as well as helped shape my thinking about entrepreneurship: Andy Rachleff, Bill Barnett, Steve Blank, Eric Ries, Haim Mendelson, Garth Saloner, Eric Schmidt, Peter Wendell, Mark Leslie, Joel Peterson, Irv Grousbeck, Chuck Holloway, John Morgridge, Terry Winograd, David Kelley, Hasso Plattner, Bill Meehan, Jacob Harold, Paul Brest, Iliya Yordanov, Anton Babadjanov, Petar Dobrev, Nikolay Kazmin, Erinn Andrews, Dawn Kwan, Howard Bornstein, Erik Bengtsson, and Chris Herndon.

Time to get down to business - starting with why startups are fundamentally different from companies.

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Notes

[1] I am a strong believer in the importance of balance between practice and theory. Working hard certainly gets stuff done, but unless you work smart you often end up going in the wrong direction. For more on this topic, you can consult Deming's work, which became the basis of lean manufacturing.

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