Startup Thinking

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: Startup thinking emphasizes (1) hypothesis-driven, data-heavy iterative learning; (2) customer focus; (3) speed and agility; (4) 80/20 tradeoffs; (5) scrappiness.

Achieving product/market fit is the ultimate goal of all new ventures. Accomplishing that goal requires a unique mentality, which reflects the defining features of startups. That mentality is what I call startup thinking. [1]

Startup thinking is made up of 5 key principles:

Next, I explore technology adoption, which is a particularly important topic to know a bit about as you search for product/market fit.

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[1] I have borrowed the "thinking" terminology from design thinking, which was introduced to me by Terry Winograd, Hasso Plattner, and David Kelley. Design thinking emphasizes that anyone can be creative, if they adopt the right mindset and manage the design process carefully. I would similarly argue that anyone can be entrepreneurial and the Startup Lore is an attempt to demystify the startup process and outline the entrepreneurial mindset that ultimately leads to successful new ventures.

Interestingly, startup thinking is in a way the unique marriage of design and analytical thinking - because entrepreneurs need to be very resourceful and creative to come up with attractive alternatives, and then they need to be very analytical and disciplined in order to make the right decisions.

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