December 16, 2011

10 Pre-requisites For Your Social Startup

Starting up in the social space? Chew on these!

1. The Team

The team should ultimately comprise: a rock star business entrepreneur, a code poet a.k.a. engineer, and a whiz designer. This is not a perfect quantity or formula, but it’s likely to get you off the ground, on the right foot.

2. The Idea

You can try and invent the future or create the impossible, but your best bet is to take what exists and make it smarter, more efficient, and more elegant. One recent example of this elegance is Flipboard. RSS dates back to 1995 and there are dozens of RSS readers. Flipboard has revamped the RSS feeds into a stunning digital and social user experience.

3. Product Humanization

I touched on product humanization last week. Social technology should be developed to simulate and improve the many layers of human social behavior. I once heard from an entrepreneur that the ideation process should be based on your personal life experiences. Identify what would make your life easier, more efficient, and more connected – then build that into a product.

4. Market Analysis

Study the attractiveness and the dynamics of the market you wish to enter. Through thorough analysis, the chances, opportunities, strengths, weaknesses and risks of the idea can be identified. Don’t be afraid to move forward if your concept exists already. Often startups that are moving out of beta and mimic your concept only prove the market opportunity.

5. Product Roadmap

The roadmap proves your entrepreneurial DNA and vision, so investors will really want to see this one. Identify potential revenue streams that will ensure success.

6. Business Plan

This one is not necessarily for the investor pitch, rather for the founding team. You need at the very minimum to identify: budget, projections and capital structure.

7. Network

It’s not who you know. It’s who knows you. Get to know iPhone and Android engineers in your community and perhaps more so, investors. These people are the rocket fuel for your product.

8. Fund Raising Strategy

Devise this! How much will you need to develop, test, and launch? And how will you fundraise? Options include: family members, private investors, incubator programs and venture capitalists. Your strategy could consist of one or more with injections at different time periods.

Be sure to check out @undrip 's recent fundraising strategy - it worked too!

9. Marketing Strategy

Once you launch – how will people find out about the product? Know your target audience and have well oiled strategies in place to initiate, maintain and measure ROI.

10. Have Fun

Do what you love and success will follow!

Michoel - @Twabbi

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