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indyanguy
08-26-2009, 03:25 PM
I've always had the urge and acumen to start something on my own, but have been lost when it comes to putting the plan into action. Just like most of us here, I come from a software background. I would like to use my free time (after work and weekends) to work on a software product. I strongly believe I have the discipline to see it from start to finish. But, I am confused when it comes to how to go about choosing an idea and being around people with the same mindset.

Based on my research, ideas are:
1. either born out of necessity or
2. born out of brainstorming with like minded people.

Since my job pretty much involves software development, I neither meet like minded people nor can I identify a need in my day to day work that I can pursue seriously. I spent several months looking out for associations or people that are like minded. I tried the TiE and several other similar orgs without much help. I subscribed to the IV entreprenuer group which has been quiet lately. I read start up related articles and books but I still don't understand the direction I have to take.

When I talk to my friends back in India, I get a feeling there are more groups and organizations catering to wannabe tech entreprenuers. They say I should strongly consider looking outside US (also it makes sense when it comes to visa situation - I am EB3-I)

My interest is in creating software that can be provided as a service (SaaS) for small and midsize businesses. I would like to go with a more calculative approach of having something in place before considering quitting my day job (gotto pay the bills). But does it really work this way or should i simply take the plunge (which opens up a different can of worms related to the visa(? Will joining a MBA provide any leverage? Will consulting provide opportunities to identify areas that have a potential?

So, my question for all of you living my dream is how did you go about getting started?

gcblues74
08-26-2009, 03:46 PM
just sent a private msg.

sanju_dba
08-26-2009, 04:10 PM
please share your roadmap when done!

magnolia8575
08-26-2009, 04:19 PM
Getting Real (http://gettingreal.37signals.com/toc.php)

This could be a good read for you.

indyanguy
08-26-2009, 04:32 PM
Getting Real (http://gettingreal.37signals.com/toc.php)

This could be a good read for you.

Yes! I have been eyeing that book for a while. Recently, I completed reading the MicroISV book (http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/Micro-ISV.html) by Joel Spolsky. Very informative. Lots of useful info. Most of the books have a wealth of info related to running startups along with motivated articles from business owners. Books can only help so much. Really need to network and get down and dirty :)

rkg000
08-26-2009, 04:33 PM
I've always had the urge and acumen to start something on my own, but have been lost when it comes to putting the plan into action. Just like most of us here, I come from a software background. I would like to use my free time (after work and weekends) to work on a software product. I strongly believe I have the discipline to see it from start to finish. But, I am confused when it comes to how to go about choosing an idea and being around people with the same mindset.

Based on my research, ideas are:
1. either born out of necessity or
2. born out of brainstorming with like minded people.

Since my job pretty much involves software development, I neither meet like minded people nor can I identify a need in my day to day work that I can pursue seriously. I spent several months looking out for associations or people that are like minded. I tried the TiE and several other similar orgs without much help. I subscribed to the IV entreprenuer group which has been quiet lately. I read start up related articles and books but I still don't understand the direction I have to take.

When I talk to my friends back in India, I get a feeling there are more groups and organizations catering to wannabe tech entreprenuers. They say I should strongly consider looking outside US (also it makes sense when it comes to visa situation - I am EB3-I)

My interest is in creating software that can be provided as a service (SaaS) for small and midsize businesses. I would like to go with a more calculative approach of having something in place before considering quitting my day job (gotto pay the bills). But does it really work this way or should i simply take the plunge (which opens up a different can of worms related to the visa(? Will joining a MBA provide any leverage? Will consulting provide opportunities to identify areas that have a potential?

So, my question for all of you living my dream is how did you go about getting started?

You are halfway there in that you asked the right questions. And honestly I think you'll be there all the way when you figure out the answers on your own. Necessity is the mother of all inventions.

indyanguy
08-26-2009, 04:35 PM
please share your roadmap when done!

Sure will. I really hope that this thread will eventually have enough useful information that will help most of the users loitering around the business forum of this website :)

magnolia8575
08-26-2009, 04:37 PM
If you have a good idea. just get started .. Thanks to cloud computing (Amazon ec2 , Google appengine )etc. the capital investment required to startup something is almost zero.
And keep mind that the enthusiasm/excitement is perishable, it wont be there for ever. So do something when you are most excited about what you going to do.

indyanguy
08-26-2009, 05:00 PM
If you have a good idea. just get started .. Thanks to cloud computing (Amazon ec2 , Google appengine )etc. the capital investment required to startup something is almost zero.
And keep mind that the enthusiasm/excitement is perishable, it wont be there for ever. So do something when you are most excited about what you going to do.

Thanks for the response. I do have a few ideas. I don't know if they are good or not. They are not niche (ie., they solve a problem that is already being solved by a few others). The plan is to create a pool of ideas, evaluate one at a time for feasibility in terms of market research, technology, time and effort involved. The thinking is that if I am not able to get a few like minded people excited about the idea, it might not be worthwhile to go ahead with it. So, how would I have a large number of ideas to pick from? Goes back to my original question :(

newbie2020
08-26-2009, 05:12 PM
I would love to be involved in a like minded group like this Send me a pm with your contact info so we can talk sometimes.

ivjobs
08-26-2009, 05:17 PM
I took the plunge and just a month ago partnered with a friend who is a citizen and formed a C- corp. Though formally I didn't have the company earlier, I was running this business from India. Just to take out the curiosity, the business is into web hosting and Live Chat Services ( www.BharatHosting.com (http://www.BharatHosting.com) ). By the way if any of you folks have advanced web hosting needs do let me know ( a marketing pitch ;-) ) I can help you. Dont worry am not going to charge like those folks out there in the US Market.

indyanguy
08-26-2009, 05:28 PM
I took the plunge and just a month ago partnered with a friend who is a citizen and formed a C- corp. Though formally I didn't have the company earlier, I was running this business from India. Just to take out the curiosity, the business is into web hosting and Live Chat Services ( www.BharatHosting.com (http://www.BharatHosting.com) ). By the way if any of you folks have advanced web hosting needs do let me know ( a marketing pitch ;-) ) I can help you. Dont worry am not going to charge like those folks out there in the US Market.

Very nice! Congratulations. Hope it's going good for you. Do you mind telling us why you chose to go with the hosting business to start with? Are you currently in India or US? Are you full time into running the business or you have a day job?

Also, sent you a PM

psaxena
08-26-2009, 05:50 PM
I must say this is exactly how the startups with a product start.. Thinking.. quite an important thing. But apart from that there a lot of things that one should keep in mind before starting. I with 2 other friend are working on a product development over an year now.. all three of us have a fulltime job, so the development is kinda slow. But the discipline and being focussed is the key.

I got a lot of ideas few never took off, few took off and crashed. The only thing I learnt from my failure is my approach was not consistent, and driven more by excitement rather than a calculative decision. Here are few things that I learnt from my mistake and can share with you :
1. When you get an idea don't just jump on it to work, just keep doing the brainstorming.
2. Do the market research and find out what kind of territory are you going to step in , who are competitors and predators.
3. Follow the product development methodolgy like RUP or something but be consistent about it.. noone will be your boss so you have be yours and that too an strict one.
4. Market penetration strategy.
5. Also do not make heavy foot prints before you reach the point of no return.. otherwise those footprints will keep coming back to haunt you like ( many before starting the work just registers the company and forget the fact that now they are liable to pay taxes for it and manage the paperwork)
6. Before you actually start the development think it through end to end and identify the risk areas and mitigate the risk before the starting investing time in actual developement. The risk which you cannot handle at this time , keep plan A , B and C or more.
7. Create a mini schedule and stick to it.

One most important thing, if you cannot do a dry run of the whole plan with sample figures end to end, then I would suggest its not the right time for being an entrpreneur, you may need more time and experience to understand all this. Software and the product plays just the 1/3 role in building and starting a company and rest are other business related understanding and experience which is required to make it a success.


All the best. Let me know if you need any help.


I've always had the urge and acumen to start something on my own, but have been lost when it comes to putting the plan into action. Just like most of us here, I come from a software background. I would like to use my free time (after work and weekends) to work on a software product. I strongly believe I have the discipline to see it from start to finish. But, I am confused when it comes to how to go about choosing an idea and being around people with the same mindset.

Based on my research, ideas are:
1. either born out of necessity or
2. born out of brainstorming with like minded people.

Since my job pretty much involves software development, I neither meet like minded people nor can I identify a need in my day to day work that I can pursue seriously. I spent several months looking out for associations or people that are like minded. I tried the TiE and several other similar orgs without much help. I subscribed to the IV entreprenuer group which has been quiet lately. I read start up related articles and books but I still don't understand the direction I have to take.

When I talk to my friends back in India, I get a feeling there are more groups and organizations catering to wannabe tech entreprenuers. They say I should strongly consider looking outside US (also it makes sense when it comes to visa situation - I am EB3-I)

My interest is in creating software that can be provided as a service (SaaS) for small and midsize businesses. I would like to go with a more calculative approach of having something in place before considering quitting my day job (gotto pay the bills). But does it really work this way or should i simply take the plunge (which opens up a different can of worms related to the visa(? Will joining a MBA provide any leverage? Will consulting provide opportunities to identify areas that have a potential?

So, my question for all of you living my dream is how did you go about getting started?

indyanguy
08-26-2009, 06:10 PM
All the best. Let me know if you need any help.

Sure, I can use all the help I can get :D

A few questions:
1. The friends who are helping you with the development - how did you meet them? are they your colleagues from your FT job, are they someone you met in groups/organizations or are they your childhood buddies?
2. You mentioned that some of the ideas took off and crashed. By this, do you mean that you had a finished product but had no VCs or customers?
3. The idea that you are working on currently - on what basis did you choose to go with it. How did it originate and how did you conclude "this is the one"?
4. Mind sharing in what area your idea is focussed on (don't want specifics - just a broad general explanation will do)

Thank you!

kevinkris
08-26-2009, 06:17 PM
Online Community for Small Business & Entrepreneurs - PartnerUp Community (http://www.partnerup.com/)

Good Luck.

I've always had the urge and acumen to start something on my own, but have been lost when it comes to putting the plan into action. Just like most of us here, I come from a software background. I would like to use my free time (after work and weekends) to work on a software product. I strongly believe I have the discipline to see it from start to finish. But, I am confused when it comes to how to go about choosing an idea and being around people with the same mindset.

Based on my research, ideas are:
1. either born out of necessity or
2. born out of brainstorming with like minded people.

Since my job pretty much involves software development, I neither meet like minded people nor can I identify a need in my day to day work that I can pursue seriously. I spent several months looking out for associations or people that are like minded. I tried the TiE and several other similar orgs without much help. I subscribed to the IV entreprenuer group which has been quiet lately. I read start up related articles and books but I still don't understand the direction I have to take.

When I talk to my friends back in India, I get a feeling there are more groups and organizations catering to wannabe tech entreprenuers. They say I should strongly consider looking outside US (also it makes sense when it comes to visa situation - I am EB3-I)

My interest is in creating software that can be provided as a service (SaaS) for small and midsize businesses. I would like to go with a more calculative approach of having something in place before considering quitting my day job (gotto pay the bills). But does it really work this way or should i simply take the plunge (which opens up a different can of worms related to the visa(? Will joining a MBA provide any leverage? Will consulting provide opportunities to identify areas that have a potential?

So, my question for all of you living my dream is how did you go about getting started?

yetanotherguyinline
08-26-2009, 06:39 PM
Some excellent points in this thread. indyanguy, I can help you with contacts if you are looking for like minded people to start something.

About me - have prior experience (aka burned my hands) and currently pursuing MBA at Berkeley.

vikki76
08-26-2009, 07:01 PM
Having some experience in the past making business plans, I can suggest to research following things before you take the plunge
1- What is unmet need of customer? customer pain points?What it will take to switch to your product/service
2- What makes your product/service unique?
3- What is barrier to entry? Why will big guns won't jump in? Competitors
4- Target market size in terms of $'.? Market growth $ or users terms?
4.1- Entering new market/ resegmeting existing market?
5- Customer acquistion cost? Means to reach target customers
6-Any primary or secondary market research to back up your 1st point (unmet need of customer)


PM me and I can help you build your idea further.

psaxena
08-26-2009, 08:53 PM
I met one of the guys during my consulting assignment , he was the director for his vendor company and I was lead of mine , and work together on a project and I was the mentor for IIIrd member on one of the project. So my Ist partner called me up and asked if I would be interested in working on the concept that he had.

Normally lot of people come to me with different ideas and ask to partner with them to work (most of them wants to save the development and execution cost by partnering becuase if the concept fails they don't have to give anything )and I do my due diligence to see how good the product is and if there is advantage of getting associated with it. So when my friend came up with this product, analyzing the business value and the benefit that this product may offer to the client, figured out that this is a product worth putting the effort in. So called up my third friend, very sharp but a little less experienced to work on it and thats how it started.

The different aspects that needs to be taken into consideration while choosing a product for the dvelopment.
1. ROR (Rate of Return)
2. Break even Analysis w.r.t NPV
3 Risk and Assumptions.
4 Niche factor ( If this is not their don't even think of it)
5. Initial Market penetration strategy ( This is the key, if the initial market penetration cost and effort is too high) don't go for it unless you are doing that task full time

These factors can easily tell you if the product concept is good or bad.

When I said a few idea never took off, means those ideas failed at either one of the five points so never been worked on. May be in future I may try working on them. and the few which took of and crashed, were the ones slipped thru these 5 points and made it to the development and launching but running them was damn difficult ( though never been in a loss but had to close them off as those started eating my time and brain and NPV of my time was much higher than putting it into those concept to run.

I cannot tell the whole concept of the product , I am currently working on 2 product development, I can tell for one and not the other one.

So the product idea is to have a web affiliation hub for ****** businesses and providing the search engines the wrapped up tags so the spider can rank them on the top and based on the monetization of the domain folio for the clients the commission will be taken up.
There are businesses who have the domain folio of a millions but without monetization its nothing, putting thru our system(which is under process) the folio can be ranked up to funnel generating tons of money, and clients can pay the percentage everyday based on the days domain portfolio.

This is the most I can explain about my product , but its very very very deep, took over 2 months derive the concept.



Sure, I can use all the help I can get :D

A few questions:
1. The friends who are helping you with the development - how did you meet them? are they your colleagues from your FT job, are they someone you met in groups/organizations or are they your childhood buddies?
2. You mentioned that some of the ideas took off and crashed. By this, do you mean that you had a finished product but had no VCs or customers?
3. The idea that you are working on currently - on what basis did you choose to go with it. How did it originate and how did you conclude "this is the one"?
4. Mind sharing in what area your idea is focussed on (don't want specifics - just a broad general explanation will do)

Thank you!

indyanguy
08-30-2009, 08:01 PM
Having some experience in the past making business plans, I can suggest to research following things before you take the plunge
1- What is unmet need of customer? customer pain points?What it will take to switch to your product/service
2- What makes your product/service unique?
3- What is barrier to entry? Why will big guns won't jump in? Competitors
4- Target market size in terms of $'.? Market growth $ or users terms?
4.1- Entering new market/ resegmeting existing market?
5- Customer acquistion cost? Means to reach target customers
6-Any primary or secondary market research to back up your 1st point (unmet need of customer)


PM me and I can help you build your idea further.

Thanks for your comments. I do understand that the points your listed are valid in situations where you have a lot of resources at your disposal. For companies that start off with 1 or 2 individuals working part time along with thier FT jobs, would it be possible to practically do the kind of research that is required?

indyanguy
08-30-2009, 08:07 PM
I met one of the guys during my consulting assignment , he was the director for ...

I worked on one of the projects for 1 year before I burnt my fingers. I have a followup quesiton in this regard:
1. Do you have a written agreement with the people you are working with or is it a verbal one?
2. Does signing a NDA or a NonCompete with your FT job hinder you working on your projects in any way?

yetanotherguyinline
08-31-2009, 03:44 AM
I worked on one of the projects for 1 year before I burnt my fingers. I have a followup quesiton in this regard:
1. Do you have a written agreement with the people you are working with or is it a verbal one?
2. Does signing a NDA or a NonCompete with your FT job hinder you working on your projects in any way?

If you have to get into a contract right when you start, then you are with the wrong set of people. Trust is a two way street and matters a LOT (the co-ordination between soldiers in movie 300 comes to mind). But register a company with appropriate stake for each participant when there is some progress.

NDA with your company is always negotiable if you have the right lawyers. Just make sure you don't directly compete with your current employer or use their property/time to do your part time work.

vikki76
08-31-2009, 03:47 PM
Thanks for your comments. I do understand that the points your listed are valid in situations where you have a lot of resources at your disposal. For companies that start off with 1 or 2 individuals working part time along with thier FT jobs, would it be possible to practically do the kind of research that is required?
uh--huh..ahem..actually..yes. :-). These research points are even more required for startups in seed stage to build up credibility of founders.
Sometimes, it takes only one week of research to figure things out. This is different from calculating ROI as there are so many unknowns in initial stage. But what is unique about a service/product being offered should be known.

vikki76
08-31-2009, 03:48 PM
Thanks for your comments. I do understand that the points your listed are valid in situations where you have a lot of resources at your disposal. For companies that start off with 1 or 2 individuals working part time along with thier FT jobs, would it be possible to practically do the kind of research that is required?
uh--huh..ahem..actually..yes. :-). These research points are even more required for startups in seed stage to build up credibility of founders.
Sometimes, it takes only one week of research to figure things out. This is different from calculating ROI as there are so many unknowns in initial stage. But what is unique about a service/product being offered should be known.