Building A Startup The Easy Way

Eliza Brock's MicroConf Coffee Mug Last week, I spent a few days at MicroConf in Las Vegas. There have been a small number of blog posts about how useful this conference is, and Christoph has a very good set of posts summarizing each of the MicroConf speakers

This was my second year, and I would recommend you all skip it next year to give me a better chance of getting a ticket!

A lot of directly actionable items came out of the conference, and Rob Walling asked at the start to make sure we all came away with at least 3 - this is a great way to ensure your customers get value: ask them to look for it as they go, so they don’t get to the end and go ‘ummmm’.

Looking deeper, here’s something that I got out of the overall conference that others may have missed - Startups Are Hard Work - yep - I lied with the title.

Rob Walling’s talk about getting 10X revenue in 15 months was more like - 6 months of 1X revenue (i.e. no growth) and a bunch of learning, and 9 months to get to 10X, whilst working hard the entire way.

Erica Douglass talked about sometimes doing things that don’t scale to get customers and learn what they want.

Dave Collins talked about how to do SEO in the current Google Zoological Climate, and, you know, spending 2-3 hours a week for a year doing something that may or may not payoff sounds like a chore to me. Did you get into your startup to be doing chores? Well, guess what - there’s a lot of chores involved in becoming successful.

Hiten Shah’s famous quote - ‘the harder I work, the luckier I get’ - was immortalized on Eliza Brock’s free mug

Often, building a startup can look easy and glamorous, but what is often lost in translation is that there is a lot of hard work going on to make it all work. Are you prepared to send 1,000 hand written personal emails, with enough research to show that you’ve at least read the blog of the recipient? The founder of Buffer did exactly that. Are you prepared to create 1-3 pieces of great content per week for your SEO strategy that won’t pay off for a year? That’s how SEO works today.

Often, the hard work really does pay off. If you aren’t prepared for this - there’s always lottery tickets.