After about 3 years trying and failing to make the good project earn a lot more money I wanted to do an exciting new startup. Having almost hit 6 digits that third year meant I couldn't just ignore the good project and let it atrophy but I didn't want to pursue an exciting new startup being anchored to the good project all the time. I decided to sell it.
With that decision all of the remaining work became about transitioning from 'code on my computer' to 'coherent and pleasant part time job for someone else to do well'. I replaced bash scripts and w/e other random crap with a web interface and gutted my code and dependencies so that the person they find on craigslist to add something in 2 years won't drown.
Now I'm completely free to work on my new startup and make something like a good salary while I do, someone else takes care of the nice business in 5 hours a week. Probably half of HN could pull that off with a side project or two. This is where patio11 and someone from feinternational.com described the difference between the good project and the nice business -
So while 3-4x is normal (really 3-5x depending on the industry) the numbers on FEI tend to be a tad high but not unreasonably so.
At least I'm interpreting "nice business" as in "oh, it's just a nice business, not anything life-changing"
- A junior developer at £20k is probably going to do you more harm than good
- £30 - £40k for a junior developer is more reasonable, where £30k would be fresh from red-brick uni (if lucky) or a couple years industry experience
- A senior developer asking less than £50k is probably not super confident (could be various reasons e.g. failing to get other jobs, not super experienced) or experienced with startups
- Good senior developers experienced with startups are more likely to be on a minimum of £60k and anywhere up to £80/90k
Also it's a little more nuanced than this. A first hire developer might (perhaps reasonably) expect to be a CTO or Tech Lead assuming further hires - this is one of the reasons some developers consider working in startups as it's a potential fast track to gain management-like experience. If you're hiring a junior developer, this probably isn't the best idea and it should be made clear to them this isn't the case. In hiring a senior developer it should at the very least be discussed - the outcome of this may potentially be an expectation of higher salary (either immediately or upon company growth). It's not unheard of for small startups (seed / series A) to pay £100k+ for CTOs.
Hard to say what you should be expecting as i'm not sure how long you've been developing. If you can demonstrate your ability (i.e. pass technical interviews) and have about a years experience or more I would imagine you could get £30k or more fairly easily, startup or not.
The idea that PHP developers don't get paid much is erroneous, on average they probably do, but the peaks are just the same. I currently earn £70k "hacking" php in Magento and I'm based in Manchester where the cost of living is far lower.
Edit; Forgot to add the context; gross salaries per yet. In EU talking about net salaries make no sense at all so I assumed that.
Everything is a risk, but you don't want to get to 90 and think "damn it, I should have done that business".
The worst thing that might happen is you might run out of cash, give it up and get another job. Or someone will rip you off (be it a biz partner, investor or rival) and you give it up and get another job. It's stressful and not fun, but you're not going to die if your startup fails.
Just to clarify, I (gladly) fell out of love with my idea and dont so much worry about people "stealing" it. I'm more worried about a business partner building an "escape hatch" in the partnership contract and screwing me out of ownership/stake. Not sure if that changes your answer or not.
Of course protect yourself. Have a contract. Never go with a vague contract and then hope for the best. Have everything in writing. Ownership stake, expectations an escape hatch for either of you in case of a falling out etc. For us there was a clause stating that the contract could be nullified by either party within the first 90 days for any reason.
I had worked on my side business for 3.5 years at the point I partnered up. My partner first spent 2 months working away and we didn't formalise the agreement. We were making sure that we were going to work well together.
I finally said that we can't go on like this and we really need to formalise his ownership etc. We discussed figures and arrived at an arrangement that worked for us both.
In the end, for me it came down to this: own 100% of 0 or X% of a real business.
Once that clicked for me, bringing on and trusting a partner was an easy choice.
I assume the risk of not succeeding to grow your business and the risk of succeeding but you deciding to dismiss my work and not compensating me. No contracts, only verbal agreements to start off.
I've done this kind of deal twice before with moderate success in both. If you are interested, email me (on my profile) with more details about your product.
However... what should one call oneself?
If you're not at a position to have full-time employees whose sole job is to manager managers, it's unlikely "CEO" really fits.
Look at what you're strong at and what you enjoy. If you're seeing customers struggle with other businesses solutions, then there might be a way to solve that problem in a better way.
Being a good listener helps - get the feedback loop going as quickly as possible. Don't take anything personally if a customer doesn't like what you're doing. They could be right. Iterate on the initial idea. Don't spend too long building the first version of anything as it'll probably look different in a year.
If you start up with an "Uber for X"-tier idea, you may spend half your time educating people that they could use your solution.
On the other hand, it is difficult to watch a non-techie business worker perform their daily tasks for a few hours without seeing something that could be improved. A macro here, some workflow automation there, etc. Find a theme and you may be able to build something that solves a lot of problems.
Rather than defining how a product should work, startups should define their mission and adapt their product to both accomplish their mission and meet the needs/demands of the customer.
I've been involved in a few startups and this is what I've learned:
1. Iteration is key and should be welcomed.
2. Validation, as noted, is incredibly important.
3. Continuing to validate iterations ultimately leads to a successful company.
That said, using an agency to build your startup probably isn't the best idea for so many reasons.
Also it's a big variance of caring, some big agencies do care a lot but they're rare and hard to find. Some staff turn up late and are hungover every other morning. It's a wide range but I was trying to average it out!
The rest are beyond your control by a large degree. Try your level best. And Yea, occasionally read through such advices.
The debt accrued on my first startup still haunts me. And I really wish, I slept more and worked out more during the period. It is really a simple advice, to sleep and to work out. But when you are a sinking ship, you could hardly follow it.
I try to work on things in my off time but it's difficult finding the time after working all day.
Haha. I wish!
"Your app sucks".
"Why is this not free?"
"Can I do X? Why can't I do X?"
"You changed Y and I hate it"
80% won't give you feedback, period. Because they've another 10 tabs open and you've haven't intrigued them enough to warrant anymore of their precious time and attention.
Alternatively, you can identify the same set of people without actually running the ultra by looking for people who descend stairs backwards.
It was not advice - but an observation offered as a data-point. You can indeed meet people that run ultra-marathons without running one by going to meetups, fb group events, etc.
That's not exactly my field of interest but I'd sign up for something like that when I get out of college and need to finally get to building things.
Do the research before building anything, otherwise you could be wasting your energy on something people don't want.
An internet "dating site" for startup co-founders to meet on (you could have the whole shebang - ratings, chat, profiles).
Maybe something like LinkedIn meets Match.com, with a sprinkle of YC thrown in?
(note: I have no affiliation with them)
Polished product > Happy path demo > Mockups (mechanical, digital, etc) > User stories > Deck
At the very least iterate on things like the user stories to make sure your customers can see your product fitting in to their day to day life. Without any form of iteration, you're leaving the most important thing -- product market fit -- somewhat to chance.
In our case, we can iterate easily based upon real market information post-launch. It's literally illegal to do market research otherwise, so we can't really get a foot in the door hyper-analyzing potential segments ahead of schedule.
Not only that, they could ruin your relationship with your friends forever. Friends are friends, business partners are business partners. Been there, done that.
We've found that the 1:1 help informs the course material too - if we get the same request topics in the 1:1 help, it's obvious we're missing something from the course material, so we add it in.
I should have linked to http://autopsy.io/ - a good place to read about why startups failed from the founders.
> SuperHi has online courses which means we have students from California to Australia, all due to the internet.
Lol, sounds like a whole lot of fish to me, amirite?
sounds like a whole lot of fish to me, amirite?
We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13535072 and marked it off-topic.
In another comment in the thread, I was talking about the brand name testing we did with customers and also with the awesome team at Koto (http://studiokoto.co/)
What does the superhi...way have to do with online learning specifically? Even if you paid a consultant to tell you otherwise, it's still not the greatest name ..
I'm still happy with the name two years later though and still love our branding. With the name we could use it in a few ways to make it more about learning... "learn the SuperHi way", "SuperHi school", etc.
We're also a bootstrapped company, so zero investment available for spending $$$ on a domain name. In the end, we went with what felt right for us and what our customers liked.