Lab Notes
Use these resources to invent, launch and grow your next big idea.

36 Startup Resources Every Company Should Know

Four years ago, I made a decision that changed my life. On a sunny Saturday morning with many cups of coffee and a pile of napkin sketches, I decided to start a technology company.

Prior to that moment, I was an English teacher, a finance professional, a sandwich maker, a bartender, a laborer, and a rather unsafe bike delivery rider.

In other words, I knew absolutely nothing about inventing, building or launching new technology.

But to get smart, I employed three tactics.

First, I began each day by contacting three new people in the Twin Cities technology and business communities. I had never met any of these people. I picked up the phone and called their office.

Many people hung up. Most never returned my call. However, a surprising number were eager to offer advice over the phone or even meet in person. It was fun. I met incredible people, heard hilarious stories, built a strong network and one person even went on to invest in my startup.

Second, I read everything I could about entrepreneurship. This seems obvious, but it can’t be overstated. Books and blogs are virtual mentors.

Lastly, I got started, which is a frightening proposition for any startup or large organization launching a new venture. But it’s where the real learning begins, and I’m excited to share some of my favorite links that have helped me a great deal.

This list only scratches the surface (doesn’t include fundraising, hiring, or scaling), but the following links should help you jump in and get smarter faster in finding your fit and building a customer model.

Words of Wisdom from Seasoned Veterans

 

How to Start A Startup -Paul Graham

Create a Million Dollar Business This Weekend -Noah Kagan

Revenge of a Fat Guy: Achieving Product-Market Fit -Marc Andreesen

From Nothing to Something. How to Get There. -Seth Sternberg

How to Build a Lean Startup, Step-By-Step -Eric Ries

1000 True Fans -Kevin Kelly

Blogs to Follow

 

Feld Thoughts -Brad Feld

Ben’s Blog -Ben Horowitz

Paul Graham -Paul Graham

Steve Blank -Steve Blank

The Big Idea

 

13 Ways to Get to $10 Million in Revenues -Steven Carpenter

How I Come Up With New Startup Ideas (in 4 Steps) -Rob Fitz

The Ultimate Guide For Becoming An Idea Machine -James Altucher

Finding A Market

Customer Discovery Toolkit -Stanford d.school

Product/Market Fit: the Value Proposition Canvas -Alex Osterwalder

Google Trends -Learn search term trends and check your ideas.

Google Insights -Segment search data by location.

Facebook ads -Learn audience sizing by creating ads. No need to launch the ads.

Sizing and Selecting a Profitable Niche -Pat Flynn

Bringing Your Idea to Life

3 New Ways To Think About MVP (and what MVP really means) -Chris Pegg

GoDaddy -Domain names and web hosting. Pro Tip: Google ‘$.99 domains’ and click on the ad.

Squarespace -Build a good website quickly.

WordPress -Not just a blogging platform. Create a free business website.

LaunchRock -Create a quick and easy “coming soon” landing page to test the concept and value proposition.

Free Stock Photo Websites -NuSchool brings artwork for your landing page or website.

Finding Customers

Product Marketing for Pirates: AARRR! -Dave McClure

How to Cultivate Loyal Customers with Social Media -Ravi Schukle

Facebook For Business -Reach customers through precise ad placement and segmentation.

Canva -Design awesome social media graphics.

Buzzsumo -Discover what is being shared online in your industry.

Keeping Customers

5 Customer Retention Tools for Long Term Ecommerce Success -Hubspot

Mailchimp -Easy to use email software.

Friendbuy -Customer referral platform.

LeadPages -Create pages that capture leads and grow your customer base.

SumoMe -Tools to grow your website traffic and keep customers engaged.

Mailcharts -Email marketing intelligence. Discover what your competitors are sending.

We invite you to add to this list. Leave a comment or get in touch with us on Twitter (@gokartlabs). We would love to hear from you.

Dan is now the Founder of Kindly Coffee where he is aiming to redefine office coffee. He is also a freelance writer, covering technology's impact on traditional businesses.

  1. Great list! I would add:

    Asana >> Great task management tool!
    InvisionApp >> To create interactive prototypes and mockups
    Mural.ly >> Collaborative brainstorming tool
    Patterntap, LovelyUI, Inspired-UI >> UI pattern libraries
    Balsamiq, Powermockup > Mockup tools
    PureCSS and Bootstrap >> Responsive CSS3 and Jquery frameworks
    UserTesting > Usability Testing
    Hootsuite >> Social Media Management