Why start a Startup?

At Makers we’ve been quietly beavering away at our new project for this week. We’re trying to build a program for the game Battleships in groups. Although the start was slow, as we struggled to break the game down into its most basic level, figuring out what needs to exist and what each part of the game does.

“Is the player responsible for sinking a ship or is the ship responsible for allowing itself to be sunk?” – that question by itself took us about half an hour to answer. When looking at it from a non-coding perspective, the question sounds a little silly, but we learnt quickly this week that in terms of coding, it’s a very, very important question.

We’ve managed to build the essentials for the game and are now trying to put off the inevitable. Will all the pieces interact with each other as they are meant to? I guess we’ll find out tomorrow, when we try it all out!

Why you shouldn’t start a Startup

A large number of people join Makers Academy because they want to being junior developers, and climb their way up the ladder to eventually become senior developers. Some, like me, however, join it because they want to use it to help them start a company. Some have ideas already and want to learn how to build the software themselves, while some want to use it to also find a cofounder, with whom they can come up with an idea together.

This group of people got together today at lunch time and watch the first of a series of lectures being hosted by Stanford University. These lectures are available online for free and are all about how to start a Startup.

Today’s lecture was hosted by Sam Altman (president of Y Combinator) and Dustin Moskovitz (co founder of Facebook, amongst other things). The lecture itself was incredibly interesting and raised a great discussion amongst the group when it was finished. Two of the main points that I left with this afternoon were;

  • Don’t start a Startup because you think it will be glamorous or because you think it will make you lots and lots of money
  • Do start a Startup if you think you have an idea that simple HAS to be made

Of course this is a very very condensed summary of the 45 min lecture, but they made sure that they hammered these points home.

Why do I want to start a start up?

So after watching it, do I still think I should start a start up? Yes, even more than before. They talked about how you need to be sure your idea has a market, and that this market is growing, not decreasing. They discussed the need to know what your potential customers will love, not just what they would like. And they talked about being passionate about your idea, as this will pull you through the hard work and commitment that is required to build a company.

And so do I think I have all these things? I’m pretty confident at the moment that yes, my idea covers all of these bases. Will it work? Who knows, but am I willing and passionate enough about it to put the work in to find out? Yup.

Naturally, everyone thinks the same thing about their own ideas. So the first thing I need to do on my road to starting a Startup is to reach out and contact my potential customers and ask them. Is my idea worth it? Is it something they need or would love to have? I’m embarking on this step this week, and I’m eager to see what responses I get.

Where to watch the lectures:

I would highly recommend the lecture(s) to anyone who is interested in starting a company;



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