Asking for advice: I want to quit my job and start a start up

teresaman's profile thumbnail
Your profile says you're in Cape Town so I'm not sure how feasible this would be re: timezone, but this is a program a lot of soon-to-be-startup-founders take as they're exploring their company building journey: !
Nicol's profile thumbnail
Thank you @teresaman! I have applied :D
OctaviaRomano's profile thumbnail
Hi @Nicol ! I can't offer advice about launching a start-up but all I can say is: do it!!I transitioned into tech last year, I have been in the music industry for 10+ years, so I'm used to taking risks and dealing with uncertainty :) I think I'd say the same I said to another engineer on here who quit her job to follow personal projects: if you have the means and circumstances allow for it, take the chance. Worst case scenario, you'll have to go back to a full time job, but also that doesn't mean it has to be permanent. And I agree, you can work part-time or freelance while planning your start-up, researching, and having more time to focus on it. (Also, I'd love to connect. I'm learning to code and would like to be able to also learn audio programming to design sound in UX)Best of luck !
Nicol's profile thumbnail
Thank you @OctaviaRomano :) I'm excited!If you need any help coding, I'm happy to help!
MinaFung's profile thumbnail
Ideally, you'd want to have a part-time job or a full-time job with a more defined schedule so you can start to build your part-time work and/or startup. Building a startup is stressful and if money becomes an important issue, it's not fun. So if you can, take care of the money part either by doing part-time, full-time or having a 2-year saving. It also takes money to run a startup too. Planning it out: money, mental flexibility, etc.
Nicol's profile thumbnail
Thank you for the advice @MinaFung! Definitely going to scope things out properly before making any rash decisions.
linlinwills's profile thumbnail
@Nicol, have you thought about your startup team yet? Startup success requires a team, even though at the initial stage developer is key, but a solo startup is harder to get funding. Nowadays, you don't need to have a product all built out to find out if there is demand for the product, you can figure it out if there is a demand on a part-time basis. If you have collected enough data about the demand for the product and you have a growth plan, or a growth hacking plan, then you can apply to Y combinator for funding; Pitch to customers or investors first before you built the entire product. If the demand is there, you can get funding before you build the product!
Nicol's profile thumbnail
Thank you @linlinwills :) I actually do have a friend that's interested in joining me as a cofounder who has experience in the field I'm going for (edtech). My partner is also keen to help out but will continue to work full time at his current company.I think I do need to work on collecting more data about the demand and market though. I have some validation that the product is desired (I'm going for a similar model to Lambda school, but in South Africa). I do not have an MVP yet (apart from a website that outlines a future bootcamp I was planning to run). My rough plan so far is to think about business models, and then run a small-scale course to use as a testing ground to get feedback from users. I haven't considered applying for funding yet, but I think you've just highlighted to me that there's still quite a bit of pondering to do from my side.
altearjen's profile thumbnail
Hi, I would like to comment on this because I am currently in this stage where I am "collecting that data" I have been constantly told I do not have enough data and that I need the product finished. I would like to hear more how this is possible because so far I have experienced otherwise. :/
HannahDrain's profile thumbnail
Hey @Nicol. This is so exciting! I've done this leap before and have worked with quite a few individuals to navigate this process. Here are a few things to think about. 1) Define success. What does success for this startup look like? What does success for you, specifically, look like? Only you get to define what that is. If you don't define it, the answer becomes "more." And "more" tends to be a terrible metric for success. 2) Only do things that increase your likelihood to succeed. Break things out into chucks of time - in 30 days what do you want to accomplish? 60? 90? Find a measured approach to answer your questions and reduce your reservations. 3) I completely understand your desire to quit and get started - also the fear that comes along with it! a) what is your personal runway? For how long can you work at a reduced income? Is that a reasonable amount of time to start getting traction and/or investment? Remember that your time and opportunity cost are also factored in to your personal investment in this startup. b) is this solution you're building something the market wants? Setup a test that will give you peace of mind. Do you need to hear from 10 potential customers? 30? 100? 4) You've got this ;) This is supposed to be scary and uncomfortable because you're making decisions against near perfect uncertainty. And that's okay. If you want to chat more, I'm happy to hop on a call.
Nicol's profile thumbnail
@HannahDrain thank you so much! These are really great points that I'm definitely going to put onto my whiteboard tomorrow and think through thoroughly!I appreciate the offer for a call. I might take you up on that sometime :D x
MakenaKong's profile thumbnail
I don't know much but I do frequent this start up blog that could be useful!
Nicol's profile thumbnail
Thanks @MakenaKong!
alytan's profile thumbnail
Hi Nicol, having started something after deliberating for 3 years, I haven't regretted it at all in spite of the challenges I face or even if it doesn't last. What I would suggest though is to start the journey with a proper research phase before taking the leap.I've just completed a design thinking course that I think all founders can benefit from. This is one site that will give you quite a bit of information on the process and tools of design thinking and how some companies have done it: will also be scary but necessary to get out there to interview your users as part of this process, to determine if your product is really what they want. A frequent question asked of me is - is your product a vitamin, painkiller or candy? A recent book I have read is Tom Eisenmann's Why Startups Fail which I wish was published earlier in my journey! I'd encourage anyone wanting to start something to read this to hopefully avoid pitfalls I went through myself.I continue to learn as I go along and the journey will be tough so ensure you have the right support around you. All the best!
Nicol's profile thumbnail
Hi @alytan, thank you for the great advice! I will definitely have a look at the course, and get Tom's book!
reena's profile thumbnail
Congrats on recognizing this desire! Similar to what others have said, I would recommend checking your finances to know if you have both a 1-2 year runway as well as some amount of $$ you are willing to sink into your idea. For me, I knew that I could do some odd jobs/contract work part-time for at least 2-3 years before needing to return to the workforce. I also knew that I would be willing to part with $20K in sunk costs and if I saw absolutely zero evidence or traction or viability, I would cut my losses. One thing one of my mentors told me is that 99% of all decisions are reversible. If you quit and realize after 6 months that this isn't working, I'm sure you will find another job.
kristenwaters's profile thumbnail
Exciting!! I loved this Medium article about Connor's process:'m working on a series of posts called "The Growth Series" which is a biz dev overview for early stage startups. LMK if you are finding it valuable!
dianeyeung's profile thumbnail
I left my decade-long career at a tech giant and started my own thing. I have been pondering for a few years before taking the plunge. You know what I've learnt re when to bite the bullet? You just have to decide which way to go! Either way it's going to be fulfilling, involves lots of hard work and you are going to learn a lot! So what do you want to do with the rest of your life?