Why a good COO is crucial on slow climb to startup success

Why a good COO is crucial on slow climb to startup success

What is the difference between launching a startup and gambling? In both cases you're putting money on the line in the hopes of a big payoff. For both, you need a large appetite for risk. For both, you need the universe to co-operate and give you a little luck.

Finding a rhythm: how the decisions we make now could make or break our startup

Finding a rhythm: how the decisions we make now could make or break our startup

It's time for another investor update. Although I'm lucky enough to be self-funded for now, it's important to get into the mind-set of regularly reporting on the state of the business. This is "real-time" startup diary, so you get the inside track on what we are up to every week. The weekly updates tend to be very focused, so this will be a monthly update on the overall state of the business.

A 'meetup' over beer and pizza can work wonders for your new company

A 'meetup' over beer and pizza can work wonders for your new company

If you think startup life is hard before you launch your website, you should try living with the consequences afterward. Last week was the first full week of proper sales meetings. As in, persuade someone to let you talk to them for an hour, put on nice clothes (no more startup hoodies!), get your sales deck out, and try to make strangers give you money.

Startups! Don't sell yourself short - make sure price is right from the start

Startups! Don't sell yourself short - make sure price is right from the start

Last week we launched our website, voxgig.com. Reaction so far has been enthusiastic, although we have not done any publicity. We have decided to do a soft launch after all. Being live changes everything and is a big step forward.

Launching at last is magical but it shouldn't be a big deal

Launching at last is magical but it shouldn't be a big deal

We are live! We soft-launched voxgig.com on Tuesday this week, and it was wonderfully uneventful.

If you've read my previous entries on software development for startups, you'll know that we practice a very rapid, very iterative approach. We've had a system 'live' for the last three weeks or so, and have been pushing updates to it on an almost daily basis.

We're dodging curve balls and snowballs as startup launch looms

We're dodging curve balls and snowballs as startup launch looms

We are soft-launching our product next Tuesday, March 13. It's a pretty intense week. You may have the impression from the articles in this diary that I know exactly what I am doing and have everything under control. But there is a difference between theory and practice - and the real world has a way of throwing curve balls at you.

Real art of startup war is empowering your troops to fight battles for you - not doing it by the book

Real art of startup war is empowering your troops to fight battles for you - not doing it by the book

Within weeks of founding a startup, some well-meaning person will advise you to read Sun Tzu's 'The Art of War'. Startups are best seen as military operations, they tell you, and the application of ancient Chinese battlefield tactics are the quickest path to victory (against public companies a thousand times bigger than your little firm).

Angels won't fear to back you but keeping them in loop is vital

Angels won't fear to back you but keeping them in loop is vital

When you finally do get business angels to invest in your startup, one of the first pieces of advice you get is to send them regular update emails. There's nothing worse than investing in a company, not hearing anything for a year, and then getting a frantic phone call looking for more money.