Welcome to /r/startups, the place to discuss startup problems and solutions. Startups are companies that are designed to grow and scale rapidly. Be sure to read and follow all of our rules--we have specific places for common content and requests.
Welcome to r/startups, a community for all backgrounds, levels of expertise, and business experience.
Startups are designed to scale/grow rapidly. Startups utilize tech to do this. Startups can be non-tech companies that utilize tech. Startups are information era companies and they are creating the new best practices in business.
We share interesting discussions and stories about our startup journeys, both the failures, the successes, and the embarrassments. Our best traits are authenticity and integrity.
Tell us who you want to interview in that thread.
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We are a community of discussion based around startups, not traditional businesses.
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You are welcome to ask how to apply startup methodologies to your traditional business if you frame your question in a non-promotional way. We want you to be able to ask any question that helps your startup.
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/r/shutdown (startup graveyard)
/r/AlphaAndBetaUsers (post your 'can you test my new product' posts here!)
/r/telecommuting (subreddit about remotely working)
Want more? Hacker News
New to the scene? Find your closest Startup Weekend!
Welcome to this week’s Feedback Thread!
If my goal is to get startups that are in the pre-seed and seed rounds to try our alpha product and, hopefully, schedule a discovery interview, what would be the best way to do so?
I have tried finding people I know or reaching out to my education network, joining Discord and asking for interest there, and messaging people on Reddit. However, the results have not been pleasant.
Any other ideas or tips?
Hello Startup founders,
I am looking for a new remote fulltime / part-time opportunity.
I am Senior BI Dev with close to 11 years of experience, and currently working with a leading product-based tech organisation.
My Tech skills include, Python, SQL, MSBI, Power-BI, Tableau, Azure & AI.
Also, along with tech-skills, I can contribute to marketing (have fair experience working in marketing.
If you have any opportunity, lets connect and have a discussion.
I often see complaints on a particular products sub-reddit about the direction its heading, the functionality it is missing (or has removed) and so on. Its a frequent occurrence, and I believe our product fills that gap.
I'm not sure if it matters, but their company is several orders of magnitude bigger than us. We're just two founders, and the competitor is a publicly traded company with over 600 employees.
If I'm operating within the rules of that particular sub-reddit, is it a good idea to suggest our product when people are outwardly expressing pain points about a competitor? Can it be done tactfully? Or should I simply observe and use those pain points to make our product better?
I was reading about how Steve McQueen wanted to do a joint movie project with Oliver Reed who was then the leading man of British cinema and highest paid actor in Europe in terms of raw paycheck. McQueen flew to London and upon meeting Reed, decided to go out with him for a drink at a bar as they discuss the business proposal for the project. As they were chatting and drinking, Reed got so intoxicated by alcohol he vomited on Steve which pissed him off so much that the idea never came through......
Reading this I can't help but wonder if the whole mess would have been avoided if Oliver and Steve just met at an office and went to the point of the deal and we'd now have a big budge film available on DVD and Blu-Ray with both Reeve and McQueen on the front cover below or above the title...... But it does make me curious.......
Oneof the reasons why businessmen have gotten a bad rap today is because so much of the general populace especially the leftist (particularly people from the Millenial generation and younger) often pictures a CEO spending thousands of dollars to fly to Paris or Tokyo or some other fancy district of a major city and then proceeding to play golf with another businessman in a field that costs over $1,000,000 per year to maintain or dine out with said businessman at a 5 star restaurant to have a meal where they drink fancy $100 wine with a bunch of plates each costing over $200 plus $150 bonus small deserts and appetizers. That so many people not involved in business think that all businessmen do is have a great time as they chitter chat with other entrepreneurs while getting a massage at a high end spa or while they're relaxing on a soft cushy sunlounger sipping tea and chatting each others with sunglasses on or their eyes closed. This is in fact one of the primary criticism against Trump, that he spends more time playing golf with other politicians and CEOs when he visits countries for economic and political negotiations than actually getting to the point to focus on real issues.
Now I know business isn't easy at all especially meetings and negotiations because business was my original major but I tossed it out fora different career path. The first time I attended a meeting at a board while in college was so draining! So I'm not a naive socialist who's eager to vote for Bernie Sanders next year.
That said I do see the point of anti-captialists and other disillussioned Americans who grown to have stereotyped business professionals as lazy and corrupt on top of being sheltered.
Why does Bill Gates need to spend a few hours playing tennis with potential business prospects instead of just having a webcam meeting with them ont he computer? Why does Jenniffer Aniston wait until a pool party to meet up with other cleebrities she's interested in as investing partners? Why can't she just drive to their own homes and discuss it possible investments at their dinner table? Is it necessary to spend a whole day drinking beer and playing billiards just to sign a contract? Why do a lot of business owners and investors feel the need to eat at a super expensive restaurant where the cheapest thing on the menu in thriple digits? Why not just save both you and your potential client money by just meeting in an office and get it over with in a 20 minute discussion? Whats the logic behind Trump spending 5 hours playing golf with another billionaire after spending 4 hours traveling in a limousine on the way to that person's house? I mean your purpose for meeting other investors and company owners is for buriness negotiations so why do you have to waste time doing fun stuff with your prospect partners and investors instead of just getting straight to the point selling your stocks within an hour? Really reading about the failed movie proposal that Steve McQueen was considering with Oliver Reed made me so curious!
Hello, not really sure if this is the right place to post this...
I accidentally came across this startup thats building an AI tied directly to my industry. This startup is still in the Beta phase. It will tremendously improve inefficiencies and I don't need to be sold on it. The idea is great if it takes off throughout the industry.
My problem is this startup is brand new, like 3 months new. Based on the feedback and response times from the founders I am 99% sure that they do not have anyone else to bounce ideas off or gather feedback from. I started working with them about a month ago and they've implemented 99% of my ideas/feedback...
The data I am providing them with is real-time data, not historical, feedback is extremely useful from their perspective. Any large size company in my industry is not going to give them the time of day, because they are probably working on their own AI or are stuck in their old ways.
The smaller outfits are one or two man shows and either would not understand or have time to implement. My industry is a very old habit die hard sector.
My company generates about $70M a year in revenue and we staff about 30 employees and can dump a lot of valuable data into this platform.
Am I wrong for thinking that I should be getting paid as a consultant, should I just ask them to use the platform at little to no cost because of my substantial contributions? Raising money is not going to be difficult, but gathering continuous proprietary GOOD data Is going to be a huge hurdle and there's no such thing as a free lunch.
It's nice seeing larger startups like Mercury that have a live, interactive demo site (demo.mercury.com) that I can play around with before opening an account/going through onboarding process. For so many products, even if I do log in, I need to connect to some data source to actually experience the product, but the realistic mock data makes life easy.
I wonder why lots of other companies haven't done this yet. Is it hard to do engineering wise or just not worth their time? Any thoughts?
What's been everyone's experience in crowd funding? I need around 250k. I already have a product, a manufacturer, and the trade mark. It is a liquor. Unfortunately I'm not rich and neither is my family, but the product will sell. Had crowd funding worked for anyone here?
Ok so me and my friend started working for this startup at the start of June and we are not really sure with the offer that we received. Some background:
The startup has 4 people in it, the CEO and a close friend of his (both handle relationships and talk with investors and things like that) and me and my friend build the platform and make everything that is considered IT department (we were granted the title of CO-CTO`s)
In the last 3 months we built the whole platform from scratch (as a "test" period where they would see how we get along and what are our capabilities)
The CEO and his friend have absolutely 0 background in tech and contributed with nothing in building the platform (excepting guiding us on how the platform should look and the functionality that it will need to have)
Now the "test" period is done and the platform is 90% ready for launch, one more month for testing and fixing the issues and we launch, so we discussed the contracts.
They are offering us 4% (400.000 shares) each over 4 years (first year being a cliff year) and no salary until series A. They say that the money is tight (even the platform will start making money from the first month, is a B to B type app and we already have companies that are interested in it, but they argue that we will need to hire more people and they don t want to give equity to them), the equity also seems low but they argue it saying we have a "option pool" that consist of 20% that will make sure there will be no dilatation in the shares. (we are also getting no compensation for the last 3 months where we worked 7 days a week) What is your opinion on this? Because we think we are getting ripped of, but we are computer science college students and don't know much about this.
If this is a ripp of what should we request from them?
On behalf of the owner of Dice Versa LLC:
Greetings, everyone! I'm Riley, a passionate nerd with a big vision: to open a board game lounge in my local community. I want to create a vibrant space where friends, families, and fellow gaming enthusiasts can come together, connect, and enjoy their favorite board games. I've been running pop-up gaming events in community spaces for the past few years but am excited to make the transition into creating a much needed physical space of my own: Dice Versa! However, I can't do this alone and that's where you can come in with the help of Kiva - a grassroots, crowdfunding, nonprofit organization that helps individuals just starting out. Kiva vets all the people they support, like me, and allows you to make a microloan that will help me get my board game lounge up and running. The best part is that you will be paid back since it's a microloan! If you can't donate at this time you can still help by spreading the word about Dice Versa and this amazing nerdy space I'm trying to build. Click the link below to contribute and together we can be a part of creating this incredible new community space!
My startup addresses a problem in the manufacturing industry and potential customers have even admitted to it, but it’s still extremely hard to get them to act on it. Does anyone have any experience with this and know how to get a potential customer from liking the solution to actually buying it? One very large company said they needed time to validate the idea and that it requires planning and funding, but they’d get back to me soon, but after following up for a little over a month, I haven’t received any new updates. I get large companies don’t want to switch the way they’re doing things already, but eventually they have to. What triggers that change?
It's been two years since I quit my job to build my startup, Typogram.
Like many builders, I have always been the introverted type working away quietly in the corner, terrible at marketing myself. However, two years, one saas tool, and many launches later, I realized two important things about marketing and selling recently.
This is an important lesson clicked for me recently: It's called a marketing/sales funnel for a reason. When I first learned about marketing, I thought marketing/sales was more similar to standing at the town square's center, shouting at the top of your lungs. Boy, was I wrong– in fact, shouting at the top of my lungs doesn't work. You have to nurture relationships with your potential customers. Of course, occasionally, you come across a hardcore fan, but usually, a potential user/ customer who usually needs persuasion to buy the product.As an introverted designer/developer/Redditor type, this realization made me feel better - like a sailboat cruising into the deck, it's about quiet approaches.Once I got into this train of thought, it became easier to do marketing. Not everything has to scream – "buy my product!" Share mini products, information, and things that could help others. Do this continuously –– people will want to stay in touch and check out what you are building.
Many people say: you should build for a market that has a desperate need for your solution. I advocate: you should create for a problem/audience you are passionate about. As a startup founder, I often have to advocate for my product. For Typogram, we write a lot of content about what and how we are building – we have a newsletter sharing our startup journey, a newsletter for design, and a blog covering branding topics. I spent a lot of time in Google Docs writing about our product and thinking about how to create helpful design learning materials for non-designers from different angles. This is all because we are passionate about the problem we are solving - logo design for beginners/non-professionals.
Hi all. I have an idea for a hardware product. It contains LED lights and some sort of motion sensor. Having no hardware product background at all, who would I want to talk to first about the feasibility to build? I've heard a lot of different paths, such as manuafacterer, product designer, etc. Does anyone have any resources on where to start? Thanks!
I was talking to a psychologist the other day and he asked me my work pattern.
I said my bed time is irregular.
Sometimes it's 2 a.m, otherwise 3, 4 a.m etc.
My waking time is usually around 10-11 a.m.
It could get late if I sleep late.
This is due to me working foreign business hours.
I have not been able to get much done actually.
And I find it super hard to focus on one thing.
I want to be productive.
I saw a guy saying don't neglect your sleep. Like sleep 8 hrs and all that.
But my question is is that possible when you are starting out?
Excuse my rant, but I feel very overwhelmed rn.
Hello, I have a small startup, it is like a pet project with pretty low subscription cost.
Subscription costs from 2.5$ to 5$ in different plans.
I dont' want to develop subscription management software by myself, so decided to use something existing. Chargebee, Stripe, pubbly are pretty expensive. Killbill has flavour of 90s.
How do you manage your subscriptions? Is there any decent inexpensive service for that?
Stripe is cool, but again, fee is too high. Adyen as for now is my main favourite, but I'd like to ask similar question: what payment gateways do you use with lowest fee?
non technical founder advice
im a current student who is in the process of creating a startup right now. however, im non technical for the most part (have taken courses in python, Java, SQL) and studying a nonCS major with 2 technical minors.
in the future, I want to be able to build products by myself or at least work very closely with developers, but I know that my strengths lie more in product and business strategy. Participating in hackathons is also something that I really want to pursue on the side.
What skills/courses do you think are most important for me to gain this experience as a non CS major? How can I gain more technical skills/where should I look? any advice?
Back when I was still working on my first startup, I was putting in 12 hour days on a regular basis, working weekends and holidays, some call it dedication, it was that at first but I think I spiraled too much and neglected myself.
Working that intensely for a long time made me:
Took a few days off work to get things back on track, get a handle on the stack of dishes and pile of laundry.
And to handle it I:
I hope no one needs to hear this, but if you do, I hope it helps and know that you're not alone.
One of the things I do is build automation equipment, jigs and fixtures for people that make things, this has been a side hustle of mine. I've been thinking maybe a better business model would be make the tools for myself and then manufacture and sell the product directly myself. I'm a project/design engineer in the aerospace industry and before that I was a principal manufacturing engineering, so I have the technical expertise.
I'm wondering what should I get into. Ive hear of a few trends that may be a good opportunity. One that I recently heard about on a podcast is ammunition. There are shortages and the prices have been outpacing inflation. That sounds like a good opportunity to maybe build machines that can repack used shells.
I'm wondering what are some other opportunities like this. Where do people go to find this type of information?
Hi - we are building an AI chatbot based on GPT 3.5 Turbo. We were using DialogFlow as part of the process. Our mobile app is built using React Native and the app developer is unable to build the Android version due to some SDK errors, and we are finding that the support for React Native SDK from DialogFlow is poor.
What are some alternatives to DialogFlow that has worked best for you guys?
Hi - we use the software Eqvista for Cap table management, we would like to switch to Carta. We have raised $150k preseed from Angels and have some doubts regarding the cap table as we position ourselves for the Seed Round.
Our current attorneys charge $650/hr for the most junior attorney on their team. Can someone recommend/refer an attorney with a much more affordable hourly rate?
Hi everyone. Provide a onetime assessment app for a health issue that needs questionnaires for the diagnosis. Currently we offer a "360" assessment solution. I was thinking, maybe, to fragment the assessment in order to stimulate users to repeat conversion and to increase LTV. There would be no ethical issues as our plan isn't to charge more, but to divide the cost.
¿What do you think? ¿Keep onetime or fragment? ¿How could we increase ltv?
I’m looking for a top-notch newsletter on product management and entrepreneurship. Given the sea of options out there, which one has been a game-changer for you? I’m considering a paid subscription, so quality is key.
Appreciate your recommendations!
I am starting a consulting form and I am stuck in a problem.
I have decent experience in building and delivering solutions for various companies while I worked in consulting for 15 years. I am pitching for clients but I don't have any resources on my payroll yet. I have a few people that can work as a part time. How do i set up the resourcing as I don't have any inflow of money yet.
I am thinking of hiring interns that will cost me less but i will need to train them for a few months but this will delay my pitching and offerings.
Can someone plz suggest a healthy working model around this. 🙏
AI vs. Human Ingenuity. When Creativity Meets Code in A/B Testing
Understanding the Depths of Human Creativity
It's worth noting that while AI systems like ChatGPT may excel in tests designed for humans, the essence of human creativity runs deeper than just the ability to brainstorm alternate uses for objects. Human creativity is heavily influenced by emotions, life experiences, cultural contexts, and even seemingly random moments of inspiration. These complex interplays of factors produce art, literature, and innovation that touch the very core of human experience.
On the other hand, the machines operate without emotions, cultural contexts, or life experiences. They generate responses based on patterns they recognize from vast datasets they've been trained on. While they may "know" of Picasso or Shakespeare, they don't "feel" the weight of "Guernica" or the beauty of "Sonnet 18". There’s a profound difference between knowing and experiencing, between producing a result and creating from the heart.
AB Testing A Beneficiary of AI Creativity?
In the business realm, particularly in digital marketing and web optimization, A/B testing stands as a testament to the application of human creativity. A/B testing essentially involves creating two versions of a webpage or ad, with slight variations, to see which one performs better. Humans come up with creative ideas for changes, and data helps decide which idea is more effective.
This is where the power of AI can be harnessed. While it may not replace the uniquely human spark of creativity, AI can generate a plethora of alternative ideas for A/B tests at a scale and speed that humans cannot match. By suggesting variations based on patterns it has seen in its vast training data, AI can help businesses optimize faster.
Furthermore, when it comes to analyzing the results of A/B tests, AI can process large amounts of data quickly, recognize patterns, and even predict future trends. The marriage of human creativity with AI's capability can revolutionize the way businesses approach optimization, leading to more effective strategies and better results.
The debate on AI's creativity might be far from settled, but what's undeniable is its potential to augment human abilities. As AI continues to evolve, it is imperative to recognize and respect the unique attributes of both machines and humans. By working together, leveraging the strengths of each, we can unlock possibilities previously deemed unimaginable.
Disclosure: I am from A/B testing tool Cline.ai
I'm helping my girlfriend who is not Amerian, who recently opened an American LLC (through Stripe Atlas). The usual suspects (i.e. Mercury), have declined to open a bank account without giving a proper reason - and it seems far majority of these banks don't allow non-residents.
She has an American sister who would like to help.
Is it "enough" to add her as a manager/director, or does she have to be an owner as well? Does someone has experience with how American banks look at this?
What business doesn’t want to increase production, reduce costs and improve efficiency?
It’s easier said than done. Process optimization is mission critical for any modern business. There are entire volumes of content on this topic. One strategy that has grown in favor in recent years is the practice of outsourcing back-office tasks. When businesses outsource administrative and support services to third-party service providers, they may focus on their core capabilities and improve their operations.
Continue reading at: https://www.outsourceasia.org/outsourcing-can-streamline-your-operations/
Recently transitioned to a usage-based pricing model in which I charge $0.015 per request. To make $10.000/month, customers must make 666,666 request/month or 166,666 request/week or 22,222 request/day. The scale is just enormous. Is this even feasible?
Backstory: I am bootstrapping a small AI-powered SQL generator and data analytics tool since December 2022 (pricing model/calculator). I do believe it is one of the best, but competition is fierce and the market is constantly moving, hence I feel obliged to try explore advantageous pricing models.
Previously I charged a fixed price and had revenues averaging between $1000-1500. The main problem with the fixed price model was that every time I added a new feature, the pricing models had to remodelled. And I was incentivised to lower customer usage (tokens, requests) in order to drive profit (i.e. the more the customer uses the app, the less I earn from the fixed priced).
With the the usage-based pricing I can add and test features as much as I want without having to rethink the pricing models. Likewise I am incentivised to encourage customers to use the app in order to get revenue (not just getting them to subscribe).
Spoke with a early investor who likewise thought this was an interesting experiment and curious to speak again after a month.
Thoughts, experiences, damnations.
Was looking into Acquire to sell a small business. We are based in Italy and the platform seems to be primarily built for US companies. Was wondering if anyone had experience using it outside of the US.
Were there any problems? Are there alternatives tailored to EU market?
I have an impression that while no-code solutions can handle dynamic apps, they're only good for typical and generic use cases and that you'll end up with a lot of code for creative and untypical apps to the point where coding would have been easier. is it true or am I underestimating no-code? scalability won't be an issue since I'm only expecting fast prototyping and validation from nocodes.
I am at pre Start-up level, if one called it this way. I have no IT knowledge and (sadly) I am too old to acquire necessary skills. It would take too long for me and I would still not be as good as the young experts.
I have an idea for a good project/ product. I know you must have heard this many times before. During the last 1-2 years I had to do some extensive research in an area which pretty much relates to every one who needs to real estate, travel/ immigrate. At this stage I don’t want to be to specific.
Data to support this project should be real time. In this case, from what I understand, my project will rely on AI (machine learning / deep learning).
So far I found out that I could use Clariteia for defining the necessary steps and (low code) Bubble, Adalo or Outsystems to create a prototype.
My concern is that I have only the idea and I have nothing else to bring onto the table.
I can not hire people, because I have no funds to support this project. Same goes for purchasing data sets.
How would I be able to protect my intellectual property rights?
Are there other reddit groups where I can leads how I shall proceed?
Thank you your time and input.