/r/startups

Photograph via //r/startups

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.


Wiki

FAQs, lessons, and resources


About

Welcome to r/startups, a community for all backgrounds, levels of expertise, and business experience.

What is a startup?

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.

/r/startups

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.


Rules

1.Relevant Content Only

We are a community of discussion based around startups, not traditional businesses.

All content must be relevant to startups.

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.

2.No direct sales, advertisements, or promotion

No direct sales, advertisements, or promotional posts of any kind. We have designated places that are an exception to this rule and they will always be stickied at the top of /r/startups.

  • You MAY share your startup in the Share Your Startup thread

Self-promotion is anything you have an interest, stake or relationship with including being friends with someone at the company.

At the end of the day, /r/startups moderators have the final say if your comments are promotional or not.

3.Submissions Serve a Specific Purpose

Submissions are for discussing methodologies, experiences, tactics, strategies, techniques, markets, and other such things WITHOUT tying them directly to your own project using its name or URL.

Titles must be clear and descriptive.

Submissions must have at least 250 characters of content. The more details you provide us the better support our community can provide you with. Life life, the more you put into something the more you get out of it.

4.Feedback Has a Place

All Feedback Requests (including surveys/polls) belong in our Feedback Thread or other appropriate weekly thread

You are invited to repost each week.

Be sure to contribute to the others in the thread and ask them to return the favor to increase engagement.

You may not publicly offer feedback or direct support outside of the Stickied Threads.

5.Rules for Links in Comments/Discussions

Sometimes you think the best solution is simply to link to a resource that might answer someone's question. We want you to be able to link in discussion to relevant content. We also don't want the discussion to turn into a self promotional mess and link farm.

If you are going to link to something in the comments please make sure to:

  • Write at least a sentence explaining why the link is relevant to the discussion.

  • Link only content you have no affiliation with. Affiliate links = banned.

6.Do Not Solicit PM Requests

The purpose of making a submission or comment is to engage in a public discussion with the community.

It is not to request a message from someone.

You are more than welcome to engage privately with one another, but it is up to you to take the initiative directly.

7.Sharing Your Blog is To Start a Discussion

Sharing your blog is not a means to self promote.

A link to the original blog post is allowed with prior Mod approval.

If you are submitting your own blog content, the full body of the content must be included in the post, properly formatted for reddit.

Include an outline & timestamps with a video.

If your blog is over 2000 words you may ask for an exemption.

All other rules still apply.

No blogs about your "startup" journey allowed.

8.Always Be Kind and Supportive

The goal of this community is to encourage people to learn and be inspired to pursue ventures related to startups.

Do not troll, harass people, or be an asshole. This does not mean to lie. It means to give support and explain why you don't like something.

Try to remember people likely do not have much experience yet or might be simply ignorant to what you know.

Be willing to hold a discussion and try to explain your opinion or point of view to the benefit of the entire community.

9.No Unscheduled AMAs

We do not allow unscheduled AMAs.

We need to verify and approve all AMAs.

If you wish to do an AMA you must use the "Message the Moderators" feature in the side bar and you must give us at least TWO (2) Weeks Lead Time to organize it with you.


Similar communities

Notable AMA's


Previous Share your Startup threads


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/r/startups

1,662,129 Subscribers

1

What should we expect (or ask for) from a collaboration with a charity?

I'm a co-founder of a mental health startup building a mobile app to address specific issues. My business partner is a clinical psychologist, and we’ve been committed to doing this right. Instead of launching immediately, we’ve focused on creating content, raising awareness, and planning mental health workshops as a precursor to our app launch.

Recently, we presented our idea and progress to mentors and peers, and our initiative won a small prize and some networking opportunities. One of the juries, a CEO of a UK-based charity, expressed interest in collaborating. They seem keen on us providing workshops to their audience, which would also allow us to promote our app and brand.

However, I’m unfamiliar with how charities operate and what to expect from such a collaboration. I’m concerned about over-promising or getting into something unmanageable. Could anyone share their experiences or advice on collaborating with charities, including what we should ask for and potential pitfalls to avoid?

Thanks in advance!

1 Comment
2024/06/10
09:23 UTC

2

What do you think of this link-in-bio tool idea?

Hey everyone!

I am creating a new link-in-bio tool that simplifies link promotion. I want your thoughts if you would use it?

Here's what you get:

  • Promotions: Promote your links on other profiles by setting a daily budget.
  • Get Paid: Earn from every click with an 80/20 split for users. For promotions on your profile.
  • Free and Customizable: Completely Free and customize your profile as much as you like.
  • No Branding: Keep your profile clean without any added branding clutter.

I am curious to know: Would you use it? Would you add any other features?

11 Comments
2024/06/10
08:08 UTC

1

Experience with customer complaints and returns?

To startups who have B2C business and sell to endcustomers: What are your experiences with customer complaints and returns? How do you manage or handle them, by yourself or did you hire/ outsource? (eg by using selling platforms like Amazon and such) Do you factor in the costs for complaints and returns into the selling price and if so, using which %?

Thank you in advance for sharing

0 Comments
2024/06/10
07:06 UTC

1

Advice on which organization to get funding from?

I'm currently a full-time product designer and graduate student (graduating in less than a year) and have been working on an MVP for a mobile app that addresses a key need in my community. I've done thorough research and spoken to potential users, and I'm confident in its potential.

My university is offering a $12,000 stipend for projects that work with particular companies/businesses that align with their mission. My app fits this criterion, and I've identified a nonprofit that could benefit from it but lacks the technical expertise to develop it themselves. The nonprofit has secured funding from the government for numerous projects in the past.

Given this, I’m seeking advice on two options (3 and 4 are outlandish but thought I would ask):

  1. Should I partner with the nonprofit, pitch my app, and use the stipend from my university to hire a developer to create a mobile app?
  2. Or, should I first build the product as a website (that's also optimized for mobile), establish a user base, and then seek larger funding to develop a mobile app?
  3. Perfect the MVP and just pitch the idea directly to the nonprofit partners?
  4. Reach out to the government and ask if this is something they'd want to fund? (this option would allow me to provide clientele to not only the nonprofit but other companies/businesses as well who offer the same services/products)

Each option has it's owns pros and cons, and I'm not sure what to do next. I'm really passionate about the project and industry. I would love to do this full time if I could make this profitable and sustainable.

What is the best thing for me to do?

1 Comment
2024/06/10
05:09 UTC

0

Teenage (16 years old) entrepreneur looking for a mentor

Ever since I was little, I've always been fascinated by the world of startups and entrepreneurship, with its fast-moving technological innovations and visionaries determined to shape the world for the better. I would countless times be laser-focused on researching and watching documentaries about tech entrepreneurs, such as Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, etc., as well as reading tech articles on sites such as Forbes, TechCrunch, etc.

A few years ago, I began to question the true purpose and meaning of life. I came to the conclusion that humans are born, not to wait for our deaths, but to provide as much value to the world for the betterment of humanity as possible. It was no longer possible for me to wait until adulthood to commit to that. I knew I had to act ASAP.

At the beginning of 2024, I formed a team of over 10 people, mostly consisted of developers, and set out to build a revolutionary social media platform that will introduce a completely new concept to the industry. Since then, we've built the landing page and begun designing the UI/UX. Progress has been slow so far due to my academic responsibilities. From now on, however, my startup will be my number-one priority and the pace will be very steadfast. This first major phase will be very crucial and a mentor would greatly increase my chances of success. Any person willing to assist me in my journey is more than welcomed to!

P.S. This doesn't have to be a one-way street. Even though I'm relatively young, I feel fulfilled when helping others out. I bring many new perspectives and helpful advice to anyone reaching out. You won't be disappointed!

17 Comments
2024/06/10
04:43 UTC

2

Need help with ideas/experience with startups

Hi successful (somewhat) and hardworking people!!

I’ve been thinking about starting a business to generate some money. I’m in early thirties and used to work full time but had to give up my job after my daughter was born to take care of her. I feel so hopeless about my career since then and want to try some small scale business (physical or digital). Honestly, I don’t even have much ideas to try. I’d really appreciate advice from parents out there who are also pursuing startups and what they are doing and how they’re managing time and resources..

Also, if someone has startups related to content creation/freelancing, I can offer my volunteer help and in return gain some experience. I am located in Canada though.

TIA.

3 Comments
2024/06/10
04:32 UTC

2

[Hiring/Seeking/Offering] Jobs / Co-Founders Weekly Thread

[Hiring/Seeking/Offering] Jobs / Co-Founders Weekly Thread

This is an experiment. We see there is a demand from the community to:

  • Find Co-Founders
  • Hiring / Seeking Jobs
  • Offering Your Skillset / Looking for Talent

Please use the following template:

  • **[SEEKING / HIRING / OFFERING]** (Choose one)
  • **[COFOUNDER / JOB / OFFER]** (Choose one)
  • Company Name: (Optional)
  • Pitch:
  • Preferred Contact Method(s):
  • Link: (Optional)

All Other Subreddit Rules Still Apply

We understand there will be mild self promotion involved with finding cofounders, recruiting and offering services. If you want to communicate via DM/Chat, put that as the Preferred Contact Method. We don't need to clutter the thread with lots of 'DM me' or 'Please DM' comments. Please make sure to follow all of the other rules, especially don't be rude.

Reminder: This is an experiment

We may or may not keep posting these. We are looking to improve them. If you have any feedback or suggestions, please share them with the mods via ModMail.

3 Comments
2024/06/10
04:01 UTC

4

How do you mimic physical products ability to show off a product?

I was at a grocery store and I saw a tent with a couple of people manning it. I approached them and they gifted me a bag of items, coupon and a drink. Afterwards they told me about their product, their start and why their product (another beverage company) was better than the competition. (Cleaner ingredients, filtered water etc) that was that.

What I liked was their ability to be at a store, set up a tent with their products and be very easy to approach. I walked away with a free drink, a coupon but most of all knowing who they are and what they do.

How could a software company or a service company replicate the same experience. (In the real world) Let’s say you offer math lessons or science lessons or music lessons. Where could you go to do the same and how? It’s not as simple as handing out a drink.

I realize you can do online ads with sm and ta but that is beside the point of this specific question.

Cheers and thanks.

7 Comments
2024/06/10
02:51 UTC

4

Quality TAM Market Research Resources?

Hello,

I am trying to conduct a gas generator TAM market research analysis for my class.

I have seen a lot of "market analyses" from various India based companies which seem to only offer aggregate data from other reports which are often said to be not very accurate having personally compared a dozen of similar reports one to another and they tend to cost thousands of dollars for a single user license.

-What is a good alternative way to find quality reports with verified research. Maye an actual US firm conducting survey-based market analysis or something with references or actual data.

-Do stock company market analyst firms for (Generac or Caterpillar) publish their reports that base their investments on? Maybe thing something more along those lines?

Thank you for all the help!

3 Comments
2024/06/09
23:34 UTC

1

What problems have you guys faced when onboarding vendors?

Hello! Ditto the title: What problems have you guys faced when onboarding vendors? I hear lots about documenting the user flow and whatnot, what else have you guys encountered?

I'm not very knowledgeable in the space of onboarding vendors and haven't gotten to that phase in my company yet...

Are there any tools you use to solve this?

Thank you :) 🫡

Edit: The vendors I’m on-boarding are those using SaaS products, so it’ll be technical teams

7 Comments
2024/06/09
22:31 UTC

1

Ready to deploy a demo version soon. But where?

I don’t really want to overthink this but I’m curious what other people have tried. I’ve built countless web apps on NextJs + Serverless (offline) and Terrafom deploying directly to AWS before but for some reason I really want to try Vercel + Supabase for at least the demo version someone talk me out of it!

I’m especially drawn to Supabase Auth. If anyone has used Cognito before they know why.

4 Comments
2024/06/09
21:28 UTC

3

How to start my startup?

Hi everyone, I recently had his product idea which solves a problem that is super exciting to me. It's in the fashion/e-commerce space and has the potential to be an industry disrupter when launched.

I'm currently working on getting the MVP up and refining it but am also scared the product's success completely depends on user adoption and getting the word out.

Here's my POA:

  1. Get the MVP up and running
  2. Get users onboarded and refine
  3. Apply to YC

Also, some background on me, I've graduated last year with a Bachelor's in Computer Science and am currently working as an APM at a startup. I've worked for good companies in the past and have good internships and can code a little too.

The plan is clear but I was hoping to get exact actionable steps I can take to achieve this and also was hoping to find a startup coach/mentor who can guide through this journey.

Can you guys help here? Also any feedback/thoughts are welcome.

6 Comments
2024/06/09
20:16 UTC

0

How do I turn my idea into a reality? (college student looking for some direction)

Hey 

Last week, I had an idea strike me and I haven't been able to lose the feeling that, if executed properly, it could be turned into quite a profitable, passive stream of income. I've been doing various side hustles for the past 5-6 years, but it's getting slightly old. No matter how good a single flip/gig is, it's only temporary. I'm always find myself focusing on one thing, then switching things up when something better comes along. While I have been successful with these gigs, I've never had the feeling that I could turn any of them into a legitimate business. I want switch my approach, put lots of time/effort in during a beginning phase, and have the money come in later on. Without going into any detail here, this idea is not being done by anybody else. It's not insanely difficult to accomplish either.

I was able to develop a VERY basic MVP (in the form of an app) over the course of a 2 days. The app works as I pictured it to, but it doesn't have all the features that a proper release would have. It's very basic, but it still woks and I think it displays my new idea pretty well. This was my first foray into app development, so I'm happy with how things went. That being said, I do not want to/cannot develop everything that I envision for this on my own. I have some rudimentary experience in programming, but developing a functional app, keeping everything organized, and handling the business side of things is well above my pay grade. That's not to say that I couldn't do it, but it would push things back quite a bit (time wise).

So, this leads me to the questions that I have about turning this into a reality

  1. At what point do I go out seeking funding? I've already looked into some small business grants and have enrolled in a necessary class that is required as part of the application process. Would it be better to keep the team small 2-4 people and execute the idea by ourselves or should I go out and seek investors?
  2. How do I start the search for a technical co-founder/additional hands? I'm only 20 years old, so there'll definitely be a bias that some people would have towards me because of my age. In addition to that, I've never done something at this scale before.
  3. How should I go about discussing this idea with potential partners/investors? I've thought about attending some upcoming networking/entrepreneur events in my area, but I'm wary of openly sharing my idea as 1) this would not be hard to replicate and 2) nobody else is doing it. Is an NDA the best remedy to this concern?

If I think of anything more, or if you guys have anything valuable to add, I'll be in the comments.

Any insight into the questions that I have is greatly appreciated! If you've read this far in the post, thanks for your time!

8 Comments
2024/06/09
19:41 UTC

2

Understanding our competitors

I’m founder of a VR wellness (app) start-up, focusing mainly on gamified mental health support.

There is one major competitor in the space, who are on the surface doing well. They’ve been around since 2017 and have raised a couple of rounds totalling ~$20m if memory serves.

The thing is, I’m not convinced that they’re actually turning a profit at this point, it’s difficult to see how they would be. Of course I don’t have access to any of their financials so couldn’t say for sure.

In addition, Headspace recently release their own foray into VR to mixed reviews. Again, not entirely sure what to make of this — is this just an attempt to get ahead of the curve? Or do they see this as a real future revenue generator?

I feel I may have been initially naive about what the ability to raise a funding round indicates for a company’s trajectory/value.

I guess I’m trying the ascertain whether they reason for investment is prediction of real value in the space, or more the result of a hype train that will eventually lead nowhere. No one has crystal ball but opinions are welcome.

3 Comments
2024/06/09
19:34 UTC

11

Liquidating Founder Equity after Termination

I was one of three founders to launch a company that hit about 20 million in annual revenue before an investor group took over and fired the primary founder and myself for what I can only assume was an equity grab (I was on a vestment plan that had no insurance against early termination without cause).

I purchased all of the options I had on exit and now I just sit back with my equity hoping that the group I don't trust will help me liquidate someday. The startup just finished a Series A and I was not offered any means of exit. I know that the investors plan on selling the company within the next 12 months, but I worry that my common stock may be worthless if they tank the company.

I've considered reaching out directly to the investors that bought into the recent Series A or looking to liquidate my holdings on a secondary market, but this is all new to me as this is my first successful startup as a founder. Last I knew my equity was worth about $2-3 million and while it could have gone up I do not have confidence it the new regime and suspect that my equity may be worth more like $1-2m at the Series A valuation.

Any suggestions? Am I stuck just waiting to get a phone call or is there something I can do? Note that I've already had lawyers review my termination and there was nothing I could do about that, so at this point it's just a matter of liquidating.

14 Comments
2024/06/09
17:41 UTC

99

Your favorite documentaries / movies about startup(s)?

I am looking for documentaries or movies related to startups that I can watch for inspiration and learning purposes. Could you please recommend some titles? I am particularly interested in your favorites, the ones that have had the most impact on you or have provided the best insights into the world of startups.

67 Comments
2024/06/09
14:39 UTC

4

Startup company - Manadatory hiring & tools?

In tech startup with solo founder who's expertise in tech, once he find the investor with investment. Apart from tech & product team building, what are minimum/manadatory key positions need to establish in the startup company? Also advise the startup sw tools required to manage the investment/people management/ project management etc?

8 Comments
2024/06/09
14:35 UTC

0

How do I navigate my career

Hi everyone

I started working as a consulting/lawyer for a start-up un finance some months ago. I like programming and made saas for our startup, idk how to price it, I also want to ask for a raise because the pay I get for consulting in insultingly low and tied to my junior role when I started. I took a pay cut compared to my previous job, but I just really wanted to shift industries.

I’m basically the start up founders right hand, and my colleagues praise me for doing so much. I know with startups no day and task is the same. However…

I am very young, 22, but I draft contracts, nda’s, advice on legal matters anf assist our CPA’s. (Lawschool takes a million years and I am not yet an attorney at law) handle our data analytics, web development marketinf, eventplanning and execution, handle our network, agenda’s, consult for big clients. My boss offered me an assistent for ahen I deem tasks to easy/ a waste of my time.

But I honestly just want a payraise. I work overtime a lot, and I get those hours paid. Thing is, I could be making much more money elsewhere but I fo not want to leave this job.

I am also in the middle of negotiating the price I get paid for our new website that I built.

I also developed a Saas for training and development for our clients and externals. Which adds to our businessmodel. And idk how to price this….

How do I navigate all this. Any advice is welcome. I feel I am heavily underpaid, as I get paid only 300 a month more than our recruiter whose sole job is to message and rarelt call people via linkedin and forward then to our senior recruiter all week. She’s my age and it’s her first job. (I have an extensive resume working and growing start ups)

I know it is ill luck to compare pay with co workers, But another colleague of mine who co-advises on one of my project’s developing another software gets paid 1100 more, he does have masters and I do not. However I create much more value and revenue to the company than they do. So how do I like

Navigate this??

14 Comments
2024/06/09
11:31 UTC

5

Requirements for pre-seed/seed round?

Hey guys!

Just some background -> I'm a university student who recently with a few friends launched a product which got quite a bit of initial traction in our university, and we think we are on to something. We need some extra funding to bring this idea to other universities/city wide.

However, we are not making any money from our venture and do not plan on making any money until the network has grown large enough. We want to raise some seed/pre-seed money and have talked to some VCs, however, they have all turned us down saying we need to make some profits to proof there is demand.

I'm asking for some advice and help from those who have raised money before. Would there be any requirements to a seed/pre-seed round? And how much equity goes away? Do I need to incorporate my business as well?

24 Comments
2024/06/09
11:21 UTC

73

How do people raise funds before they have customers for their startup?

Hey everyone,

I'm curious about how startups secure funding and investors in the early stages, especially when they don't have any customers yet. Does this mean their business idea and plan are extremely strong, and if so, what makes them truly solid? Or is it more about having strong connections that make it easier to attract investors? Perhaps it's also about having a solid track record in the startup space, giving investors the confidence to back them.

I have a promising idea (not unique) that I believe can be profitable, but it requires a significant amount of investment to get off the ground.

This is why I'm interested in the above. Thanks!

52 Comments
2024/06/09
07:31 UTC

0

Why SMS is the best communication channel for AI

Context: I'm a founder building AI SMS agents, sharing some of my thoughts on why SMS is the best communication channel for AI

  1. People prefer texting (98% open rates, highest reply rates in comparison to email and call)
  2. Best place to follow-up (same point as before, everyone reads their text so messages will actually be seen)
  3. Greatest opportunity for an actual back and forth conversation (website chatbots are good, but can't continue the conversation if someone just leaves the website)
  4. Since GPT can call functions/tools, there's a lot of opportunity for AI to actually help humans do their job as opposed to replace (example: GPT sets up phone call, then creates a notification/alert to the human to step in)
  5. Personalizing conversations at scale (people have a lot of lead data in their CRMs, AI can utilize that to deliver messaging that actually resonates with them)

At the end of the day, each channel has its own pros and cons.

And with AI agents continuing to improve, the future most likely looks like a multi-channel approach.

Texts, emails, and calls will be used together rather than individually.

16 Comments
2024/06/09
03:48 UTC

20

Large social following + mvp built

Hi r/startups

Over the past year I spent time building up an online community in the “local travel and events space” on Instagram with over 40,000 followers and most videos gets good views and likes alongside a semi-big newsletter. I also have worked with huge brands to promote them (all inbounds from the likes of Mucinex, GE, Timberland, etc). My audiance is primarily female in the 21-33 age in NYC.

Over the past month i’ve built an MVP of an iOS app that now has 200 downloads (haven’t promoted to my audience directly) with 85% retention WoW. Using mixpanel analytics to track.

I am looking to go raise a small angel round to scale and hire a part time engineer to help me build out the application. Is 300k at 4mil-post reasonable for a product like this? I have a deck and revenue plan lined up but this is very early stage so hard to gauge how much revenue I can generate.

17 Comments
2024/06/09
02:04 UTC

21

Ready to crowdfund but only have figma screens to show

The team and I are at the stage where crowdfunding is needed for us to progress to launch, but we only have figma screens to display the content we expect on the app.

The screens on the app aren't at the stage of having the expected content at the moment.

Is it common to have minimal to showcase, or are people expecting to see more for crowdfunding?

We would really appreciate some thoughts, opinions, and advice on going about it this way. Thank you.

39 Comments
2024/06/09
00:01 UTC

4

How to go about finding industries to research?

I'm a developer and not liking any current ideas I've been having. A have a fair bit of business acumen and want to select an industry I can really research heavily. I've been told by people that I should look at industries with particularly antiquated software but think that's a dangerous game as I believe that such industries often have a hard-to-get-around reason for being antiquated.

Would really love some advice from some of you that did do the research and found ideas you liked!

6 Comments
2024/06/08
22:31 UTC

5

I'm really frustrated with the current state of internet discussions, where criticism and bullying seem to overshadow constructive debate.

So, I was thinking, what if there was an app that changed the way we debate online? Every day at a specific time, a thesis is presented, and users try to either refute or support this thesis through their comments. Here’s the twist: to be able to comment, you must first vote on the opposing viewpoint's comments. At the end of the day, the side with the most upvoted comments wins the debate.

How do you think this would impact online discussions? Could it lead to more balanced and thoughtful exchanges, or are there potential downsides? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this idea.

16 Comments
2024/06/08
21:22 UTC

1

Problem discovery - How do you test your ideas?

I've been getting quite a few ideas recently, and I always struggled to test them before I built something. There are many ways to do this, but I feel like no matter what type of test you do, eventually, you will only find out if it works when you build it and gain traction (if).

What are some ways you tested your ideas before moving on to build them, and what were the insights you found? Did those insights affect your product?

6 Comments
2024/06/08
18:39 UTC

4

Techstars SF Challenge Series?

Yesterday I got an email from Techstars SF about filling in quite a few more documents. They had a webinar back on May 24, and I suspect we were not included because SF was our second choice.

Do they send this package to everyone who applied?

We’re at a disadvantage because only 9 days left to gather and fill in all the information

7 Comments
2024/06/08
18:25 UTC

3

Director of operations 3PL Equity Negotiations

Director of Operations Role (Startup)

EQUITY PACKAGE SITUATION/QUESTIONS

Working for a startup 3PL and managing our first warehouse and as we are just opening warehouse #2 our executive team is putting together an equity package for me and 1 other director level role. I am fairly young and inexperienced but have played a significant role in our growth to date.

Couple of notes:

  1. I’m the fixer. Lots of long days, have hands in many pots. When I leave things tend to go wrong. As we grow I would imagine I will become more disposable/less essential. Want to lock in something I can grow with. Timing is important here.
  2. We have bootstrapped everything. Zero outside funding.
  3. key responsibilities include:
  • Managing the warehouse floor
  • Ops side client onboarding
  • supporting CTO with tech rollouts (internally developed wms and ims which has lead to a lot communication between us as our warehouse is the alpha test for an eventual revenue driver)
  • process improvement, SOP development for most internal processes related to ops and tech side
  • some client communication on key operational issues as needed

Positives:

  • have grown a lot in the role and probably couldn’t have gotten this title elsewhere
  • enjoy the work. logistics agrees with my brain
  • enjoy the team I work with
  • I like being in a high impact and hands on role and want to be here long term
  • very close with CTO from prior to this job, a big reason I took a chance on this role and they took a chance on me

Negatives:

  • low TC to this point. Even for a warehouse manager
  • the long days drag and the day to day warehouse management eats up a lot of time I could be spending on expanding margins for existing revenue streams. Daily fires and things that need to get done tend to keep me off of higher level tasks. That feels like an excuse and not something that would resonate with c suite.
  • Internal Tech not in a place where we can just bring in a warehouse manager and onboard them
  • direct boss (COO) has some mild red flags. Equity agreement is coming and he advocated for that but wouldn’t be surprised with a low ball
  • tends to downplay the hours I put in as me being inefficient one day and then expressing immense appreciation the next; feels like a “trust me to take of you” gaslight type at times

Current equity split is something like 75/15/10 between C Suite. The new agreement will likely be drawn from CEOs pool. COO and CTO are vesting agreements over 4 years and are in year 1.

I am wondering if anybody out there has seen equity packages for similar roles and if there are things I should be looking out for as potential problems or red flags from my employer or specific types of equity (RSUs, expanded management incentive at sale, smaller piece of ownership % vesting over years) I should be looking for and what some options are. Currently have a 1% management incentive if we sell which was put in place 6 months ago because I make significantly below market, this was more protection and peace of mind for me so I could focus on the work until a more finalized equity piece gets figured out.

I will have some say in how this agreement looks. Tips on negotiation and framing are very welcome, definitely can work on the “advocating for myself piece” as I usually am non confrontation and a people pleaser in person. Want to come in prepared for this meeting and paint myself as positive a light as possible.

Definitely forgot some things here so ask clarifying questions if you have them.

3 Comments
2024/06/08
16:46 UTC

100

Built, ran and sold a few companies. Why my professional profile is not interesting to startups or venture builders?

I built and ran several companies with few millions each of annual revenue, running some in parallel at some points of my career. Currently 40 years old and sold all my companies. My plan was: I want to work with other startups or venture builders to ttry new things or new ways. Maybe join them as CEO or COO, or strategy romes.

My expectation was that they would kill to have a profile like mine but for some reason that is far from being the case but the opposite.

Edit: type of budinesses mostly software development services but also my own software products.

Why?

108 Comments
2024/06/08
12:01 UTC

32

How did you get to 100 signups

Curious to know how people promoted their startups in the early days. Most people I find usually just skip the early part of how they raised interest from customers because they believe that's it's boring. There's also so much conflicting doctrine when it comes to MVPs or early campaigns.

So for those that have had a successful launch or even had a bad launch but managed to get to a 100 users, what strategies did you use?

37 Comments
2024/06/08
10:23 UTC

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