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119
Stickied postModerator of r/startups

Tell us about your startup!

/r/startups wants to hear what you're working on! Contest mode is on, so remember to select 'Show All' to see all the replies. If you don't see your post, you probably need to load more comments at the bottom. Also, all posts are sorted randomly, so the sort function doesn't seem to work.

119
343 comments
4
Stickied postModerator of r/startups

Create something? Let's see it!

Feedback or Support Requester

Please use the following format:

URL:

Purpose of Startup:

Technologies Used:

Feedback or Support Requested:

Comments:

Post your site along with your stack and technologies used and receive feedback from the community. Please refrain from just posting a link and instead give us a bit of a background about your creation.

Feel free to request general feedback or specific feedback in a certain area like user experience, usability, design, or code review.

Feel free to request support with hiring talent, finding a job/clients, recruiting a co-founder, getting your pitch deck made, or anything objective based that is specific to your startup.

You can also receive advice and feedback in instant chat using the /r/startups discord.

Feedback Providers

  • Please post constructive feedback. Simply saying, "That's good" or "That's bad" is useless feedback. Explain why.

  • Consider providing concrete feedback about the problem rather than the solution. Saying, "get rid of red buttons" doesn't explain the problem. Saying "your site's success message being red makes me think it's an error" provides the problem. From there, suggest solutions.

  • Be specific. Vague feedback rarely helps.

  • Again, focus on why.

  • Always be respectful

  • /r/startups would appreciate your expertise on our discord.

Support Providers

  • Please post some background information about yourself and why you're capable of providing support

  • Feel free to share a relevant URL

  • Be extremely clear what you are offering your support in exchange for: money, equity, barter/trade of services/products, or a mix of those--or if you are volunteering your support for free

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14 comments
92

For those startups who have had relatively successful launches, how did you guys actually test the market and see if there was a demand for your products/service?

I know that randomly asking random people, online or off, if they would buy your logo tee or food from your bistro concept does not concretely yield hard data..

So how do you guys actually test the market & find out once and for all if there are actual demand & ready-to-pay consumers for your products/services..?

(P.S. I own a streetwear brand & one way I did mine was by setting-up pre-orders)

92
38 comments
0

Being an entrepreneur is about taking initiative and starting something new. The Wharton difference lies in our ability to help people scale their ideas. Join us in the Wharton Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (Online).

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2

We currently have our application built (1.0), and are focusing on sales now. The landing pages (about, sign up, features, contact) are just static HTML served up by our application.

The problem is that we are constantly needing to tweak these pages based on fine-tuning our value proposition, new features added, outdated screen shots, playing with pricing, etc. Each tweak requires a developer to make changes, and a deployment for them to go live.

My plan was to move these pages to WP/Squarespace/Wix/etc, but then I got looking at landing page specific software. I don't care about intake forms as the CRM we use has a form we can embed. We likely don't have the resources to play around with a/b testing much, plus our sales focus is all outbound right now anyway. So it is more a case of just have a decent looking landing page for business we reach out to to find when we email them a link, or if they google us after a sales call, etc.

  1. Based on our needs, is there significant value in a landing page builder vs just a site builder like wix/strikingly/WP/squarespace/etc?
  2. Which domain to put these landing pages on?: info.myapp.net? or seperate domain like getmyapp.com/getmyapp.net? (actual web app runs on myapp.com). It seems (according to my memory) that most are going with a getmyapp.net (get + sitename + same TLD) now.

Any other thoughts welcome.

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4 comments
1

Hi guys,

I currently work as an IT Consultant and try to build an application next to my day job. Based in Berlin, but looking to relocate and start this idea in South East Asia (in roughly a year).

Since it’s my first time working on a start up, I was thinking about trying to connect with a successful entrepreneur willing to mentor and guide me. Not demanding any extensive help, but having someone in my network who has been there and done that would surely help.

How would you go about finding such a person?

Thanks a lot!

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I've read plenty of articles on landing page design and optimisations like everyone. Some of them makes sense, some don't but right now they are all just theory. My site doesn't have any traffic to do even A testing so I am asking people who actually work or worked on real world applications with lot of traffic where conversion is critical for your first hand experience on what kind of practices matter and even better - which ones don't. There are a million 'top 10' articles online talking about landing page optimisations, but I am interested in your first hand experience.

Some things I am interested to know:

  • Page with/without video. Does type of video matter ? Animated vs Live person.
  • Image heavy vs Copy heavy - Does having lot of text help or hurt ? There are arguments for both.
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5 comments
96

Last year I made it into the final round of interviews at one prestigious accelerator, and one prestigious angel group. I also had interviews at several smaller VCs. All ultimately rejected me. It felt like shit. I was of course shocked. In less than a year, working alone, had started averaging $20k/month in revenue in a limited market with a very limited ad spend, with over 50% margins. I thought I was a genius and that these VCs and accelerators should have accepted me immediately.

I had so much to learn.

I was rejected for "not showing a high enough multiple on future projected returns" and for "not having a big enough team". At first I thought these people were fools.

They were right.

The first criticism came down to my vision being too highly focused on being profitable from day 1 and showing market traction rather than outlining a grander vision for my product and company's niche in my market. I had started the business with $5k and I was so focused on showing that I was profitable that I totally ignored the VC's interest in an enormous future return. I took that advice and made big changes to my pitch in order to show the growth strategy and potential for many many multiples on future return. At first I thought it was bullshit, but now I see that as a VC, there is nothing more important than this metric.

I also added team members and focused on segmenting the business so I am not running every aspect of it, allowing contractors to do much of the work, who will scale up or down with revenue. It's a model that currently works and will allow me to grow steadily without a lot of fixed employee commitments at the pre seed stage.

As a result of these changes (and increasing revenue and margins) I have another final round interview at a highly regarded accelerator coming up. Even if I don't make it this time, I know that the feedback is valuable, and will allow me to grow as a founder and business manager.

My advice to you all is to subject yourself to as much criticism and humiliating rejection as you can in these arenas. It will force you to think about your business in new ways, and you will learn and grow from the experience if you are mature enough to take in the feedback.

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1

When in the pre-seed stage most numbers are based on statistics & assumptions based on calculations. Yet my revenue numbers still feel unrealistic based on market research numbers.

I do not know how to be realistic without numbers to back it up; only way I see is to release my product into market in order to get the actual metrics needed. I based my assumed first year customers count based on the amount of travelers coming into NYC - 62M & know my first year customers will not reflect that.

Has anyone run into this dilemmna before or know an alternative approach? I want my pitch deck numbers & executive summary numbers to feel real. Do I just base my assumed customer in the 50K - 100K range & do from there?

Could use all the help I can!

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15 comments
3

Over the next few weeks I will be releasing an app to Google Play and the iPhone App Store. I created a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in my state and have found that my state does charge sales tax on digital goods and services sold within the state, not on anything sold outside the state. Does anyone have experience with this and know how that works with the app stores? When I upload my app am I able to set the sales tax for only people purchasing in my state or does it not work on a state by state basis?

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Hey Everyone,

I'm soon going to be pitching at an investor-startup matchmaker event and want to avoid a boring, uninspiring, and too technical pitch. Since I will only have a 4 minute pitch + 8 minutes Q&A, I want to be as prepared as possible. So I'd like ask what kind of things have you found that work well when pitching? Did you take some kind of pitch coaching? What about rehearsals? Did you record your pitch and share it with people before d-day? If you got feedback from your network and how honest or brutal was it?

Cheers,

edit: removed link as requested.

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11 comments
56

To be honest, it could be hard sometimes for founders to closely monitor the financials and metrics of the company amidst all product or sales related matters that you have to deal with.

  • I would like to ask how you manage to monitor your financials(P&L, Cash-Flow) and metrics like LTV, CAC.
  • Are you a fan of using tools that are integrated to the accounting tool like Quickbooks?
  • Pros&Cons of those tools
  • In general, what are the time consuming/painful parts of financial & metrics management?
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3

While the business is pre-revenue, I need to do the usual: rent, food, medical, etc.

This is my first time that I've been asked to put together an amount that's needed to take my business to the next stage. I'm very good at the business side of things and what'll be required, and the funding needed to do so. However, I'd like to see if it's at all normal to put in an amount that, after the investment comes through, I would be able to take out in a way to "pay myself" so that I can survive while the business grows to a point where we can all start taking profits.

So is this ever done? If it's possible, I'd really appreciate a quick explanation. Thanks very much for the help!

EDIT: The only experience I have with this specific situation would be Shark Tank. I've seen when people say that a portion of the funds would go to paying themselves, and they almost always get laughed out of the studio for saying so. So does that mean that it's rarely done / should be done?

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11

I am thinking through a business plan in which the final product is an art. To manage the initial capital, I was thinking of hiring and paying students currently in university. I think many will fit the skill set I need.

Has anyone had any experience hiring students part-time? What were some lessons learned? How receptive are recruiting offices at the university?

Also, how willing are universities to allow use of classroom or studio space when you are a private company? Can you pay?

If it matters, I’ll probably be reaching out to a private university.

Thanks for any input!

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2

I used to have a certain job. I designed a product to solve problems I encountered when doing that job. How important is product validation when you know that the product is a valid solution to ongoing problems?

One concern I have is making my friends/former colleagues worried that I am going to put them out of a job, if they hear about my product. If their management deploys my product in the manner that I envision, this won't happen. But there is always a chance that management will see increased productivity as a justification to cut staff, even though that would be counterproductive... my goal is to sell software that automates certain tasks, so that my friends can focus on saving their employer money as that is the primary function of their jobs.

Either way, I know that my product is something that I wish I had available to me back when I did that job.

Thanks!

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2 comments
0

You have an idea. You need to get it out there into the world. Here’s the bridge to get you from here to there: Wharton’s Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program online.

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1

I ask in this sub, because this is the context. But yes this could have been in self improvement or psychology subs.

Here are my problems that i've been battling...

  • i decide behavior x is damaging, vow to not repeat it. I do it next day.

  • I decide I'll do ABC tomorrow, I completely skip all planned steps, and waste time in luxurious activity for no good reason (play game, watch youtube)

  • I plan on taking out time to process my thoughts, turns out even months later it's a todo lingering in my mind.

I understand one has to be healthy financially, socially, physically, etc to have motivation to stick to plans and goals. But what if world isn't going perfectly. I feel that's when you need to really stick to being productive otherwise you end up remaining in those bad times. If you stop changing when you're in a bad spot, aren't you doomed to have that your destiny?

It's like there is childish mind/person inside me who couldn't care less about anything else besides feeling good right now however that may come by. And become miserable to max if not listened to.

  • is it laziness? do i just need to be in enviornment for sometime where i have no choice but to do tasks?

  • is it vagueness of plans?

  • is it health? maybe too low on energy to even bother process thoughts and take action...

  • is it parenting i got, did my parents let that child get too big?

I do partly blame 12 years of schooling system where i was never given chance to do hard things because i decided to do them as i saw benefit in doing them. All hard stuff I did was because I was on a leash. I become the perfect employee as soon as you bring a carrot, and a stick. Otherwise, There is no internal discipline or motivation. I've been wanting to fix this.

So again how does one conquer himself? How can I become a disciplined machine that can achieve 10x, stick to his words.

Let me know if any book, program, organization, activity, habit, or something helped.

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17 comments
1

I started working on an app 3 years ago with volunteer programmers but it was moving too slowly. Then I met a tech guy working on a similar idea, but his knowledge of the platform's industry was too stunted for his idea to ever take off, so he convinced me to join forces as equal partners. I dropped my app, quit my job, and started working with him on my idea. He promised it would be done in a couple months. Now a year has passed, he quit his job to work on this full time 8 months ago, but it's still not done. He's supposedly spent $50,000 in hiring foreign developers to help him and designers, and I've spent an additional $3,000. But every time I try to ask him to give me a deadline or hire more developers to do the parts that are mundane or too hard for him, He just gets mad or gives me excuses about them flaking after a couple weeks. I hired a lawyer months ago to draft a partnership agreement between us, but he won't sign anything until he's had time to research, and he won't research until the app is done. He asks me to trust him that we're in this together and that he's working on it every day, but my other programmer friends think it should have been done after 4 or max 6 months. I don't want to just take what minimal code I've saved and the apk and run to another developer, waiting for him to either start acting like a partner or sue me in court. But I kinda feel like I've run out of options. He tells me he doesn't have time to meet or give me progress updates because it's a distraction. I haven't seen him in over a month. He just keeps saying it's almost done and he'll send it over for revisions soon. What can I do? Who can I turn to? I've already missed out on $100k grant because of the app being unfinished, and my client base is starting to disbelieve me that I'll ever have it done. Halp!

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9

Hello all

I have a quick question about LLC vs Corp when it comes to the owner's income (for single-ownership, btw). As I've been reading, an LLC is like a "pass-through" so the LLC's income then translates into the owner's income, so if the LLC made one million USD a year, it means that the owner of the company must declare the 1M as own income, while the Corp is more like the owner might simply get a salary and earnings at the end of the year if the company decides to share dividends.

Is that somewhat right or am I completely lost?

I am deciding on a kind of company that I should make, and basically what I want is to make sure that if the company made that hypothetical $1M a year, that won't result in me having to declare as if the entire $1M are my yearly income.

I am a foreigner so I was also reading that sometimes you can use the LLC as some sort of "reseller" so even if the LLC made that $1M, you could say something like "but that LLC is a reseller of my local company so 80% of that million belongs to my company at my home country" so at the end that LLC "only made" $200K for its own.

I hope I was able to explain myself well enough. Thanks!

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A friend of mine has been working very hard on a project for over a year now, he's very passionate, and quite frankly, a workaholic, he's done a great job. I'm a professional front end, and he needs a dashboard with some data visualizations, marketing website, and word press plugin, among a few other things. I think working in my spare time this will take 7-9 months to be perfect. Currently he is bootstrapped, what equity should I ask for? In addition, I am American and he is a citizen wealthyish European country with ughh... horrifying tax laws.

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40

Hi there,

Me and a friend from school have always dreamt of starting a tech startup. That's why we chose to become programmers in the first place. Right now we've both been working for a year in the same company and we think we might have a great idea for an app/web platform which really solves a problem a lot of people have and which can be beneficial for the other partners we plan on working with.

The "problem" is that we aren't experts when it comes to marketing, research and so on. We have had a good part of business courses in school (MVP, MVC, VPC, wireframes, user stories, use cases,...) so we're not totally un-knowing of these things.

My question now is: what are the steps we have to take in order to be able to deliver our idea to potential investors or anyone who we want to do business with? I assume we need a lot of documents like market research, a business plan and so on, but at the moment we aren't sure what should be tackled first and what can wait.

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75

I want to make a startup and start solving people's problems and ideally make it into a significant profitable business.

The core issue is that I've been very introverted most of my life and now we've reached the point where I regret it. But how can I even start doing this when I don't know people? I feel like I have failed my life by not making stronger friendships through highschool and university.

I don't know influencers.

I'm not an influencer myself.

I don't have business connections outside of a few people I worked with in the past.

I am not friends with anyone that owns a significant business that I could ask if they had a problem I could solve.

What do I do? :( Should I just roll over and die and accept defeat and that I will never create a business worth anything? Not even sarcastically asking there, I think I am fucked and it really upsets me.

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I need to make a decision this weekend on whether I’m going to accept a job offer at a startup. Here are details of where I am vs what the offer includes.

I’d love to hear as many perspectives as possible on this!

Current: Entry level non-technical admin role at top 10 tech company; package includes health/dental/vision, yearly bonus, stock options, paid overtime, unlimited PTO, flex work (can work from home 1-2 days per week), learning budget, and a 2K fitness stipend per year. Base pay is $68K. 10% travel. 2 meals per day paid.

Offer from startup: Management role in the field I’m specializing in via grad school; health/dental, no bonus, no equity. Salary is 90K. Small company (fewer than 15 employees). 25-40% travel. No learning, fitness, or meal stipend.

I currently have no management experience but I’m ready to take the leap. The startup approached me and they have been keen to move forward. They’re financially healthy and well respected.

I’m afraid to leave the tech company because it’s such a great brand to have on my resume, not to mention all the perks/benefits. However, I don’t know when/how I’d be able to get out of the entry level role.

What would you do??

Edit: I have been at the tech company for one year while simultaneously finishing grad school.

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61 comments
4

Hi,

I have recently started my own firm, and a got alot of competitors. I would like to know their costs of producing their product, which is simular to my firms product. I would also like to know who their suppliers are?

So to sum up my questions:

How would you investigate a competitor's costs of producing their product?
And how would you try and find out who their suppliers are?

Is there a way to do this? or some kind of website which can help you calculate things like this?
Any help?

Kind regards

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11 comments
1

So i am sitting on a good amount of cash from having worked a corporate job for the last 15 years. I moved into management in the last 5, so I'm not at the point where I can be writing code, especially since I'm focused doing market research and building the features and road map.

I have started to think about using off shore development resources to get this started. Or is there a market to find people to do this work elsewhere? I wouldn't mind a technical co-founder, but I have mostly built the architecture (i am still technical just a bad coder)... So it's more of a contract job, I think. A technical Co founder would need to be pretty experienced to help build this out which is why my mind focuses on outsourcing it... But I am all ears for thoughts on this.

I need to keep dev costs as low as possible since this is a free service to start, and I'll have to pay for it to run as a profit isn't the goal as step one -- it is saturation.

Thanks all!

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55

Hey guys, I make "kits" that I buy the individual parts for from wholesalers, and portion them out into smaller sized "kits", than sell them for around a $1 profit.

Depending on the kit, they can cost me just under $1.00 (~.90) to around $2.30. I usually sell them for around a dollar more.

At that price, I am happy with my profit. But I do not sell much. I want to move to a bigger platform like Amazon, and retail markets. Doing this, I would have to drop my price to stay competitive, and the profits would be as low as .30-.50 per unit.

In total, a bulk purchase will cost me around $175, and my returns will be around $50 in pure profit.

Seems like a small gain, so I am hoping to hear from others who sell items at low profit, and get some advice from them. I have no idea how well the product will sell on Amazon, or in retail stores. But they seem to sell well when I am selling them in person.

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5

Background: After some back and forth on whether to seek angel/VC investment, I've decided to bootstrap for at least the medium term.

I originally put a lump sum into the business to cover development costs, (this has been spent), and will continue to inject small amounts to cover costs on an ongoing basis (budgeting from the salary of my full time day job).

To make things a little trickier, I'm bringing on a partner for a small amount of vesting equity, but I alone will continue to fund the ongoing business needs (addt'l development, ad spend, etc.)

I've been keeping track of all of these expenditures with accounting software (Wave), but what do I need to be doing on the corporation/documentation side?

I keep reading that I simply need to "document" it, but what exactly does that mean? Do I need board resolutions every time I inject cash? I'm unable to do another traditional lump sum self-fund. I want to do things the "right" way without being a logistical, time-sucking nightmare.

TL:DR: Bootstrapping, and injecting cash on an ongoing (as-needed) basis rather than a lump sum. Whats the correct way to document this for a C corp?

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0

Not only this, but what things are important to look for. I am hoping this person would be able to handle the development process of a website as a sole engineer and eventually manage a team of engineers post-funding as a CTO. If it makes any difference I would like to find someone willing to take mostly equity initially.

Just looking for some thoughts on where to find these people. Have signed up for some startup meet ups but I feel like people there will be invested in their own ideas. Also considered students at a local college (maybe at the graduate level). But other than that I am not sure.

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8 comments
1

My business partner and I are creating a startup. Like probably many other founders, we have technical experience, but very little business experience. Very soon, we're pitching our startup to an accelerator for investment, including presenting a cap table. So far, we've been paying for everything out of pocket. We're wondering if it looks bad to investors, and should we try and set up a business bank account before going into the meeting? Or will it be fine/normal to sort out a bit later? Other details are, we've incorporated in DE, with 1500 shares common stock at $0.01 each. I've seen recommendations for having a much larger number of shares. Not sure if this is another thing to worry about right now. There's a lot to learn, but we're a bit rushed, so I figured I'd check if anyone here happens to have any advice.

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2 comments
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