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126
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.

126
382 comments
10
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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45

The basics:

  • Company is a SAAS application that sells in an enterprise market.
  • Company is nearly five years old
  • Company is bootstrapped and owned 100% by the employees.
  • I am sole founder have the majority of the shares. Some employees have no shares.
  • Current annual revenue is just under $5 million.
  • Current expenditure is $0.75 million, but I could tighten that up by another $150k if we tried harder.
  • Growth last year was 120%. Previous year was 80%.
  • Sales cycle is long at around 18 months.
  • The four other big competitors in the vertical are minimum 10x our size.
  • We haven’t lost a customer yet (thankfully), so retention has been okay. Our oldest customer is 3+ years with us.
  • We are not US-based, but most of our sales is in the US.
  • We lose > 50% of the deals where we come 2nd due to our small size.

Have an LOI from a NASDAQ traded company that is huge and wants to get into this product segment within our common vertical. The deal is for 10x our revenue plus a generous salary and RSU allocation for me and key staff. The fit feels obvious, I can see how it could work. But I fear the impact a big company would have on us.

I’ve never taken money out of the business, other than the same salary as other staff. I am fairly broke right now. I would be expected to stay with the acquiring company for 24 months. It would give me enough money to live comfortably for the rest of my life and take on perhaps a new vertical in the future. I am in my mid 40s. I feel like we’re selling out at a time when the business is going great.

However, I don’t want to take VC money that might be necessary to really grow the business and stop losing deals due to our size. Two of my competitors are in a bit of financial trouble because they took too much money and we’re creeping up on their revenue!

I fear my junior staff, that like working for us — they currently have lots of influence within the company — will hate the BigCorp experience. The LOI calls for me to grow our team by 10x current size in our country as part of the plan.

Oh, and sometimes, I get exhausted by all the duties that running the business demands.

Is now a good time to pull the trigger on this and sell? I'm leaning towards a yes!

45
33 comments
0

“Price is what you pay; value is what you get,” said Warren Buffett. Learn the system of value investing from the original source — Columbia Business School. Online program starts September.

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9

I'd like to entertain the thought of possibly starting up my own ISP. If possible I'd be happy just getting the equipment necessary to provide internet access for just my house, however google searches have lead me to believe that wouldn't be economically feasible. In that case, what else would I need? Equipment wise, and dealing with legal matters. I've lived in rural Oregon for a year now and although it's beautiful here I've just about had it with my internet. There's only a couple providers available at my address, all of which are DSL/Broadband speeds no faster than 10 Mbps down and 5 up. Not only are these speeds slow but they are insanely inconsistent. One second my connection will be fine, the next my ping will spike up to 9000ms, (yes, nine thousand) and packet loss will be 100% for about 10 seconds before returning to normal. This happens every 10-20 minutes. Considering I play online games and work from home, I damn near want to punch my monitor every day. If anybody could provide me with some sort of solution or advice I'd really appreciate it, thanks!

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40

So I was promoting my startups flagship product (a mobile app) on LinkedIn.

I had a discussion with somebody, lets call them Jane, about my company/product and they seemed to be giving me feedback but also asking a lot of business based questions (which is also important to get feedback on). About 2 months later (a few days ago) they reached out to me to be a Product Manager for them.

They said they basically want me doing what I do now but with a lot more resources and for their company.

I’ve had an offer like this before and turned it down because my vision didn’t align with the product the previous offer wanted me to help build. This offer by Jane is different though because it seems me and her company have a very similar vision and I would continue on my current path.

I dont have an official offer yet so cant say what it is (we are meeting in person this week), but I doubt it would be more than some equity in Janes company. Any thoughts on how to decide what to do?

40
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0

Hey I am looking for a skilled programmer that has experience with iOS, Android, web apps and with machine learning and deep learning.

I have a idea that has never been done before and can potentially make millions of dollars.

Looking to build full working prototype.

I don't want to post full idea so PM for more details if you fit description and is interested.

Basics of the APP without giving whole idea away:

-Recommendation based app using image machine learning / deep learning neural networks and other custom algorithm (can be simple for prototype) I have dataset for training already.

-Marketplace which connects with sellers though stripe connect: https://stripe.com/connect which allows people to sign up and make money.

-Like Amazon, Tinder and Netflix combined...

-Taps big untapped niche in market currently. No app like it and allows people to make money.

Basic Business Model:

- Seller subscription model $5.99/month, $9.99/month, $19.99/month

- Seller 2.75% fee

- Fulfilled products

+ MORE

Initial Potential Projected Sales:

- 10000+ downloads

- $15,000+ monthly sales

6 Month Project Sales:

- 300000+ downloads

- $300,000+ monthly sales

0
5 comments
0

Hi, I’m currently starting to make an Email app. 

I know, I know, there are a lot of cool/good design apps, to check emails currently,  wanted to share my .50 cents.

Here are my ideas to disrupt that overcrowded niche :):) hehe just joking ->

I don’t intend to raise tons of money and and harvest users like crazy, anyways,

  1. Get inbox zero by doing less work - you mark only some of the emails as important emails are sorted by importance and date so important ones stay like pinned on top on first 1-2 pages
    It's like the ranking system here in reddit
  2. Deal with thousands unread messages -> finds and marks as read all old messages > 1 month, that aren't written personally by human (newsletters and other automated emails)

for example most apps approach the problem by delaying emails (hide email for now and send it back tomorrow in the inbox)

or just filtering the personal email from newsletters/facebook/twitter letters

I’m doing it by rank them like in reddit important stuff stays mostly on top

If you like the ideas follow me for updates here https://sinkmail.app

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5

Hello All!

I’ve been working on a machine learning project that relies on MIT licensed code. I’ve essentially have the goal of being acquired if possible.

I read in a few articles where they state that startups will have their repositories scanned for copied code or non permissible licenses prior to acquisition. The recommendation was to rewrite any code that you don’t have the appropriate license to. I guess my big concern is putting in the appropriate work right now - there are some pieces of code that I’d rather rewrite now than wait till it’s an issue. The field is changing to much at this point that anything I rewrite may be OBE by the time I would even have concerns about Licenses.

Basically, my questions are:

Do I need to rewrite the code, even if it is MIT licensed? Am I putting the cart before the horse?

Are there any other considerations with machine learning or deep learning type apps?

I’d appreciate any feedback you have, cheers!

Edit: Extra word

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7 comments
0

Hello,

I'm not a technical founder but my cofounder registered a really bad domain name and created a site and apps based on that name.

Now we need to change names. He said it would be very expensive even though hes doing the work. Moving servers etc

How can i find out how much it costs and figure ways to do it cheaper ?

I need to find out the truth based on the following reasons:

Is this person trustworthy?

Is this person accurate in his quotes?

Does this person have full knowledge or enough knowledge to actually know how and why is should cost x dollars?

How long does it typically take?

What are the associated costs for moving said servers and domain name?

All of these questions and more are important to me. I look forward to your responses and advice.

Thanks

0
18 comments
10

Recently I have decided to use Google Ads to market my App through them as a UAC, Universal App Campaign. The campaign was going well the first couple of days, got some clicks and conversions, but then the ad campaign said it was suspended under the google play console due to "Limited by Budget". No problem, I thought, and went to raise the budget with the link to Adwords. Then today, less than 24 hours after, it was suspended again, due to "Limited by budget". There were no extra clicks, conversions, or impressions, so I am now confused at what's going on.

Is Google actually "suspending" my campaign every time it is limited by budget? If so, why hasn't the metrics or costs due gone up to show that people have seen the ad? Is google actually just halting my ad campaign indefinitely until the budget is changed or it still ongoing? There doesn't seem to be a good place to find this answer.

Thanks.

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3 comments
1

Hey guys! I am just about to open my first ecommerce store with brother. We are gonna sell mobile phone cases but have run into 1 problem finding a manufacturer... So I have been looking for manufactures now for more than 2 weeks. I have been on sites such as bay, Alibaba and aliexpress but no luck. Are their any more sites that are similar to them? That have manufactures? I am not looking for some thing advanced just mobile phone cases with the simple color black in the material plastic and silicon for the popular mobile phones. I haven't found 1 single supplier that have what I am looking for in my opinion it should not be a hard thing to find or I am wrong? The manufactures are not the best at speaking English(No Offense) so it hard to make a deal where the start making the stuff I am looking for. If you guys have a manufacturer that does all of these simple tasks I would love to hear from you or if you might find anyone that fits my needed. I am really running out of time we launch or store in just a few weeks... I have the rest setup already so getting a bit stressed. Any help is appreciated!

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3 comments
27

So I've been talking with a friend about this idea that I had, and I really want to work with him together. However, we are having some trouble getting to an agreement with the % of ownership.

He is having another 9-5 with good pay, and I'm planning to do this fulltime. We cannot agree on the terms because it's unclear how we should take the risk into consideration that one of us is basically devoting 60+hours per week, and the other one if devoting only 20+ hours per week.

We haven't validated our ideas, or build anything, or tested with any customers yet. Not to mention there's no initial investments at this moment.

How would you recommend the next step? is there a 'desired' split given our situation? Or should we even be having this conversation around ownership given we haven't really accomplished anything yet?

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43 comments
11

Startups have a unique advantage of staying close to their users and knowing things which would otherwise get lost in translation.

This is basically what led to our AHA! moment. Now over to the long road we travelled.

At the start of the year we at had built this massive end to end Sales acceleration suite, which overwhelmed the users when they tried it for first time, took them a lot of time to understand and by the time they got the hang of it they either ran out of time or lost interest.

We scratched our heads, got a bit paranoid and went back to the drawing board. We dropped our biases and got down to talking to users which meant Phone, Skype, Zoom calls to understand their challenges, paint points and figure out what would make them really productive if they used a product like ours.

Our product had 3 major modules

  • Prospecting Module to create multiple targeting segments on basis of intent signals like Fund raising, Active job hiring, Product launches and multiple other data points.
  • E-mail finder module to help target the right decision maker using professional e-mails.
  • E-mail Automation module to send personalised e-mails at scale and follow up automatically.

From Paranoid to Agony

We decided to start pitching with only the Prospecting module since it was the base and understood how much value it added to users' existing process and if they were willing to embrace a new tool which gave them flexibility of experimenting with doing targeted outbound.

In the process we found a certain profile of users who were more willing to use it than others. At the same time lot of these users asked us if we could help with finding e-mails as well so that they can do their outreach.

To such users we pitched the e-mail finding tool as well, but we observed a pattern emerging that despite the ready information and tools available at their disposal they did complete the process of doing outreach. Still 1 out of 15 did it!

Now we felt the time was ripe to pitch them E-mail automation tool that will give them the ability to quickly set up campaigns and keep mailing to relevant companies at their own pace. Did things improve? Yes it improved but not as much as we had hoped.

From Agony to AHA!

One common thing that was emerging whether any user explicitly mentioned or not was paucity of time and the best way to counter that was to Automate the whole process which could work like a virtual sales assistant.

Then one day during the usual feedback call we pitched fully automated version to one of our power users and he totally loved it and said lets START. For him it was alleviation of ages of pain.

Fully automated version meant putting his Outbound sales on auto-pilot mode. Any user would spend time once setting up his targeting, decision maker preferences and e-mail content once and then product would do the needful to roll the leads into inbox.

We started giving paid trials and most of the users signed up once they understood how it would work and add to their productivity and we are finally able to Accelerate their sales the way we have envisioned.

We still talk to lot of users as we move ahead to create a more intelligent and integrated version on top of complete automation we have achieved.

P.S It took us 180 days to travel the road!

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1

Hello all!

I am co-founder and operations manager of a BioPharma company located in Los Angeles that specializes in the creation of cannabis pharmaceuticals. We currently have one patent pending product, and five more in the pre-clinical stage. We are struggling to connect with the right people, as most of the connections we have made are with people in the tech/software sector rather than the BioPharma sector. Aside from linkedin or meetup style networking, does anyone have any suggestions?

My apologies if this violates any rules of this section!

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2 comments
0

What if the best investing advice was given in the 1920s — would you take it? Warren Buffett did. Join Columbia's online Value Investing program to learn the proven system, starts September.

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41

I got a couple questions about getting a lawyer for an app. I wrote a couple apps a little bit ago that I never did anything with. But I’m wondering if I did launch an app what do I need from a lawyer? One is a browser extension meant to supplement social media sites. But there’s no monetization implemented (yet, until it gets users). The other processes charges through a 3rd party (Stripe).

So, just wondering what’s needed for each or both? Is it “necessary” to create an llc for an app without monetization? Are terms of service necessary for an app and how much should that cost? What else do you need? And how much should these cost (for a lawyer in a tech hub like NYC or SF)?

EDIT: I have no partners, it's just me

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2

I am a software developer and I am building a app as a side project, hoping to turn it into a business.

The MVP build is taking a lot of time and I am considering getting help from a freelancer however, I have never worked with other developers before. I have been a developer for about 18 months and I have been a one man band the whole time. I am worried about the challenges of working with someone else. Does anyone have any advice?

Will it be worth working with someone else or will it be more of a burden? I want my app to be scalable and tidy so as to make future enhancements easy however, I am not sure how I can remain consistent with a different coding style....

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11

My wife and I have had an e-business for about 3 years. We are able to live comfortably off the income, but it is not like we have huge amounts to invest or anything.

My question is, how do we get to the next level? I feel like we are stuck, the business is just her and I, and that is enough for what we are doing, but I am not sure we can scale these businesses to a medium business, or maybe I don't know how. All of our traffic is from social media and natural traffic.

Is the best option to wait and keep building these businesses to try and make a bit more that we can start saving up for a bigger venture? Or should we start looking to add an additional business? Should I focus on paid ads to promote my business now that it has "aged" a bit, or are paid ads a waste for a small business? The businesses we have now have to do with fashion, but I would like to have a more technical company (I have a Masters in Bioengineering).

We have been going through guru books and all they do is talk about "imagining" the goal and we have used the focusing techniques in all of them for quite a few years now. I guess I am just a bit lost on how to keep expanding and growing (myself and our businesses).

TL;DR

Looking for advice on how to go from a small business to a medium/large business.

P.S. Maybe this isn't quite a "startup" question, any suggestions if there is a better place to post this?

P.S.S. We make custom clothing as well as re-sell clothing. most of our focus is on accessories and embellishments.

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4

Hopeful technical founder with very little marketing experience here. I'm getting up to speed on different means to vet a market need, and realizing there's a lot of different angles. Google Ad campaigns, faux Landing Pages, lurking near ‘digital watering holes’ such as targeted subreddits, HN, etc.

For a snapshot of company stage, I’ve built a throw-away prototype that illustrates some basic use cases and assumptions. In parallel, I’ve interviewed a bit over 10 practitioners in the customer segment about their common pains, needs, and followed with a demo. So far the feedback has been positive.

Next, I would vet a series of product ideas at a larger scale than 1-on-1 conversations. And ideally do so on the cheap. There’s no revenue, bootstrapping, or investment here, so I’m hoping to be a bit scrappy about it.

Looking for recommendations and insight in this area.

  • What tools have worked well for you? Why?
  • Associated cost?

Help is much appreciated!

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3

I run a boutique engineering consulting firm that does a wide variety of work. Our services include software development (front-end, back-end), electrical engineering (I.e. custom PCB, FBGA, Uart, ARM, WiFi), firmware development, mechanical engineering (I.e. CAD, thermal analysis) and systems engineering (I.e. AWS, Azur, Dell, Cisco)

Lately, we have been looking into finding relevant government RFPs but have been having difficulty. Do you guys have any advice on how to find these and possible strategies on how to get them?

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Writing is like a journey with many paths to potentially move down. There’s almost always lots of legitimate options to continue off of the previous sentence, and decisions early on can significantly impact the logical chain that follows. Many of the paths can be interesting and worthwhile, the issue for most people is they get stuck at some point and the writing dies.

A startup is somewhat similar. Decisions you make can build on each other and lead down lots of interesting roads, many of which are valuable, profitable and worth doing. The biggest mistake is to get stuck somewhere along the way and stop moving, especially for the fear you’re not moving down the exactly optimal path. Every decision you make, every small problem that comes up is a potential block that might stop your movement so don’t let it. Just keep the story going forward even if you don’t know exactly where it will end up.

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Hey!

Each founder believes that his/her idea is something new and world changing (sometimes it is). And some of them using such tools as referral programs. It can be very productive: people spread information about your product and get some bonuses. It works for taxi apps who give bonuses for attracting new clients. The same for event/music platforms who give users bonuses for tickets promotion. However, I believe it's not enough.

I believe that such companies became successful not just because of using referral programs. I believe the secret in thought-out strategy of marketing and sound management.

And what is your opinion? Do you believe that referral programs can help a company become successful?

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5 comments
9

Hi Everyone! I apologize if I'm not in the right subreddit. If there's a better subreddit to post this question, please let me know.

What type of questions would I ask when approaching them for the first time? I did searches for nearby manufacturers and most around me are plastic manufacturers focusing on injecting molding.

I was looking into various types of BPA free pacifiers and was wondering how I would go about searching for potential manufacturers. Ideally, I would like to find a manufacturer in the US.

I did find a few sellers on alibaba and they advertise BPA free. If I'm not able to find US manufacturers and pursue a supplier from alibaba, would I be able to advertise as BPA free when I import the products? Or would I need to go through specific testing to advertise BPA free in the US?

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18

Someone approached me to buy my startup. They offered me more than I am likely to make from this and also want to bring me on to work full time. They’re the biggest company in the field and their product is pretty bad, which is in large part why I entered to begin with. I’m confident that they’d make many factors more than they’re offering from acquiring my product. There’s a number of new players on the field that have the resources to compete with them and they need to do something to maintain their position.

I have a full time job already. This is something that I do in my free time and am not particularly desperate to sell.

How should I approach the negotiations? I want to play hard to get and force them to keep raising their offer until something seems interesting to me, while my partner feels like we need to go into the next round of negotiations with a hard value that we’d be willing to sell for.

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55

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!

55
38 comments
3

Hi,

I was wondering what's the best way to tell your firms story? Do you guys have some examples of firm who is good at storytelling.

I have thought about both making a video and a text to the website. It is the website text, which i am struggling with. How do i make it interesting for the reader, so they'll remember my firms story? Does anyone have some ideas, methods or things that should be in the storytelling of af firm. And should a firms mission, vision and value be incoperated in the story?

Thanks in advance

Best regards

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8 comments
99

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)

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48 comments
1

Hello ambitious fellow Redditors - so first off, my expertise is NOT internet, tech, IT, software....anything like that. Building a website/platform is all new to me. Before I can even find a partner who can supplement this part of the business for me, I need to figure out what type of professional I even need! So let me run down where I am at, current:

Part of my idea is a test that the site users both create AND engage in taking the test. I am at the point where I need to develop a site that needs the following features:

  • sign-in page
  • all new accounts must answer the same 10-20 preliminary questions
  • Once user account is set up - users can submit multiple choice questions (maybe 100 word/500 character limit for question; 5 options for answer)
  • questions may have attached PDF or JPG file as reference
  • users can answer other users' questions, and rate them as they go. So that good questions get a higher 'score'.
  • All of this information is captured in a database

So my questions are as follows:

  • Am I looking for a software engineer, web developer, both or maybe neither...an IT Project Manager?

  • What type of requirements am I looking at for software, hosting platform...servers? Is something like this costly to set up?

  • What even IS this, that I'm describing? Can it be an 'App' if it is not specifically designed for a phone?

Last part - If anybody who is IT savvy is intrigued by what I've posted, and is looking to get involved in a start-up in the Boston area, feel free to reach out to me. The concept is actually very well thought out and put together in my white paper and pitch deck - dissecting it and taking the IT portion out of it kind of makes it seem rather ridiculous, but there is a larger picture.

Thank you all for reading and (hopefully) responding!

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