By definition, first time start up founders are unqualified for their job. Every day, they’re doing something they’ve never done before. What an amazingly scary privilege.
So. How can I help you?
I’m extremely appreciative of all the people who have helped me over my short entrepreneurial career. I still have so much to learn, but I’d like to start returning the favor.
Whether it was an in-person intro by a friend or a cold email I sent, the people who took 30 seconds to help are the ones I truly appreciate, respect, and remember.
They’re also the ones that make the start up ecosystem great.
So respond to emails. Take that coffee meeting. Hop on a quick call. Take down your email autoresponder. Ease up on your get-in-touch-with-me-gauntlet-from-hell. Brighten someone’s inbox when they’re stressed-the-fuck-out at 2am.
Just. Be. Helpful.
Because as founders, we’re all over-caffeinated and under-resourced. Sometimes a quick note from someone with a little experience is all it takes for you to make a more informed decision and inspire you to keep pushing.
I’ve included below an unordered list of things with which I have at least some experience. If you think I can be helpful in any of the below areas (or any other area for that matter), please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or hit up @willydennis on Twitter.
You can also find out more about me at willdennis.com.
And of course, it’ll come with a big ‘ol grain of salt.
- Raising Angel Funding
- Raising VC
- Designing for iPhone and Web
- Learning Ruby on Rails and CSS
- Hiring Contractors
- Firing Employees
- Hiring Employees
- Determining Equity Splits
- Convertible Notes vs Equity
- Finding a Technical Cofounder
- Maxing out Credit Cards
- The NYC start up scene vs the SF start up scene
- Being broke
- Managing a relationship while starting a company
- Failing and restarting
- Getting press
- Logo Design
- Applying to Incubators
- Building a pitch deck
- Acquiring your first 5,000 users
- Peer to peer marketplaces
- Online video
- Mobile apps
- Being in an incubator
- Investor relations
- Learning Photoshop and Illustrator
- Cold calling/emailing
- Pitching at a tech conference
- Having a booth at a tech conference
- Starting more than one company
- Work life balance
- Figuring out if your idea is any good
- et al.