Build your Startup — No Funding Needed

Start Now

A lot of people have ideas, but only a few acts on them. No, you don’t need funding, an MBA, a big break, or any other excuse not to start. You just need to start now.

If you aren’t experiencing failure, then you are making a far worse mistake: You are being driven by the desire to avoid it. 

 Ed Catmull

Start Small

You fantasize with your idea of being big big big and not making progress beyond the idea itself. You can start with just 1% of your grand vision.

By starting small, you can build your startup brick by brick — you won’t win the game but you will at least be in the game. You will be ahead of the rest because you started.

Vision without execution is just hallucination. 

Henry Ford

No Funding Needed

So, you have a big idea but can’t start until you get funding.

You spend months talking to investors. Investors want traction, and you need money to get traction: chicken and egg. Don’t waste your time talking to investors. Instead, validate your riskiest hypothesis, talk to customers, and build a useful product for them.

Do the simple thing first. You don’t need funding.

With the advances in technology, you can start your business at a fraction of the cost of your first round of financing — and build the business at your own terms.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. 

Theodore Roosevelt

You Don’t Have to Be Local

Don’t build your company in the usual tech hubs — Who doesn’t love San Francisco?

You don’t need to pay more salary because you’re not going to ask everyone to move to Silicon Valley. Talent is universal.

There are a lot of great places in the world with an excellent internet connection where you can live comfortably with less than $1,000 per month.

You Don’t Need an Office

You don’t need an expensive office space.

There are several benefits of building a distributed team, including freedom, time zone coverage, productivity, access to global talent, cost savings, and lots more.

There are no advantages for people who come into the office, no disadvantages to staying home to get your work done. 

 Jason Zimdars

Funding Is Not the Goal

The path of entrepreneurship is not what you read on Techcrunch. When you bootstrap or organically grow a company, you have all the options in the world. Don’t rush into the path of VC funding too soon, and lose that flexibility.

Raising venture money is a good tradeoff for giving up ownership if the new capital can accelerate your business.

For all of the most important things, the timing always sucks. Waiting for a good time to quit your job? The stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn’t conspire against you, but it doesn’t go out of its way to line up the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. “Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it “eventually,” just do it and correct course along the way. 

Tim Ferris

Think Big. Start Now. Start Small. No Funding Needed.