Where do the greatest startup ideas come from? Are they delivered by the Startup Fairy, bestowed upon the deserving and hardworking? No, dear reader, they are not. Here at KillerStartups we know that most startup ideas come from problems that founders face themselves – problems that no one else is solving and that they know they can tackle, head-on.
That was the case for founder Nathan Chan. He was ready to start his own business and started looking online for tips and inspiration, but didn’t know who to trust. Instead of throwing up his hands and giving up, Nathan started Foundr Magazine, which bridges the gap between young entrepreneurs and the world’s greatest businessmen and women. It’s packed full of inspirational stories of their success – and what made them stand out from the crowd. Their goal? To be a source of inspiration for would-be startup founders, like Nathan himself once was.
What to know more? Keep reading to find out how a fistful of money and a laptop became the beginning of his entrepreneurial journey.
Who are your target customers or users?
Entrepreneurs, wantrepreneurs, freelancers and startup founders. Entrepreneurs that either want to create a startup or have just launched and getting started on the entrepreneurial journey.
Why do your target customers or users need it?
Everyone wants to be an entrepreneur these days, and with so much information out there on the internet, how do you know what to trust? How do you know where to start? How do you become that successful entrepreneur we all read about?
Based on these questions we started Foundr.
We are the ultimate tool, resource and guide for entrepreneurs to learn what it takes to become successful in life and business. We showcase successful entrepreneurs processes, failures, tips and actionable information that can instantly applied to your business and development.
When do your best ideas come to you? In bed in the morning? During dinner? On your third beer?
While I’m walking, doing exercise, in transit commuting.
A lot of people have big ideas. What gave you the confidence to actually go after yours?
I wanted to solve my own problem as an aspiring entrepreneur. I knew there was a gap in the market, and I thought to myself, “whats the worst that can happen?”
Got any great bootstrapping tips for the lean startups out there?
- Utilize freelancers overseas. You can find amazing talent at an extremely cost affordable rate. Elance is my platform of choice.
- Social media can be a brilliant form of free customer acquisition if you do it right. Each platform has it’s own secret sauce, test and find out which works best for you.
- Don’t throw in the towel when you just launch, keep your job, and work on your startup on the side, get validation, get traction and paid customers so you can live. There is nothing worse than leaving your job, and launching something that is only an assumption.
- When your bootstrapping you have be prepared to sell the vision, and sell it damn well if you want to get A players involved and pay them not very much. Get very good at developing a strong pitch and getting people to believe in your WHY.
What other advice do you have for other entrepreneurs struggling to get started?
- At the end of the day, if you want it bad enough you will get started. If you don’t want it bad enough that is the reason you are struggling.
- Make a financial commitment of some sort to hold you accountable. Maybe a decent sized bet with friends, use a tool like www.gofuckingdoit.com OR a big down payment on investing in the startup. Because you are more likely to get started then waste a lot of money.
What are 5 websites you can’t live without and why?
- Facebook – It’s where I keep up to date with the latest tech and startup news, plus what’s happening in my world. I use the newssfeed as my RSS reader pretty much.
- Bufferapp – It is where we schedule all of our social media content. It’s a web app, but it is something that as a business we cannot live without now!
- Elitedaily – Brilliant website. These guys have nailed it when it comes to content for young people. I love reading anything they produce.
- Seth’s Blog – Hands down my all time favorite marketer and entrepreneur. Cannot get enough of his stuff.
- Basecamp – This web app is a godsend, and it is how we manage all our projects. I’m constantly on basecamp.
Top 3 mobile apps you’re in love with and why?
- Evernote – My external brain and its an absolute game changer. Everywhere I go, I am adding to my evernote, it’s where I capture all my crazy ideas.
- Mailbox – Absolutely love this app, it makes managing your inbox so easy! I often have an inbox of 0 because of it!! Who doesn’t want that??
- Google Analytics for iPhone – I’m a bit of data geek, and I love tracking the metrics of our site and app, so I’m always looking at these numbers. They released this app about 3-4 months ago, and its amazing! In some ways better than their web app.
Three people (other than you) we should follow on Twitter and why?
- Bored Elon Musk – If you are in the startup scene and an Elon Musk fan you will love this. It’s hillarious. I enjoy having a laugh and to not be so serious all the time :)
- GrowthHackers – Because every single article they post is absolute gold for anything marketing and growth. Highly recommend!
- Mark Cuban – This guy is just amazing. A favorite entrepreneur of mine. Knows how to hustle.
Please share some specific numbers (funding, revenue, visitors) that highlight your growth.
We have gone from 0 to 100,000 app downloads in 18 months.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about fundraising?
I have never had to raise funds. So my advice and experience is not credible. But from what I am told, you have to sell the vision. You don’t raise money, you make people believe in your vision. Also heard, you should raise capital when you don’t need it.
What’s your favorite productivity hack?
Google Calendar – If it’s scheduled in, I get it done!