Getting Your Start-Up Off The Ground: Honest College Explains How

By: Narayguy (founder)

This is not a post on how to start a company. It’s basically just a post on what you should and shouldn’t do if you’re starting a company.

You’ll find a lot of such information floating around around the web, but there’s nothing like an honest explanation from an actual founder. And this isn’t to say Honest College is a well-established company. We’re not by any means, but we’re certainly getting there.

Remember wondering what on earth “Amazon” was?
Well, their well-crafted logo quickly become a norm. 

The following tips come from our first hand experience, and have become sort of principles to live by in this cluttered tech-startup world.

First off, pick something that you believe in. If you actually firmly believe that you have a good idea, you can make it work. Selling apples carved into tiny houses? Why not. A restaurant specializing in beef jerky and mashed potatoes? Sure. Long as you believe in it. If you don’t believe in your idea but just want to make some spare change, others will see through it right away.

Find productivity where others waste time. To make an idea of your own sail, you’ve gotta sacrifice. With Honest College, to take it to the point of operating on its own, with new articles, commenters, new readers flocking in, and eventually sponsors, I had to stare into my laptop while beer cans, couch pillows, and rap verses flew through the air around me. Focus is the key.

Enjoy the crap that gets thrown your way. If people take the time to criticize you, then at least they care. Do you insult a small company that’s not going anywhere? Nope, not worth your breath. If you’re not getting any resistance/feedback from friends or competitors with your supposedly brilliant idea, then it’s no good.

Enjoy the small gains. Enjoy every Facebook like your fan page gets, or every comment online, or @ mention. Furthermore, don’t think any opportunity that someone presents you is too small or too unlikely to pan out! I’ve already seen the most obscure leads lead to life-changing connections. Network a ton. Everyone counts, and one person who shares a genuine opinion about you or is genuinely impressed is worth so much more than 1000 people who see your product but don’t care to comment. If you go for big goals too soon, you’ll tank.

Don’t sell yourself as an expert. Because, sadly, you are not. I am so sick of seeing SEO, marketing, branding and start-up experts on Twitter. All they are doing is scamming folks who can’t find what they’re looking for on Google. Don’t be someone who “lives for the satisfaction of helping others get rich” either. Total BS.

Be legit. Don’t think that big names, like Huffington Post, started off as a credible source. They made it there. Every time you talk about or write about your product, do so with authority and expect respect. Be overly positive, and concise too. Realize that people don’t listen to every word you say, so give accurate, short summaries of your progress with someone is kind enough to ask. Can’t tell you how long it took me to figure this one out with Honest College. People want to know stats, positive things, not that you hard time designing your banner.

And lastly, don’t ever restrict creativity. Don’t think that because there are lots of generic models and designs out there, that that is the path to success. It’s definitely not. There is a lot of laziness in the start-up world, and it’s your job to cut through it if you want your idea to get off the ground. Doing something unique or even offensive is always better than following a generic model.

Hope this helps! These steps have been what has gotten Honest College of the ground and sailing.

For more information on creating a good name for product, and the tedious steps it takes, see this article on “Framing”

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