So this is the first of the RoC Startup Series where we wanted to talk about everything from having an idea over a lunch conversation at the office to taking the plunge of quitting your job and working for yourself. Since this is the 1st in a series of 5, it only makes sense to talk about the first stages of a startup.

Lightbulb goes off in my head – Startup is not idea based, it’s all about the execution

Usually it goes something like this: you’re either sitting at a restaurant or the office and you see a need that isn’t being met or you’re fed up with something that isn’t being done as efficiently as you would like.  Whoever you’re sitting with at the time becomes your first validation point:

**Open Scene**

**Two friends are sitting at a bar chatting**

Me: Man, don’t you think it would be awesome if there was a company that did (&&***@?

Friend: Isn’t there something like that already?  I think I saw something like that..

Me: You sure? I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen anything like that…

**Smart phones enter the scene**

Me: I can’t find anything!

Friend: You should make a company that does this!

Me:  Haha, seriously I should!

**End Scene**

Typically that’s the end of the conversation and the idea – the next day starts again with your day job and the preoccupations of the day-to-day don’t let you take that idea beyond that short conversation.

**Open Next Scene**

**Same two friends are sitting at the same bar two years from when they had this conversation**

Friend: Hey check out the news another company IPOing!

Me: Jesus, I feel like some of these companies are getting away with murder.

Friend: Didn’t you have the same idea a few years ago?

Me: You’re right! Why didn’t I do anything about it then…

**Close Scene**

What’s the moral of this story? That ideas are USUALLY a dime a dozen.  If you think something is a great idea, almost guaranteed there are many other folks that have the same thing.  Where the differences arise are in execution and the details that are implemented when you build out the business!

Startup is execution, NOT idea. Get it? You have to DO it before it becomes a startup.  Talk is cheap so keep it to a minimum and go take the plunge.


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Sang H. Lee
Sang is the founder and CEO of Return on Change. He's constantly searching to help startups that are looking to change the world! He's a leader in equity crowdfunding and is always happy to help entrepreneurs and startups. He previously worked as an investment banker in the energy field at WestLB and BNP Paribas, accruing a wealth of expertise in financial regulation, business, and financial structuring. Sang is also the Executive Director of CF50, a global think tank of thought leaders within the crowdfunding industry. You can find him on Google+ and Twitter.
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One Response to “RoC Startup Series – 1 of 5” Subscribe

  1. Ruben 09/11/2012 at 2:10 pm #

    Hello Gang and wonderful wetibse.Our one hope is that investors like Kimberly bring all their questions and needs to the table early on in this process so all can be addressed. How and who will handle Due Diligence? Will there be risk arbitrage instruments to limit market and start-up risks. As a Crowdfund Investor will I have any say in the direction of the company? We also need the CrowdCos to speak up and vice their requirements. If this is first stage of investment needed can the CrowdFund Intermediary align the next funding with their investment? What kind of equity is required and can I back back some portion of equity control? Are the funds raised in the crowdfunding process provided up front or are they metered out based upon milestones set out in the Business Plan?Working together we will be a fully transparent process that allows all members of the process to succeed. Think new paradigm not patched problems Crowdfunding is the next great step to reclaiming our free market model.

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