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How to build a bulletproof startup

Business 2.0 magazine has published a 16-step guide that helps entrepreneurs to turn a new idea into a great company. The guide hopes to offer all the benefit of hard earned experience without having to actually endure the pain of making your own mistakes.

According to the magazine, there’s never been a better time to start your own company. New technologies are creating new business opportunities on the Internet, on mobile phones, in consumer products, and in information services. At the same time, many of these technologies have radically reduced the costs associated with launching a new venture.

But while birthing a company is easier, succeeding is as difficult as ever. The general rule in the investment community is that only about a third of all start-ups ever turn a profit. Another third limp along at a break-even level, and the rest end in failure. Top among the reasons young companies fail are problems such as incorrect market focus and misguided executive leadership.

In order to create the guide Michael V. Copeland and Om Malik spoke to dozens of experts–seasoned entrepreneurs, early-stage investors, venture capitalists, and first-time CEOs–to understand what they’ve learned about the art of getting a new company off the ground. Then they set out to create a set of blueprints describing just how to do it. The process consists of four phases:

  1. Establish a Company
    • Step 1. Stress-Test Your Big Idea
    • Step 2. Build Your Founding Team
    • Step 3. Draft a Business Plan
    • Step 4. Play the Name Game
    • Step 5. Incorporate Thyself
  2. Prototype the Product
    • Step 1. Stake Out Intellectual Property
    • Step 2. Create an Advisory Board
    • Step 3. Build Your Prototype
  3. Develop the Beta Product
    • Step 1. Start Staffing Up
    • Step 2. Assemble Your Back Office
    • Step 3. Launch Your Beta Test
    • Step 4. Revisit the Business Plan
  4. Launch the Product
    • Step 1. Build a New Board of Directors
    • Step 2. Develop the Sales and Marketing Plan
    • Step 3. Open an Office
    • Step 4. Hit the Market


Business 2.0 Magazine: How to build a bulletproof startup | Full Story