Appendix - Startup Checklist

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An inventor fails 999 times, and if he succeeds once, he’s in. He treats his failures simply as
practice shots. –Charles Kettering

Finally, just about every question you should ask yourself before starting your project. Review the next few pages carefully and keep them close by throughout your product creation process.


  • Do you have an original idea?
  • Have you taken a look at a few sites with similar ideas to make sure?
  • Is your idea still a valid one?
  • Do you have the right mentors?


  • What are your other obligations?
  • Do you have the time for a startup?
  • Do you have the right team to help you make the most of it?


  • Do you have the technical talent?
  • If not, do you know where to find it?
  • Are they willing to work for free? Equity? Cheap?
  • Can they produce your first, quick prototype on their own?


  • Do you know how you are keeping track of your expenses?
  • Do you know how you are going to keep track of your code?
  • Do you know how you are going to keep track of your ten thousand business cards?
  • Do you have business cards yourself?
  • If you’re a service, do you have a way to invoice your customers?
  • Where are you going to put up shop? Why?
  • Who are your local competitors? How are you different?


  • Have you picked a legal structure?
  • Do you need to be an LLC? S-Corp? Partnership?
  • Have you thought about a board of advisers?
  • Have you thought about hiring?
  • Have you thought about insurance?
  • Have you thought about how you will handle payroll? 1099? Payroll company? In house?
  • Will you be ready for tax day?
  • Have you filed for the permits you need to operate? Licenses?


  • Can your designer do pages and logos? Print?
  • Do you have mockups of your pages?
  • Have you revised them a few times?
  • Did you look at them again, putting yourself in your users shoes?
  • Is your user interface simple enough to use?
  • Do you have a preliminary map of your pages?


  • Do you know what your database schema will look like?
  • Have you thought about it again, just to be sure?
  • Have you set up your coding environment?
  • Have you set up a way to track revisions? Bugs?
  • Have you separated back-end from front-end tasks?
  • Do you have the talent on-site to do both?
  • Can you outsource the rest?
  • Have you thought about APIs and Data Portability?


  • Have you thought about infrastructure costs?
  • Do you have an idea of how you will scale?
  • Have you thought about other costs? Office? Software? Servers?
  • Have you thought about how you are going to turn a profit?
  • Have you revised your profit estimates to be more realistic?


  • Have you thought about where your startup sits in the market?
  • Have you built in features to make your application easy to spread?
  • Do you have an idea of where you will market your product? To who? Why?
  • Have you talked to a few people about your idea?
  • Have you taken any of their advice?


  • Do you have your Intellectual Property in order?
  • How much capital do you need to raise? How will you raise it?
  • What’s your burn rate? Profitability?
  • Have you thought about your exit strategy?
  • Are you ready for launch?

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