Amir KhazaieliHardware startup expert, lean design

Electrical Engineer, Founder @NSF/CDC backed startup Hardware startup guru. My team and I can prototype and scale physical products at lightning speed. Owner of SFCrypto meetup group and early Bitcoin investor. Ask me questions! I love explaining complex ideas in simple terms.

Proudest Achievements:
- Founded a Cryptocurrency mining hardware startup and did 200K sales in 7 months
- 5 years experience actively managing 5+ megawatts Cryptocurrency mining investments
- Co-invented a dry sanitizing device that disinfects and deodorizes anything in 15 minutes using no water or heat
- Founded and nurtured Isla Vista's only community center
- Built a new venture incubator within a larger university student organization
- Scaled laser-hobbyist startup to 500 customers/month from 30 countries.

Recent Answers

You should pursue patents if:
A) You have the resources available to enforce it, and litigate those who infringe on your patent
B) If you want your company to be more attractive to potential acquirers who do have the resources to enforce it

It looks like you're dealing with software though, which in most recent cases is very hard to patent.

Your strategy of trying to pre-sell to telecoms businesses sounds great, however you need traction to create leverage. Ideas are worth nothing, they are cheap and if all that's preventing someone from "stealing" your idea is you telling them, then that idea is going to be very hard to start a business around.

Instead of valuing "ideas", try to shift your perspective to value "execution" instead. If your idea is truly pivotal, you should be able to gather a small user base and demonstrate value. There will be problems you face while implementing your idea, and your unique solutions to those problems create value.

Once you create and demonstrate that value, you can then sell it, license it, etc. It will be a much simpler conversation.

Happy to discuss further if you like.

One of the most toxic ways early stage companies fail is picking bad co-founders.

Building a business is hard, and if you expect to ever make it anywhere worth mentioning, you're going to need help. Anything past a cute business that makes you a couple hundred bucks a month is going to have more work than you think.

There is simply too much to do alone.

My suggestion: Do your best to find someone you can work with. The best business leaders find ways to bring in diversity of thought. Assemble your team to fill in your gaps. If you think you have none, you're being dishonest with yourself.

Take your time with the search. Picking a bad co-founder will take you nowhere fast, like you've seen. Start with Angellist, ask a lot of questions.

Good luck!

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