Assaf Ben-DavidMentor, Entrepreneur, Lawyer, Public Speaker
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Experienced Startup Mentor, Commercial lawyer, Lecturer & public speaker. I've helped over 300 entrepreneurs & 100+ startups. Taught tens of courses and given hundreds of talks. Founder of the Legal Clinic for Startups.



Recent Answers


Hi
This is a good and common question.
The answer depends on numerous factors. Just to name a few: how complicated the project is, how talented the person is, do you want them solely as a service provider (who then leaves at the end of the project) or as a co-founder long term?
Additionally, it depends on what the Coder wants (and not only what you want).
1. I suggest that you start by trying to "sell the dream" of your idea to potential coders and then once they show interest, ask them how many shares they want. Then, based on the above factors decide how many shares you're willing to give.
2. Whatever the amount is, be sure to:
a. Allocate the shares/right to shares gradually (through vesting) and not all at once.
b. Get a waiver regarding the IP rights and an NDA for confidentiality.
c. Get copies of the progress as the coder advances.

p.s.: if the project is interesting enough *you can send me a pitch/investors deck), I know a programming company that will do the programming (and provide support) for you - for free - in exchange for shares. Your only costs will be the legal costs for drafting the agreements via their lawyer.

I've successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs, startups and businesses, and I would be happy to help you. After scheduling a call, please send me some background information so that I can prepare in advance - thus giving you maximum value for your money. Take a look at the great reviews I’ve received: https://clarity.fm/assafben-david

Good luck


Hi
1. I can draft an NDA for you or you can find numerous examples online (although they are not tailored to your specific needs, they should be ok if you want to save the money).
2. Most mentors/experts/investors don't sign NDAs - we/they work with too many startups and have usually heard your idea numerous times before and therefore don't want to be limited. Second, it takes too much time (consider that they/we speak to tens of startups every day...if we had to spend 30 minutes reviewing NDAs we wouldn't get any work done).
3. In 99.9999% of the cases no one will steal your idea. Everyone has ideas, what makes entrepreneurs unique is that they actually implement them.
4. Sharing your idea with as many people as possible will ultimately help you (they will give you feedback, they will tell you if it exists, they will tell you what to improve, and they will criticize you and try pursued you not to do it - and if you listen, then it means you shouldn't be starting a startup anyway).
sorry for sounding 'tough' but all the above is the honest truth - and if you want to succeed ask for honesty, not praise.

I've successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs, startups and businesses, and I would be happy to help you. After scheduling a call, please send me some background information so that I can prepare in advance - thus giving you maximum value for your money. Take a look at the great reviews I’ve received: https://clarity.fm/assafben-david


No one, including experts like myself, can really tell you if an idea is viable. The only way to really know is to validate the idea in the market.
Look at my full answer on how to do this here: https://clarity.fm/questions/6423/how-do-you-do-market-research

I've successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs, startups and businesses, and I would be happy to help you. After scheduling a call, please send me some background information so that I can prepare in advance - thus giving you maximum value for your money. Take a look at the great reviews I’ve received: https://clarity.fm/assafben-david


Send me you c.v. and I'll review it (for free) and tell you how to improve it. If relevant, I will also refer it to a few people.
Good luck
I've successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs, startups and businesses, and I would be happy to help you. After scheduling a call, please send me some background information so that I can prepare in advance - thus giving you maximum value for your money. Take a look at the great reviews I’ve received: https://clarity.fm/assafben-david


There is an Israeli company/startup that specialized in this - Brayola - they recently got sold to another company (try Google them) - partnering / using their service would be one of your best options because otherwise you have to create your own system/technology which is both costly and time consuming because (as you said) each company/country has it's own sizes.
I've successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs, startups and businesses, and I would be happy to help you. After scheduling a call, please send me some background information so that I can prepare in advance - thus giving you maximum value for your money. Take a look at the great reviews I’ve received: https://clarity.fm/assafben-david


Hi
This is a good question.
I think that the best use of your old email list depends on "how" you got the emails + "why" people gave them to you (at the time). Examples: did they buy a product? Sign up to a newsletter? Contact you?
Based on "how"/"why" you got the emails, you can then reach out to them by providing them value (giving them something related to what they wanted when providing your email).
For example: if someone bought a product, then it would be ok to offer them similar or complimentary products. If someone subscribed to your newsletter, send out an informational email (and perhaps gently include 1-2 products/services that you are offering).
Important notes:
1. Remember to utilize the email you are sending out to its' fullest - invite them to become members, subscribe to your blog, or whatever other method to keep them engaged. You only have on shot.
2. The email should not be spammy - respect their time.
3. Allow for a clear and easy unsubscribe method and unsubscribe anyone who asks.
4. Use 'cool'* and friendly wording (and stay short and to the point) (* unless it's health products/services etc).
5. As for the open rate, this is a whole huge subject and not for this answer.

I've successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs, startups and businesses, and I would be happy to help you perfect the above advice. After scheduling a call, please send me some background information so that I can prepare in advance - thus giving you maximum value for your money. Take a look at the great reviews I’ve received: https://clarity.fm/assafben-david

Best of luck


Hi
The concept is more or less as I explained in my answer here (on Clarity): https://clarity.fm/questions/6423/how-do-you-do-market-research
After you schedule a call, you can send me the specific details of the venture (who are the service providers, what type of students, your business model, etc.) and then during the call I will explain to you, step by step, what is the most effective way to do your MVP.
p.s.: just to be sure, you first need to validate your idea - this is like a mini MVP or Proof of Concept (POC).

I've successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs, startups and businesses, and I would be happy to help you. After scheduling a call, please send me some background information so that I can prepare in advance - thus giving you maximum value for your money. Take a look at the great reviews I’ve received: https://clarity.fm/assafben-david

Good luck


This is an important question. Knowing when to stop is just as important as knowing when to not give up (it allows you to to save your time, money and efforts for other projects which may be more lucrative/profitable).
That said, anyone who actually gives you an answer without taking a look at your website and analyzing it, shouldn't call themselves an expert.
So if you want a proper answer - please send me the link. I will give you my bullet answer for free. Additional advice and insights will require a call.
I've successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs, startups and businesses, and I would be happy to help you. After scheduling a call, please send me some background information so that I can prepare in advance - thus giving you maximum value for your money. Take a look at the great reviews I’ve received: https://clarity.fm/assafben-david


First of all, the fact that you are talking about market validation is great. I've seen so many startups invest time and money, only to find that no ones wants/needs their product, or that they only want a certain aspect of it (whilst the startup spent money developing a whole bunch of other features), or that they aren't willing to pay the requested price. So you're already one step ahead.

Also, the sooner you validate your product, the better! That said, the version you are validating needs to be representative of the end product, or else the validation isn't reliable.
So, how should you validate it? The best way, is to see whether people are willing to pay for your product/service (in some cases, other actions may be considered a conversion for the validation stage).
This is how you find that out:
1. Create a business model canvas (which is what all startups should start with before creating a business plan),
2. Setup a Wix or Wordpress website (this can be done for free / very low costs) or if your venture is a mobile app, then create what’s called a Clickable Prototype (“CP”) (a visual of the app in which the images change when you click – you can do so using the Apple Keynote tool or Microsoft PowerPoint). On the website, or the download page for the ‘app’ include the price of the product/service, and enable people to order/use it (YES, even if it doesn't really work/exist yet!). I am happy to explain how this can be done whilst still being fair to your potential customers (the people who click the "buy/download” button).
3. Determine your target market/customers.
4. Spend a small amount (say $100 - depending on your budget) validating the idea (promoting the product/service that you listed in the previous stage).
This way, after only spending a very small amount, you will be able to know (if you did it right):
a. Do people like your product/service
b. Do people want/need your product (not the same as 'a').
c. Are people willing to pay for your product? (this being the most important stage)
d. How much are they willing to pay? (you can check this by having 2-3 landing pages with different prices on each).

2 last important points:
a) In order to rule out external factors like an unattractive landing page or advertising campaign, and assuming you have the time, create multiple landing pages / advertising campaigns, with different designs.
b) During the above process, don't forget to check how much it costs you to get each user/customer to click the "buy" button. If for example each click on your promotion/advertisement costs you $2, and only every 10 people who click go on to the "buy" page - that means each sale is costing you $20. Then check what your average profit per sale is, and then you'll know if your service/product is worth pursuing (obviously there are additional factors like return customers, referrals etc, but you will get a good estimated/validation of the idea/business).

I’ve successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs and I’d be happy to help you. Doing validation correctly can save you a lot of time and money. Before the call, and in order to make the best of your time, please send me more information about your product/service and your target market.
Best of luck!


This is a common problem.
Here are some solutions (some more obvious and some less):
1. Make sure you hire skilled workers. This can be done by using service providers who you reached through recommendations (preferably from people that you know) and if you don't have any other choice: then based on reviews from freelancers websites (anything less than 5 stars usually means there was an issue with that service provider, but don't only check the star ratings, check the verbal reviews people left as well).
2. Structure the compensation in a layered way:
a. small down payment (only if required)
b. payments only after completion of each stage (completion = you've reviewed it and find it satisfactory). Always leave at least 30% for the end - which you only pay after you've reviewed and confirmed that everything is 100%. I even advise leaving another 10% for at least 1-3 months after the project has been completed - this isn't always possible - it depends how big the project is.
c. Bonuses: if each section/the final project was done wit no mistakes (what you called "attention to details") they get a bonus. If there were mistakes, they 'only' get the original payment.
3. Be very specific with what you want in the document that you provide them and ask them to highlight (in green) each item once completed.
4. Test their work on a small project before giving them the big/main one. Preferably something that requires attention to details.
5. Sign a service provider agreement (I can draft this for you) which clearly defines the work done and more importantly, protects your IP (intellectual property).

I can give you some recommendations if I know what type of product/service it is.

Good luck
I've successfully helped over 300 entrepreneurs, startups and businesses, and I would be happy to help you. After scheduling a call, please send me some background information so that I can prepare in advance - thus giving you maximum value for your money. Take a look at the great reviews I’ve received: https://clarity.fm/assafben-david


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