John ReelStartup strategist at

John helps software startups plan their products, launch, and monetization strategies, so they achieve the highest and fastest ROI possible, with the least risk. He founded the first web app development company ever and have been assisting startups with product and positioning for 25 years. John also launched his own million dollar software startup as a solo, self-funded founder.

I am am also one of the startup strategists at, with over 300 developers and technical staff to build software right at 50% off for companies with less than $2MM in funding or $1MM in annual sales.

Recent Answers


The best project management style changes at every stage of a company and depends on what you are making, so nobody can really advise you without knowing your product and team.

Most developers tend to hate Scrum and its variants anyway. Check out this HackerNews thread to get some insight:

And, check out this guy's videos. He talks a lot about different Agile options and why he loves Scrumban. Convinced me to give it a try.

Hope that helps,

Some other things to consider:

There are a lot of different things sales people do. For example, a different sales person might do any of the following:

1. Make the phone ring that you answer.
2. Answers the phone and convinces them to talk to you so you can close the deal.
3. Closes the deal and hands you an actual client.
4. Babysits top clients to keep them happy for years.

Each has a different value. You may give 2% to the person who made the phone ring, 5% to the next person, 10% to the next, for total of 17%, plus another 5% to the next person.

Those are random numbers. You need to figure out you can spend on sales and how much they will get over time.

If you give a straight percentage commission on products that have a long stick rate, eventually they will sell enough that they don't need to sell any more, and then your new leads dry up. So, you may need to put caps on commissions. Good sales people have a magical power. They can swoop in, make some sales, earn a lot of commissions, take a vacation for six months and repeat when they run out of cash. They are always in demand.

So, caps might look like 5% of the first 100k, 2.5% next 100k, 0.5% of rest.

And of course, there are junior people and senior people, and combinations of pay + commissions or straight commissions. For example, you might have a college kid who makes the phone ring for 1% with caps + $2k/monthly, and the senior guy who closes them for 10% commissions with caps.

Hope that helps,

There are many types of task management software for different types of tasks and projects.

Personally, I love managing software projects in storyboards, where I can plan and see the status of everything at a glance across multiple versions. I call it my mission control system.

After a lot of research, I chose, which I then sync with a Kanban board on Jira for developers to move tasks through a sequence.

Jira is ultra complex though. It also works just as well with Trello.


Typically at this stage, nobody knows what the valuation is. If you pick one, somebody is going to regret it later, because it will either be too low or too high.

So, don't calculate it! :-) Defer that work until you have revenue and are going after a larger raise and can calculate value with better accuracy.

A common solution at your stage is a SAFE with cap or KISS investment.

Here's a decent enough explanation:


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