Questions

I'm 16 and want to create a startup in the future - should I start it now or prepare first?

I'm after my first startup fail and main reason for that was lack of experience, hard idea and due to my age, limitations. Right now my partner wants to create next company, but I've started considering other idea - I'm 16. Cannot I delay my startup for 2 years, for example, and during this period actively learn, gain contacts, do other projects (Currently, I've started one very experiencing) and so on? Also - I'm on a good way to become front&back end developer and I think, mastering it, before getting into startup could be very helpful for my future startups. What do you think? Thanks

10answers

Hi There. Great question. Learning through doing is ALWAYS going to be a better option. If you have a business or product concept or idea, go for it! Don’t wait. Experience is going to be a great teacher. Also, you can prepare WHILE you execute your business idea.

Check out Business Model Canvas (from Strategyzer) and get the book. This will let you reach both goals — launch your business while training yourself for it.

Good luck in your efforts!


Answered a year ago

Hi-

I want to start off by saying good for you in terms of taking the first leap into the startup world at such a young age. I've worked at technology companies for almost a decade now and can tell you what my developer colleagues go through on a day-by-day basis if you are interested.

You have already answered your own question in your first statement. Your first startup failed due to lack of experience, contacts, etc. Here is your chance join your industry of choice and learn the inner workings of how a business/company/startup works as a front-end developer.

My advice to you is join a company to gain valuable experience but keep working on your dream job in your free time (after work, weekends, etc.) According to inc.com, the average age of an entrepreneur is 40 years old anyway: https://www.inc.com/melanie-curtin/attention-millennials-average-entrepreneur-is-this-old-when-they-found-their-first-startup.html. Most likely, they have usually worked for a couple of years before starting their own venture. It would be a good idea to gain some business skills at a corporate job and in parallel, work on your startup on the side. To quote the great Nick Loper, "Your 9-5 May Make You a Living, But Your 5-9 Makes You Alive!" (https://www.sidehustlenation.com/side-hustle-show/).

Good luck and let me know if you want to jump on a call to learn more about the pros and cons of joining the corporate world.

Best,
Kevin


Answered a year ago

First, i'd like to commend you for being such a matured person at a very young age. Nowadays, its very critical to startup when you dont have knowledge and passion about what you would like to do. It came from you, you are only 16. Meaning, its never to late to know what you want, what would be the best and what gives you the satisfaction your life has. Dont rush yourself, yes its good to start early, but its better to start the game prepared and ready. I hope i was able to help you. Goodluck on your endeavors.


Answered a year ago

It's more important that you increase your skills and contacts because this is 80% of your startup success.

On another note, perhaps you don't have to found a "startup", but you could start a side hustle or small business online?

You could use any number of marketplace platforms to sell your next product/service without having to build a company of your own from scratch.

I know, it isn't as glamorous as being a "startup founder".

But at 16, you have plenty of time to realize your dreams in many different ways, with lowest amount of risks (no spouse, children, mortgage or groceries that rely on a steady income).

Happy to have a straight to the point talk on how you can continue building your skillset and contacts-- while working on your side-hustle, before you launch your next startup.

Cheers,
Erika


Answered a year ago

Hello, I’m experienced in the startup world, having worked for many startups as well as helped friends start their own.

Experience is important, but also equally important is knowledge of the industry you are trying to break into. What is the goal of your startup, how do you plan to make a profit, and who is your customer. These are important questions. Before anyone starts a business they need to do lots of research and create their own business plan in order to avoid failure. You may need investments for marketing and advertising and other costs to run a successful business, how would you plan to raise this money, etc.

My advice is for you and your partner to take a step back, because another failure will be a tremendous waste of time. Try to find work in a startup that has a similar idea to yours and learn from them, learn how they operate, examine their daily practices and what languages and frameworks they’re using. After you have enough information, you may start developing your own startup in your free time after work. As you are a developer you may need to keep in mind that whatever software you build, if you want it to be successful it needs to be scalable, this means making sure you are using the correct tools, frameworks, devops process that can handle rapid growth. The software needs to be architectured well, so that if it is successful, you can keep building on top of it for many years, and it will perform efficiently.

But most important is the ability to keep the company running. It needs to generate cash and needs to attract people fast. It’s easier said than done because many people have many great ideas and spend lots of time building out the idea only to find that they are unable to attract customers. So it will require lots of research and marketing.

The perfect formula for a startup in my opinion is that it has a great product that works perfectly and solves a problem or fulfills a need that many people are having, with a great team behind it supporting it, and has a lot of potential for growth. Best of luck


Answered a year ago

Amazing that you're 16 with these ambitions and having already started something. Failure is great - this is how brilliant founders are born- at some point in your entreprenuerial journey no matter who are - you fail. It is a learning. Get a memtor! Someone who has done the thing you are trying to do and is inline with your core values and your business. It's not easy and choose them carefully - make sure you offer them something in return. There is no such thing as preparation in my opinion. There is only execution. In startup you are valued for and rewarded for in your execution. Actually there is preparation and its this: know clearly who you want to serve and know clearly who is already serving this group and how they are doing it. Then know what makes you better/ different/unique and finally know how to package and communicate this out in a story form to the world. That's your preparation. But the truth about business is you don't know what you don't know and you have to do testing and you must research the market you are entering before entering. So you can understand what kind of arena you're getting in and who the key players are. One piece of advice though is to FOCUS. I spent too much of my early career doing too many things. The more you streamline the better. If you're an engineer -then you must know they are in huge demand in the startup world. If you're feeling stuck go do something that grounds you and gets you away from your work for a little bit. For me this is a walk in nature. Anyway good luck and keep going!


Answered a year ago

I say do what is in your control, if you can start up I say go for it the sooner you start up the better off you'll be. I didn't start thinking about my future till I was 20 and remember this important advantage. YOU ARE 16 AND YOUNG. Lots of people don't think this way till they are in their late 20's, 30, 40', or more. When you're starting up your future I say
1. Be patient
2. Be consistent
3. Stay motivated
4. Find people who got what you want
5. If its useful keep it and if its useless drop it.


Answered a year ago

Hello -

Congrats on venturing into being a young entrepreneur. I began my first business around your age as well and currently mentor high school students and girls in STEM. I've been through exactly what you have been going through at your age and being in business for yourself or with a partner is not an easy job. Because you are so young, you have all the time in the world to run a business. If you both feel in your heart and minds that this is what you want to do, then I would encourage you to pursue your dreams. You have years and years to learn. So don't try to rush it. Just go with your heart. Being young, means you can afford to make mistakes and experiment. Perhaps developing your tech skills would be a better choice at the moment until you feel more comfortable. If you would like to schedule a call, I can advise you more.


Answered a year ago

Follow your passion, and start things while you are young......That does not mean be foolish.....Seek out advice and knowledge from those that have been down the road you are considering. You are already halfway there....Find mentors that will nurture you and allow you to grow, while giving you direction and guidance along the way....Also, be patient, you will find your grove, we all do, sooner or later. I love working with young, energetic, intelligent, driven people like you because you are the future, here and now. Let me know how I can help you.


Answered a year ago

Hi- It is great to see you going after your dream at such an early age. Time is a very important asset so the more time you spend in the start-up space the better off you will be. Consider any amount of time you spend whether directly working on the start-up or gaining experience as a deposit on your future success. I am available for a call if you have any questions on how to develop your idea in the future.


Answered a year ago

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