Top 10 Must Read Blogs on Startups for 2013
Anyone running their own business needs help and advice at some time. It can, of course, be a very lonely occupation when you’re the one at the top of the tree, the one with all the responsibility, and other people’s careers and livelihoods may depend on the decisions you make.
Trying to start up your own business on your own can be even lonelier; you may not have the weight of responsibility of having others to worry about, but it can be real case of you versus the rest of the world.
But don’t despair, because you’re not alone. Not only are there are others going through exactly the same experience right now, but there are also people who’ve been there (often several times!) and come out the other side with a successful and profitable business. And these people are more than happy to share their thoughts, tips, knowledge and experience with you, saving you the trouble of making the same mistakes they did.
And to save you the trouble of hunting the length and breadth of the world wide web to find them, we’ve gathered some of the best into one concise and convenient list!
1 The Last Drop of Ink
Amazon Marketplace and ebay are still two of the most popular places for budding entrepreneurs to take those first tentative steps when deciding to run their own business. And while the whole thing may seem relatively straightforward on the surface – list item, determine price, sit back and wait for rush of people wanting to buy – there’s a lot you can do to improve your chances of success.
Someone who can give you a massive helping hand is Matthew Ogborne, who runs this really helpful site and who we talked about earlier when looking at blogs to help your eCommerce site. He’s been there and done that a number of times and has pulled his accumulated experience together into a series of seriously in-depth articles which leave no stone unturned helping you to boss the online marketplace.
Getting any new business started is hard enough; navigating the complexities of setting up an eCommerce store is another new level, because you’ve got so much more to think about. Shopify is one of the most complete blogs you’re likely to find anywhere and reflects their experience not just of setting up their own business, but also helping get tens of thousands of other businesses off the ground.
Having gone from setting the whole thing up because they couldn’t find the kind of easy-to-use commercial software they wanted, to the point where they now power stores for household names like General Electric, Amnesty International and the Foo Fighters, you might think they’ve learned a few things on the way. And you’d be right!
And if you turn out to be pretty good at the whole thing yourself, then the Shopify Build-a-Business competition has some impressive prizes for the startups that sell most using the Shopify platform!
3 Ecommerce Fuel
Back in 2008, Andrew Youderian decided enough was enough – he didn’t enjoy his job, and wasn’t getting anywhere near the right balance between his work and his life. So he quit, launched himself into the world of eCommerce – and hasn’t looked back since. The success he found has led him to launch his own blog so that he can share what’s learned along the way.
It’s good, solid, practical advice written in an accessible style, and very much aimed at the newbie, so you can be confident you won’t get drowned in techspeak or marketing jargon!
4 Venture Hacks
It’s the opinion of Nivi and Naval, founders of Venture Hacks, that startups aren’t just here to change the world. They’re here to save the world. Our future depends on innovative and groundbreaking new companies and ideas which advance humankind. And as every company, whatever its size, began as a startup in one way or another at some time, they see it as their moral duty to do everything they can to remove the ‘friction’ that prevents new startups reaching their potential. The result is a substantial body of thought and advice, also brought together into a handy downloadable book format, currently running at about 1000 pages but growing all the time!
Killer Startups is less about experts dishing out the advice and more about users getting together to share it. One of the main features is that you can submit your startup for appraisal and advice from your fellow users – and if people are impressed, you might just get some extra help pushing it on to the next level. The blog itself is an eclectic but never less than entertaining mix of stuff, making the site an enjoyable and educational place to spend some time.
6 Both Sides of the Table
Two-time entrepreneur Mark Suster’s insights and advice are directly based on his own experiences and represent a broad range of essential information likely to be of substantial use for anyone looking to follow in his footsteps. Topics covered include writing a business plan, working with lawyers and finding investors.
This is a superb collection of interviews with and courses from leading – and successful – entrepreneurs. The idea is that, rather than learning everything from one single professional ‘guru’, you’re more likely to benefit from the combined expertise and experience of a broad range of doers and thinkers.
Serial entrepreneur Steve Blank’s Customer Development methodology, which is all about developing a better understanding of the customer, is one of the pillars on which the Lean Startup movement has been built. Both rely on applying scientific methodologies to the startup process.
Steve’s blog isn’t the lightest read on the list, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth that extra time you’ll need to get your head around what he’s saying.
If you’ve come across Kickstarter, it may well have been via a young band looking for finance to get their first album recorded or European tour promoted. But it’s about a lot more than that, and has become a beacon for all kinds of creative would-be entrepreneurs looking for the support that can turn their ideas into reality. Meanwhile, conversely, those with an eye for the next big thing can pledge some of their hard cash and get a part of the inevitable ensuing riches once they’ve been proved right.
10 Startup Quote
For a change, here’s something that throws heaps of fun into the startup blogging mix by featuring quotes from some of the leading thinkers in the game. My favourite comes courtesy of Ben Horowitz of Andreessen Horowitz, who said: “As a startup CEO, I slept like a baby. I woke up every two hours and cried.”
There seems to be a lot less out there in the way of blogs for startups, as opposed to those for running an eCommerce site or digital marketing. These are the ones we like to recommend to our customers starting out on their own. Have we missed out one of your favourites? Do let us know!