Start a startup

Convert an idea into a sustainable business.

Copy to your organization

I understand what is meant by a startup

A startup is a company or project undertaken by an entrepreneur to seek, develop, and validate a scalable business model.

According to Paul Graham, a startup is a company designed to grow fast.

I understand the purpose of a startup

The purpose of a startup is to convert a great idea into a great product, and that great product into a great organization.

I understand what is a good motivation for starting a startup

Sam Altman, the President of Y Combinator, explains what is a good motivation for starting a startup:

"You should only start a startup if you feel compelled by a particular problem, and you think starting a company is the best way to solve it."

I am familiar with common startup terminology 9

Startup runway refers to how many months your business can keep operating before it's out of money.

Default alive is a startup company that is on track to make it to profitability with its current resources.

The burn rate is typically used to describe the rate at which a new company is spending its venture capital to finance overhead before generating positive cash flow from operations.

The burn rate is usually quoted in terms of cash spent per month. For example, if a company is said to have a burn rate of $1 million, it would mean that the company is spending $1 million per month.

A startup pivot occurs when a company shifts its business strategy to accommodate changes in its industry, customer preferences, or any other factor that impacts its bottom line. It's essentially the process of a startup translating direct or indirect feedback into a change in its business model.

A minimum viable product, or MVP, is a product with enough features to attract early-adopter customers and validate a product idea early in the product development cycle. In industries such as software, the MVP can help the product team receive user feedback as quickly as possible to iterate and improve the product.

From 28:03 - 30:03

"You’re selling the vision and delivering the minimum feature set to visionaries not everyone." - Steve Blank

A pitch deck is a brief presentation, often created using PowerPoint, Keynote or Prezi, used to provide your audience with a quick overview of your business plan. You will usually use your pitch deck during face-to-face or online meetings with potential investors, customers, partners, and co-founders.

I can find a good idea for a startup 4

One way to think about creating an idea for a business is to identify something that people care about getting done (also known as a "job"), and build tools to make that job require less effort or produce a better, more predictable result.

This approach is loosely based on the Jobs to be done framework.

Great ideas usually consist of a solution to a problem matching the following criteria:

  • Motivation
    • The founders identify with and care about solving the problem.
  • Solvable
    • The problem is solvable.
  • Frequent
    • The problem is frequent.
  • Intense
    • The problem is intense.
  • Urgent
    • The problem needs to be solved quickly.
  • Expensive (willingness to pay)
    • People are willing to pay to have the problem fixed.
    • Ideally: The problem is expensive
  • Mandatory
    • People have this problem and have to solve it (it can't be bypassed).
  • Significance/impact
    • Fixing the problem will make someones life better.
  • Popular
    • A significant portion of people have this problem.
  • Growing
    • The size of the problem is growing.
  • Longevity
    • People will stille care about the problem five years from now.
  • Reachability
    • It's fairly easy to locate people who have the problem.
  • Communicatable
    • I can clearly explain and evangelize the problem.
  • Personal connection
    • The problem can be tied to the health, wealth or relationships of a person

Also, the idea is not chosen primarily by my ego (something that it will be cool to tell my friends that I am working on).

From 2:38

An interesting idea is not neccessarily a good idea.

A good idea is one that matches a sufficient amount of the criteria in the skill "I can identify if an idea is worth exploring".

An interesting idea is merely something that someone considers intellectually stimulating.


  • Is the company designed for growth?
  • Does it have an unfair advantage?
    - Is your company 10x better than the competition?
    - Do you have a founders advantage?
    - Is your market growing by 20%+/year
    - Can you get customers without paying for ads? (Get business through word of mouth)
    - Do you have a "monopoly" / will you gain an advantage over time? (Due to things like network-effects)

If yes to one or more of the questions above, you may have yourself a great startup idea.

From 6:15-8:43


  • Assume that your ideas/solutions are wrong. Form them as hypothesis.
  • Talk to others. Generate more hypothesis.
  • Collect and store the hypothesis for future testing.

Watch till 9:40. Short summary: Deep conversations with users is the best way to gain insights on how to improve your bussines. It is bether than both surveying them and/or theorizing about what they want.

Notes for review upon revisiting:

The purpose of a user interview is to extract as much useful information with the goal of improving the product, or marketing or positioning. Do not pitch or try to sell.

Liten carefully and take detailed notes. 

5 great questions to ask to gain insight into the problems your customers have

  • What's the hardest part of what you are trying to solve?
  • Tell me about the last time you encountered this problem?
  • Why was this hard? (Why was the problem hard to solve?)
  • What, if anything, have you done to try to solve this problem?
  • What don´t you love about the solution you have already tried?
I can build the right thing


Start 1:00
3:27 On the importance of aligning everyone in your company. Strategy is the only way to align people
6:55 -8:27 Every decision you have to make highlights a missing principle
You have to have a way to turn your decisions into principles other can follow and make the same decisions as you would, so you don’t have to make the decisions every time. Method.
11:31 -12:19 Importance of strategy continnues.

12:20 - Part 1: What to build?

  1. Desirability (does anyone want it?), feasibility (can it be done?), viability? (Can it make money?). A good product must have a least two of the three.
  2. The problem you are trying to solve should be big and frequent. 
  3. DO NOT solve a small, rare problem.
  4. DO NOT have the combination of low value per account and high touch onboarding. 

Note: Wecomplish har high touch onboarding og low value per account. Vi løser dette ved å lage champions som kan ta seg av spørsmål på innsiden av organisasjonen?

16:50 Scoping
- Where should you start?

  • What is the first step we can do to create value?
  • Where to stop developing your product?
  • Scopylock principle
  • MVP - get feedback

22:37 Summary on what to build

23:01 Part 2: Keep everything aligned 

- Your business needs a mission (What we try to do)
(Trenger en mission for Wecomplish)

  • Needs some values

27:44 Alignment continues. 

On the importance of aligning product, marketing and sales

If you let different department iterate in isolation, they will grow apart.

Sell what you build, and build what you sell

30:38 Summary on alignment

31:12 Part 3: Growth and maintenance

What got you here, won’t get you there.

You can no longer rely on intuition when you grow.

Roadmap for growth and maintenance

Be mindful of your products core innovation. Other parts are just there to round off your core. Have a «make it work»-mentality towards the round off-parts, and keep the attention to the core. 

37:25 How to think about work?

Most work you do should have a reason. Revenue hypotese. Will this work

  • Help sales close more deals? (Lets measure that)
  • Help us sell for higher prices?
  • Decrease customer churn?
  • Improve our site conversation rate?
  • Decrease costs to serve our customers?
  • Give us a unique position in the market?
  • Other reason?

39:07 Be very of adding features to close deals.

41:38 Nothing will protect you against competition

44:18 The old and the new moats
New moats:
- Make a platform. Make other companies build on top of you.
- Build community
- A brand
These moats are hard to copy.

46:08-47:26 Summary of Growth and maintenance

«Get everyone aligned around the mission and the strategy, and the decisions all take care of themselves».


I can communicate how my startup provides value 4

From 01:01:16 - 01:06:01

  • A deep and clear understanding of what one is doing
  • An ability to destill the core idea to a simple, jargon-free, transmissable message
  • An ability to understand the real motivation for people using the product (the emotional benefit over the functional utility)
  • A foot-in-the-door strategy
  • An understanding of why people would pay for the product

- Do I understand the idea?
- Am I excited by the idea?
- Do I like the team?

Be clear! A clear idea is a foundation for growth. The goal is that your company grows by word of mouth. That can only be done if you can give people a clear understanding of what your product is. 

How to make things easy to understand:

  • Make it legible (Clear enough to read)
  • Make it simple
  • Make it obvious

A legible idea can be understood by people who know nothing about your business.

- Ambiguity
- Complexity (Simple idea is one idea)
- Mystery (don't use jargon)
- Ignorable

What you should do:

  • Be conversational
  • No jargon
  • No preamble
  • Reproducible

Questions we should have a clear answer for
What are you making?
What is the problem?
Who is the customer?

Should I use X for Y?

  • For example: “We are Tinder for disabled people”?
  • X should be a household name.
  • Y should be a huge market

Lead with what, not why and how.
Be concise

In your description of what your company does, use nouns.


Startup Leadership stages Leadership support and enablement Leadership development Entreprenørskap