Top resources for start-ups that power you ahead

Who says you are alone?

When you are thinking of kick starting your start-up business, there is no better time to do it than NOW. If you are still ideating, the best course of action is to do it comprehensively, do it fast, and back it up with research/data. If you are already on the on the entrepreneurship path, clear the bumps on the road. Back in January 2016, when asked – You've given a lot of advice to entrepreneurs over your career. If entrepreneurs and today's startup founders were to listen to just one thing you've said, what would it be? – Guy Kawasaki said this.

“If the company is pre-launch, my advice would be to focus on getting a prototype into the market. Most entrepreneurs at this stage spend too much time/energy on the pitch, plan, and forecast.

If the company has launched, my advice is to "eat what you kill." That is, don't create an infrastructure because you're afraid that you can't scale fast enough. I never seen a company fail because it couldn't scale fast enough.”

Honestly, there are several things that go into launching and leading your start-up – from the very fundamental step of Idea generation to creating a minimum viable product (MVP) to Marketing and Customer Relationship Management. What Guy wants you to do is to focus on is the most important thing to do at the state you are in. Fortunately, for every activity, today, there are resources available (across platforms) to help you get that jump start.

We present to you some top resources for some key activities. In a series of three articles, we will look at top resources for most of the activities ranging from marketing to technical to communication. As there is no single top resource for any activity, and choices can differ based on industry, type and scale of activity, and personal preferences – what we present is one or two resources that we feel are strong and reliable.

Idea Generation: MindMeister

MindMeister is an app built to facilitate collaboration. It is clearly a leading mind mapping tool available today, mostly because of its simple to use interface, the ability it offers to quickly develop your own ideas and share your maps to brainstorm and collaborate with others. Other value added features include: viewing full history of changes, export to various file formats, embed maps on your website and import files and documents from services like Dropbox, Google Drive and Evernote.

Inspiration: YourStory

YourStory brings you news, stories of entrepreneurs and change-makers, funding analyses, resource pieces and the first glimpse of emerging trends from India’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, as well as profiles of great businesses and entrepreneurs from all over the world. Their repertoire includes close to 60,000 stories of entrepreneurs and change-makers and support to more than 50,000 entrepreneurs through access networking and funding opportunities.

We started this conversation talking about Guy Kawasaki. he is a successful evangelist, author, and speaker. If you haven’t heard about him before then it’s definitely worth reading more about him.

How to Name your startup: Jason Calacanis

The critically of the name of your start-up to its success cannot be overstated. It is a given. In this video Jason Calacanis, a seasoned entrepreneur and investor, tells you how to land an amazing name. He explains why and wow you should get a (domain) name that sticks. Your company needs a kick-ass domain, company name and logo, so you look like a winner the moment you step out into the market.

Research: CrunchBase and Google Trends

Research never stops. It starts before you launch and continues forever. CrunchBase is the world’s most comprehensive and open database of startup activity. CrunchBase began as a simple crowd sourced database to track startups covered on TechCrunch. Today you’ll find more than 600k profiles of people and companies that are maintained by tens of thousands of contributors.

On a different note, Google Trends, based on Google Search, shows how often a particular search-term is entered relative to the total search-volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages. Depending on what your big idea is, there is something in here!

Wireframing: Balsamiq

Whether you are translating your ideas into a definite design or trying to build a minimum viable product (MVP), Balsamiq Mockups is a nice little software tool that helps you to sketch out user interfaces, for websites and web / desktop / mobile applications. As you focus on the ideation phase, Balsamiq lets you get in the flow and stay focused on structure rather than colors and icons. It reproduces the experience of sketching on a whiteboard, while using a computer; and provides required interactivity to make it easy to collaborate and get feedback on your wireframes.

Cloud Computing: Amazon Web Services

Talk of hosting and cloud computing, talk AWS. Yes! Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers the most reliable, scalable, and inexpensive cloud computing service. Free to join and pay for what you use, AWS is a collection of remote computing services that together make up a cloud computing platform offering a broad set of global compute, storage, database, analytics, application, and deployment services that help organizations move faster, lower IT costs, and scale applications. From largest enterprises to the hottest start-ups, organizations rely on AWS to power a wide variety of workloads including: web and mobile applications, data processing and warehousing, storage, archive, and many others.

Sounds good! Watch out for the next in this top resources for start-ups series for more.

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