Community Building July 10, 2020

When was the last time you helped a startup?

Rishi @rishisiva

How do you help?
How often?
Why do you help?
Any regrets?

  1. 5

    I do a couple of items:

    1. I host a monthly accountability session (complete with self-selected penalties for not completing the goals) the first Tuesday of each month. 25 mins, in & out, strict format so everyone can share the metrics, see if it aligns to a SMART goal and then share the penalty.
    2. I have a WhatsApp group I post random findings to that I find interesting, sometimes motivational, sometimes strategic
    3. I've been a part of over 80 Startup Weekends & hackathons in one capacity or another -- usually as the person leading it and get to help people have frameworks for proceeding fast and validating the business concept ASAP instead of spending a weekend on a logo or name. Seen some impressive concepts & founders, one team even generated $5K in revenue by testing in ways that don't scale.
    4. I'm a part of many Facebook groups and give some guidance there
    5. I really enjoy being someone's first customer, if there's something there and I like it and their path I'll often sign up and just pay to show them that people will buy if prompted.

    And this one is my favorite -- I go to www.kiva.org and find someone that is 1 donation short of their funding goal and 30+ days away and fund the rest of the ask. That's the best one by far because I can only imagine that they were sitting there and went to bed thinking "if only someone would" and then they wake up and see it is funded. Then it is real! They get the fully funded amount and start much earlier than they thought. You can join Kiva too and do microlending

    1. 4

      Kiva.org is the best. The feeling is amazing to know that someone out there with what we would think is not much can push themselves and develop opportunities AND then pay you back. Good on you!

      1. 3

        Agreed! I have only 1 failed repayment person -- actually I knew the guy, really disappointed that he didn't follow through too. Other than that, multiple countries represented and multiple full paybacks. $25 here; $50 there -- it adds up to their big ask.

    2. 3

      Are you the nicest guy in your country? Is Mother Teresa your role model? Should your next startup involve teaching people to be awesome?

      In all seriousness, good for you, man. Good for you 👍

      1. 2

        Nah, I'm just one of many that do these activities. Everyone gives back, just in different ways.

        Funny one -- I was once sitting in a building where 2 people like me from another city were remoting in to give a talk to my coworking space, and I was giving a talk to their startup space/coworking space and we just happened to notice it was happening at the exact same time at the same day. People tend not to listen to the people they see each day, so we swap frequently and occasionally attend each other's presentations and chime in with affirmations. One step at at time.

    3. 2

      Wow... You are awesome dude! I hope more people are like you! Keep up the good work :)

  2. 4

    How I (try to) help?
    I started https://getadvice.github.io/ a few weeks ago, where people can join as a volunteer to have one-on-one calls with others and help them in any way they can/want.

    How often?
    Almost once a week.
    I'm available for one call every day from Monday to Friday (45 mins sessions).

    Why do I help?
    I've found out that places like IH, dev.to, HN, etc. are great for small and specific problems. But most of the time it's very hard to write down our questions in a clear way because of the language barriers, communication skills, etc.

    Sometimes having 15/30 mins call with another dev/entrepreneurs really makes a difference.

    It also helps me to see what others are doing, improve my communication skills, being a better listener, and problem-solving training.

    Any Regrets?
    None at the moment.

    1. 1

      That's amazing! Most people would charge for this. It would be nice if other people started to help like you via one-on-one video calls. Thanks for doing this :)

      1. 2

        Everyone is welcome to join in! I only ask to be polite with the users and have a good level of experience in some area.

        You can read more on https://getadvice.github.io/about.html or schedule a call with me if you'll like to know more and join as a volunteer.

  3. 3

    I do free mentoring. About one a day at the moment.

    I don't have much to add that hasn't already been written, but I focus on early stage startups and frame it in such a way that it attracts people who are genuinely open to hearing how they can improve. It's a major issue that early stage entrepreneurs fall in love with their product/solution, and not the problem. And that means they become inflexible in the face of evidence that nobody wants what they're selling. I try to help them overcome that, and understand the difference between a good idea and a good business.

    Here's my free mentoring page, if anyone's interested.

    The other stuff I've done in the past has mainly been around startup community development (I co-founded the largest startup community in Wales, and have run tons of different events to get more quality, relevant knowledge into the community).

    1. 1

      This is very inspiring @NeilC. Thank you very much for doing this for founders.

      1. 1

        Likewise, @rishisiva - you're doing great work!

    2. 1

      p.s. No regrets. But I used to get lots of entrepreneurs by not respecting my time, and discounting my advice (although I don't for a second think that I'm 100% right all the time!). Now that i frame it as "I'm going to ask you tough questions", and I also have some good automation and filtering in the booking process, I get much better entrepreneurs who are open to listening.

  4. 3

    I have calls almost every week with a startup using my product to build their MVP. I try to help out as much as possible with issues that are outside the scope of my product (marketing, product advice, etc).

    Of course I appreciate that they are customers, but I also just naturally get excited about startup ideas and want to see them succeed.

    1. 2

      You are a good founder Gabe :)

  5. 2

    How do I help?
    I've been helping a coworker grow his side business for the last couple months.
    Specifically I've:

    • helped define product metrics
    • set up Amplitude to track those metrics and explore user behaviour
    • given input on pricing strategy

    How often?
    We have a call every few weeks, and I put in several hours between calls.

    Why do I help?

    1. Helping feels good
    2. I learn as I help others

    Any regrets?
    No regrets, just lessons learned :)

    For anyone who may happen to be reading this, I love talking about metrics, user research, and positioning, and I'd be happy to help in any way even if it's just as a sounding board.

    1. 1

      Thanks for sharing this @matthew_giesa

  6. 2

    Every day, Startup coach by profession!

    How do you help?

    Mostly via email, occasionally answering queries in forums(Reddit, Quora and starting out in IH).

    Any regrets?

    Initially it was painful to see vast number of wannabe entrepreneurs failing to see the difference between Problems vs Startup ideas ending up building something which nobody wants.

    Took it up as challenge and built a problem validation platform - needgap to help as many entrepreneurs as I can to build products which people want.

  7. 2

    Every day/every other day, through my youtube channel where I give advice :)
    The IH community has been really supportive as they respond with very generous messages after receiving my help!

  8. 2

    This is something I am building a business around with Startup Sanctuary @rishisiva.

    We help creators and entrepreneurs to kickstart their businesses and start building. We're actively building a community and library of assets for helping people go from Zero to one.

    1. 2

      That's cool. Sounds promising.

  9. 2

    I'm proudly helping startups in the UK as part of a creative agency initiative: https://www.notfurlongcreative.co.uk/ during the furlough season.

    Mostly focused on SEO and helping people better understand how it works and how to do it well. Which has been a real eye-opener, to say the least. Outside of the tech bubble of people, shiny new tools and fancy new UI/UX isn't even on an average SMBs radar.

    It's been incredibly thrilling to start a consulting call with the owners of businesses completely frazzled by SEO as a whole. By the end of the call I can see the aha! moment and they are excited by what I tell them. Honestly, it has been super fun, not a single regret as I have also been learning a bunch too.

    1. 2

      Thanks for helping. Your website looks nice :)

      1. 2

        Thanks! I think that site got put together pretty quickly and just as quickly as it went live there was an overwhelming amount of responses.

  10. 1

    Thanks for the question!

    1. I host two free daily calls of "coffee & growth tips" for technical founders to provide live answers on value proposition, strategy, marketing, sales & bmodel + building the community with resources to help them at https://growthseeker.io

    I am volunteer startup mentor for a university. COVID stop it all in March, but eventually we're going to start again with new mentees.

    1. Daily

    2. I believe that startups are the foundation of human progress with their innovations. My purpose in life is to push human progress through innovation, so it's a way to fullfill my life purpose. On top of that I learn, grow and get inspired every day while helping others.

    3. 0 regrets. Only thought is that I'm going to need to monetize it or I will not be able to survive xD

    Let's go!

  11. 1

    We buy from startups whenever we can. Starting from gifting to software, we try to give them as much business as possible.

    Reason?

    1. I run a startup so I feel good if I can encourage and give money to other startups for their service.
    2. Startups often offer better service. They dream big so they are very sincere.
    3. Startups come up with more innovative products. Sometimes a small feature gives a huge benefit compared to enterprises.

    No regrets.