We started StartupPlays.com to increase startup success rates. Entrepreneurs change the world, so the more successful startups we have, the faster we evolve, the more we discover, and the more problems we can solve.
Running a startup is hard. All of it. Articulating your ideas, sharing your vision, getting access to influencers, building a product, hiring talented people, getting access to capital, supporting customers – the list goes on and on. It’s an epic struggle.
“No more romanticizing about how cool it is to be an entrepreneur. It’s a struggle to save your company’s life – and your own skin – every day of the week.”
- Spencer Fry, CarbonMade
At StartupPlays.com we started asking ourselves how we can reduce the startup struggle.
In 1908 Henry Ford invented the assembly line and every car manufacturer since has benefited from mass production. If you started a car company today you wouldn’t have to figure out “how to build a car” from scratch. You could focus your energy on adding value to car manufacturing – making it more efficient, more user-friendly, more affordable for emerging countries. You would benefit from years of refining the process of building cars.
With so many successful startups and founders willing to share their process on achieving success, we began building blueprints that could be reused, adapted, and evolved so that startups could focus on adding value, not struggling with the process.
But the format had to be “startup friendly”.
“Learn by doing. Theory is nice, but nothing replaces actual experience.”
- Tony Hsieh, Zappos
If we were going to capture and share processes, it wasn’t going to be through books, videos, or blogs. Too much theory. Too much noise. Passive knowledge requires entrepreneurs to stop what they’re doing, analyze, and figure out how to apply it. It’s not a blueprint or roadmap. Entrepreneurship requires you to build the plane while you’re falling. So we wanted to build something actionable that works the way entrepreneurs do.
The idea of a “playbook” made sense. Just as football coaches have a few favorite “plays”, they draw from hundreds of common plays, depending on the situation, that all coaches share. We imagined every startup entrepreneur having their own “playbook”. Although you may be an expert in product development and PR, sometimes you have to raise money or improve customer acquisition. So we wanted to build an online book of “plays” that can be accessed on-demand depending on the situation, borrowed and shared by other successful entrepreneurs.
“You get on base, we win. You don’t, we lose. And I *hate* losing, Chavy. I *hate* it. I hate losing more than I even wanna win.”
- Billy Beane, MoneyBall
In our office in Ottawa, Canada we have a large wall that is divided into a grid. At the top of the grid are the main functions of your startup – marketing, operations, finance, sales, product development. On the left are different stages of a startup – idea, launch, growth, monetization. Over the last six months we’ve been identifying processes that are required at every stage of a business’s development across each startup function. Then we find successful entrepreneurs who have had world-class success in each area. We work with these entrepreneurs to understand the process they used – step-by-step, with all the file templates, tools, techniques, and details necessary for any entrepreneur to follow the same process. And we publish each one as a “Play”.
“Dan Martell’s play on increasing traffic is like I stumbled upon someone’s secret notebook of spells.”
- Joey Gault, on Dan Martell’s “Play” on startupplays.com
So far the feedback on our plays has been very positive. But there’s no such thing as a perfect process. So we’ve built a community within every “Play” that provides entrepreneurs access to the authors and other “players”, additional tips, and links to more resources. We’re already seeing processes evolve and improve every time it’s used.
We’ve also introduced a “startup network” where we connect growing startups with world-class mentors and startup-approved service providers. Coupled with the processes we’re capturing, we’re reducing the struggle for startups who aren’t located in a startup hub by giving them direct access to people who’ve “done it before” and more tactical and direct tips on growing their startup.
“Ideas are commodity. Execution of them is not.”
- Michael Dell, Dell Computers
Ultimately, our team wakes up everyday hustling to help startups. The brilliant ideas, inspiration, determination, and dedication to succeed is up to you. But together we hope to reduce the struggle and witness more startup entrepreneurs change the world.
We’d love to get your feedback. Check out our facebook page to engage in the discussion.