Founder and CEO, ConnectDome. Founder, DomeCode. I also produce music apart from coding and managing a startup.
I first set out to make my startup a viable a year ago, when I was 15.
(Fluitech is now ArisVeam and I’m currently building AI services for it).
I made plans and as I tried to implement them, they didn’t seem to work out so well for me. So what did I do?
Made amendments to that plan to the point it became viable and sustainable in the long run.
Earlier this year I set out to learn Machine Learning, I wanted to build Machine Learning Applications for Android Mobile devices.
I used to work around 16 hours a day each day for a whole month until I reached a point of exhaustion and got kind of bored with the same old algorithms I had to work on for the next month, and then the next month. I hadn’t built a solid product to this point, all I had were lousy projects with good beginnings but no plans for the future.
In July, I dropped them all and set out on a track to build solo projects which will bring out the best in me so I could focus on what I do the best and I think maybe that was the way to go, I took part in Android app building competitions, a Machine Learning service competition and even a Hackathon. Well, even though I had to carry out this long experiment with my skills, it was well worth it. I got second in the Android app building competition, won the Hackathon for the AI chatbot and the heart disease diagnosis tool I built and the Google ML service competition’s ( Google Code to Learn Senior Category ) results are due.
But what I found out was, I was more inclined to web development. Now, this is not solely a post on the whereabouts of my plans, it is more like a blog on what I’m using to build my startup, the technology stack I’m using, the resources I’m using to grow my startup.
I have faced setbacks quite evidently but this does not necessarily mean that those setbacks can’t be set right with the proper implementation of the resources. Sure, I have got school and other things to look out for but with the right mindset of getting the right things done at the right time, it all can be made possible and something more than just a distant dream.
So, I’ll be listing down here what I’m doing with the resources I have gathered and what exactly are those resources. First of all, I completely revamped the platform I was initially building in favor of better ideas I had after my brainstorming sessions that lasted weeks. In all, I made a plan to fit those ideas in the state of a business-oriented mindset ergo building a suite of services ( AI services plus more in my case ).
If you’re starting from scratch, there are four domains you need to work on:
#1Generating unique (or at least viable ideas)
#2 Evaluating the business potential, the risks, time for MVP of the ideas you listed.
#3 Learning the technologies
#4 Learning how a Startup works — Funding, Sponsorships and more.
In this blog, I’ll be giving a broad view on how to work on these four pillars and move yourself in the right path of making your startup a reality.
I have had a hard time getting through this step. Sometimes you would feel like you have the perfect idea only to find out you are not able to get it through the next step. The key here is to give enough thought and time to an idea and getting it to the next step of evaluation.
Sometimes, a long stroll would help but beware this step ( if you plan on actually getting a good idea out of yourself ) can take a long time, took me weeks to brainstorm the ideas for the AI Services Suite I am building.
An example idea: Machine Learning Model which reads Satellite imagery and estimates where cyclones are originating and if they would hit the coast plus their form when they hit the coast.
This is the deciding step for your first step. Let me roll back a little, you completed the first step of getting your idea, the next step is to evaluate it. Simple enough? Prepare to research by yourself in this step, I can’t help with it :).
Evaluate the business potential: the impact your idea can have, competition from pre-existing companies with the same idea.Evaluate market risks.The time to turn your idea into an MVP ( Minimum Viable Product ).
Now, you need to maintain a balance between these three to produce an idea that is ready to become an actual product that serves the purpose you think it would.
If you plan on building a web service, you might want to learn the technologies associated with building it.
TheOdinProject is undeniably one of the best resources for learning web development. Upon opening the website, you’ll find out that there are three tracks offered by the website.
a. FULL STACK RUBY ON RAILS* ( the path I chose )
b. Front End Only
I suggest that you choose the “ Full Stack RubyOnRails” track as it is the most detailed track available on TOP and is also a versatile, advanced yet easy to learn technology.
In this track, you’d be completing several projects all by yourself hence this has a great scope for learning. You start by learning WEB DEVELOPMENT 101: the git basics, the front-end basics and a gist of how frameworks are used and how websites are hosted.
2. If you plan on building AI services you would also need an understanding of Machine Learning and as an individual who himself went down this path, I highly recommend Andrew Ng’s Machine Learning Course to start with. Once you finish that, you should be good to move on to these two specializations.
These TF in Practice Specialization would probably have content which you have completed in the DeepLearning.ai’s Deep Learning Specialization, you can safely skip that part. Furthermore, you can read more about using TensorFlow in Production on tensorflow.org.
Another skill, you should have is building native web apps. Since you would already have learned RubyOnRails, building native web apps should not be much of a problem. Some interesting frameworks help you do so including RubyMotion. You should look into it.
This is the final step before you start generating revenue, applying for incubation programs, getting investors and sponsors.
Before you take on your startup to the real world, you should have a fair share of knowledge on how startups work.
There are a lot of steps you need to at least go through ( if not completing ) beforehand including managing who has what percentage of the startup, where are you going to get funding from and more.
Y Combinator Startup School’s 10-week course includes vast amounts of information to complete this step.
Building a Business Plan is just as crucial for your startup as anything if you need to reach out for funding. Investopedia is a great resource for learning more about it.
Once you are done with these steps ( and if you completed them the perfect way, that’s unlikely but don’t worry ), you should apply to Y Combinator.
Yeah, I know this was a whole lot to consume in one-go but trust me on this, if you pay more heed to the things I mentioned and if you try implementing them, you would have built a startup of your own. This might have also been a little overwhelming but given enough patience, it is a good plan to follow.
Well, to get you going there are quite a lot of people in the tech industry whom you can look upto and as for me I highly look upto Elon Musk, the serial entrepreneur and business magnate and George Hotz, the youngest and the first person to jailbreak iPhone in August 2007, hacked the PS3 servers in 2011 and moved on solve the AI problems by building his own startup, comma.ai. Essentially, the motive here is to always remember that things might get fine if your idea is solid and helps people or the subject you focus on. It might initially look pretty exciting, after a few months or a year, it would look gloomy and 'if' you somehow pass the phase of self questioning about your own idea that you once thought was viable in the long run, you finally just might've built a startup that's gonna grow, hopefully ;) .
And while you take that stroll down somewhere while looking for the perfect idea to turn into a startup, you can sure use some music :). Check out my playlist on Spotify.
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