Here is the answer to the second part of the question I’m often asked. We use 26 tools to prototype, collaborate and launch products at AirShr. I’ve listed them below using a lifecycle lens (i.e. the order in which each tool would be used as we develop a product). There are also three tips for new players:
- These tools, many of which are free to start using, make starting a venture very cheap.
- This is not an exhaustive list, there are other great tools out there.
- If your idea doesn’t achieve product / market fit, cool tools carry little value.
I can’t emphasise enough the importance of the third point. It’s very unlikely that the first iteration of your idea is going to achieve product / market fit, even if you receive encouraging signs of life at the very beginning.
I live by the product development mantra of ‘failing quickly and cheaply’ and I have an insatiable appetite for using prototyping to test new ideas (after all, how are you going to know if your idea resonates with the world?!).
So, to start: QuickMPV (Quick Minimum Viable Product) to test ideas without wasting time or money (skip this one at your own risk)
To help clarify the concept:
- Proto.io to mock up product prototypes
- Google Docs and Drive to document the idea and share it with a few friends
- Microsoft Excel to develop business plan
- Keynote to develop investor and partner presentations
To share the concept and brush up on skills:
- LinkedIn to contact collaborators and investors (this is a tool as much as it is a resource and I consider it an insanely good one)
- Udemy to learn, well, anything. (I’ve used Udemy to refine my business development techniques for startups and elementary coding)
To move online:
- GoDaddy to register a domain name and Gmail to host business email
- ThemeForest to download a website template (for Wordpress)
- MailChimp to email people and acquire customers
To build and focus teams:
- oDesk to hire developers and administrative staff
- Skype to interview candidates and for group teleconferences
- Slack to communicate with team members
- Trello to assign tasks and manage development
- BitBucket to store the code the developers wrote
To ready for scale and understand performance:
- Amazon Web Services to run the database and web servers, and host the site
- Google Analytics to track usage
To get social AirShr maintains a presence on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. We’ve used Instagram in a slightly different way to the other networks. Opher and I have been capturing a photographic journal since we started AirShr and we invite people (like you!) to follow our startup journey.
What tools have you found useful? Reach out to me anytime if you’d like some additional insight.