4 crucial steps before launching your company

Here as some key lessons from's Tomorrow Toolkit.

Boom. You know, just like launching a startup.

(Photo by Flickr user NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, used under a Creative Commons license)

Failure is scary. But if your product is going to fail, it’s good to know that as soon as possible. Failing fast is the only way you’ll get a chance to pivot, adjust and ultimately create a product that will succeed.

That’s one takeaway from the Tomorrow Toolkit, a 20,000-word, 20-chapter ebook published last year with support from Comcast NBCUniversal. The book shares best practices on starting and building a company from founders across the country. Topics include finding a cofounder (should you find a cofounder?), writing a business plan, securing funding and so much more.

Read the ebook

It starts, as all startup stories do, before there is an actual company. In Section A, founders from D.C., Atlanta, Denver and beyond share lessons on what to do before launch.

Here are four key takeaways:

1. Find your people
  • As humans, but also as startup founders, we all need support. Figure out what resources are available to you locally, and engage with them. Attend those networking events. Rejoice in talking shop.
2. Use the scientific method
  • A company, pre-launch, is a hypothesis. Finding low-stakes ways to test this hypothesis will help you, as discussed above, fail fast and learn from it.
3. To cofounder or not to cofounder?
  • It’s not a requirement, but having someone to learn and grow with along the startup process can be a blessing. Think about this when you consider whether you’d like to embark on your venture with a cofounder — those who have gone before also advise testing your relationship with a prospective business partner by working on a smaller project together first.
4. Define the point
  • Why are you building this company? What’s your mission? How you go about achieving this mission will likely change in the course of building your business, but the mission itself is unlikely to shift. So put some thought into it — write mission statements and share them with friends and family (that all-important social network!) to get feedback.

Building a successful business is in no way a formula, but there are some basic considerations we can all agree on. Learn those lessons in the Tomorrow Toolkit.


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