I’m planning to relaunch my book in spring this year. The initial launch when the book was called “Idea To Funding” was small and there was no relaunch whatsoever when I changed its name to “How To Launch a Startup”. Therefore, I want to do it right and one of the things to do it to build a launch team.

Who am I looking for?

I’m building a launch team for my book to help with the book relaunch that I’m planning for spring this year. I’m looking for inexperienced or less experienced entrepreneurs who want to turn their idea into a real business and survive the first 1-2 years.

This is a time for time exchange, not time for money exchange. Therefore, I’m not looking for a professional agency or freelancer. 

What I expect from my launch team?

  1. Read and honestly review the book on Amazon an Goodreads during the relaunch week.
  2. Give me feedback on the book and my marketing activities (such as the poll that I shared).
  3. Interact with other launch team members and help come up with new marketing activities.
  4. Share the book through their own channels during the relaunch week.

What I offer to my launch team?

  1. Free electronic version of the book.
  2. Access to a private Facebook group to 
    • Share promotion ideas and give me feedback.
    • Ask questions about your own startup (not sell it to the group).
    • Interact with the other launch team members.
    • See the behind-the-scenes of a book launch.
  3. A special mention on my blog with a link to your website.
  4. My mentoring through two 1on1 calls.

Are you interested?

Ideally, the launch team will have 20-30 members. This could be a great opportunity for you to learn if you are planning to launch your startup soon and are looking for some guidance and mentoring. Let me know in the comments or hit me through any social media. I’m happy to share more details.

I’m preparing a short application form, you will find the link here once it’s ready.

If you have any other questions about the launch team, please ask in the comments.

Getting the right startup idea that would be worth pursuing is, obviously, one of the most important steps in starting your business. I’m not a very creative person and coming up with ideas wasn’t always easy for me. And I was definitely not alone who was struggling with finding the right idea. If you are like me, I have a solution for you. Here are the 5 different ways that work for me when a need to come up with new ideas.

I’ve met two kinds of startup founders. The first type are the ones with a very vivid imagination, visionaries who are sometimes too impractical and therefore need to have someone who are very practical and business oriented by their side.

The latter guys are not very creative though and as I mentioned, I’d consider myself not creative as well. They enjoy implementing and executing already existing ideas into life rather than generating new ones.

Both types can experience difficulties with finding the right idea. Being too creative is also not very good sometimes, as you could come up with an extremely crazy solution for crazy guys like you who are so exceptional that the market they form will be tiny. Or you would even not be able to stick with one idea and keep changing it to make make it perfect.

Here are the 5 ways that help me find the right startup idea when I need it.

1. Think about your own problems

What are you struggling with every day? Which of these problems lies in your competency area? Where is it that you can influence the way things are?

Like the founders of Airbnb who wanted to make extra money in expensive San Francisco. There was a design conference coming on, so they bought three air mattresses to their loft and wanted to rent them to the conference participants. To find those people, they created a simple website – airbedandbreakfast.com. The first three guests, a woman and two men, paid $80 each. The business is now worth over $30B and is disrupting the whole hotel industry.

You might think, the problem I have is not that significant to start solving it. What if I am the only one who is having it? In our 7-billion-people world, I bet you are not the only one who is having it. Throw away your fears and go validate your assumptions. Even when it’s a simple tool that will help you do your work better. It will very likely help the other people doing similar work better as well. There is not much to lose, but a lot to gain. Not only financially, but also to learn new things and get experience, what is crucial for running a successful business and startup.

2. Look at your nearest ones

Start with your parents, siblings, friends. What problem they are struggling with? Similar to solving a problem for yourself, is there anything you would really love to fix for them and make them happier?

3. Ask random people

I’d do that for example in clubs or at meetups. Go to the targeted events where there are higher chances to spot out startupers, entrepreneurs or professionals from the industry that you are interested in. There are people who can’t really find the team to execute their idea and these are the places where you can meet the guy/lady with an idea and join their team.

4. Participate in hackathons

Whether it’s StartupWeekend or some other hackathon, it can be great for a start, too. You’ll have a chance to join the team with an idea you’ll like after a short presentation and meet interesting people who may become your business partners in the future. Many hackathons are organized by larger corporations that share the topics that they are looking the solutions for.

5. Use Google

If neither of the above works, you can still search for the existing ideas. The idea is usually worth 1%. It’s the execution that is responsible for the 99% of the company success. Therefore, there are websites where people directly share their ideas without any obligations or awaiting anything in return.

What has worked the best for me in terms of finding a startup idea was communication, no matter offline or online. I believe that if you want to be an entrepreneur, you have to go ahead and find places, events and meetups where people meet. Either entrepreneurs or the people from the industry that you are interested in. Doing this makes me feel I get much more control over what’s going to happen, even though things may look like a coincidence.

I’d love to hear more about what your biggest challenges are when you are looking for the right idea for your startup. Share it in the comments.

(image – Pixabay)

A startup pitch is usually your five minutes of glory that can help you attract the investors. Pitching your startup to them is often the only time you get when you are a first time founder and the investors don’t know you. They, on the other hand, hear a lot of pitches and you are “only” one of the many founders they have seen. It’s not a good starting position. But if you avoid making the mistakes that most less experienced entrepreneurs make, you increase your chances with the investors significantly.

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I should probably say “7 tips to help you maximize your chance to win Startup Weekend”, because if more teams follow my advice, there will only be a one winner anyway. And quite frankly, it still doesn’t guarantee anything because there are judges that decide and pick the winners. I’ve mentored a lot of teams on Startup Weekends over the past few years and I noticed that the top 3 teams have always had something in common. They succeeded in validation, business and product – what are the categories for judging criteria.  Here are my 7 steps that help you succeed and maximize your chance to win Startup Weekend .

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There are thousands of books and blog posts looking for a magic pill of productivity. They offer you an endless number of time management hacks in order to help you be productive. Instead, however, they often add a lot of small tasks to your to-do list that you can easily complete to feel productive, but they won’t bring you anywhere closer to your goal. As Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson talk about it in their book It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy At Work, making your brain focus on many more different things doesn’t help you produce more value. 

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No problem – no startup. Every successful startup solves a problem. Without a problem, there is no solution and therefore no business. If you want to succeed on Startup Weekend, you’ll have to quickly validate that your idea solves a real problem in order to have enough time to build the right prototype and prepare the business case. 95% of teams that I mentored during four or five Startup Weekends used the wrong approach to validating the problem and their ideas. Therefore, they had to double (or even triple) their effort if they wanted to fix it and still get a chance to succeed. I am going to quickly explain you what is the mistake and how to avoid it to validate whether your idea solves a real problem.

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Panic, stress and sweating hands. That’s how you could possibly feel when you have booked an expensive flight to the other side of the globe and your AirBnb host cancels your reservation a few days before the trip. Even though I love AirBnb for both business and personal trips, these things sometimes happen. It happened to me some time ago. I was looking forward to my business trip to New York, everything was planned well and the accommodation confirmed through AirBnb.

I was queueing for the immigration office in New York at the airport when I received a text from my host that the room wasn’t available anymore. Quite a #*&#%! feeling. However, it took less than an hour to get a new room and AirBnb also included some travel credit for my future trip as a sorry for the situation. No expensive airport hotel or looking for a cheap hostel on Manhattan didn’t happen. Many people keep asking what happens if the host cancels and many of the people that have been canceled on by the host didn’t do anything. And it’s so easy. Read further to learn how can you do it.

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I don’t like the New Year’s resolutions. In most cases, they are just wishes that never come true. I prefer having things organized and making realistic plans. For the past 6 years, I’ve been looking back at the year just ended, summarizing in and roadmapping – Is it even a word? It should be… – the new one. I did the same this year. However, the outcome was a bit different. I haven’t created any roadmap for 2016, just one rule to live by. And make sure that every decision that I’m going to make will follow it.

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Let’s admit it. When you tell someone about your idea, you want them to like it. You are wired to crave for being liked all the time, whatever you do. And I’ve been the same, for now. I decided to change it, because I realized how toxic those words – “I LIKE IT!” – are. It happened quite recently.

Igor and I have been working on Mentegram for two years. It’s been an amazing journey with an amazing team and people we met. I’m still very passionate about it, because I see how we are going to help many people improve their mental health conditions and therefore their lives. I really like this mission that Mentegram has. Being able to improve health of millions is very inspiring and motivating. And that leads to a problem that we haven’t expected.

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A long time ago, there was one very wise man who said that the best way to learn is to teach – “docendo discimus“. His name was Seneca and he lived in ancient Rome two thousand years ago. Have you ever realized how right he was? I have. And because of that, I’ve always been happy to help others. I can hardly say no when I’m invited to mentor startups at Startup Weekend or when someone just emails me and asks for an advice. I neither could say no to a friend of mine who runs a non-profit organization. Especially when he asked me to do two lectures about startups at the biggest university in my home country, Comenius University in Bratislava. It was a big challenge as well as an opportunity and I’m very thankful for that. Keep reading to learn what my lectures were about.

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