Startup Founder: Career Path

Starting your company has never been easier than today. At the same time, the market is getting more competitive. As a startup founder, your job is to work out how to stay alive and thrive.

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What does the Startup Founder career path entail?

Startup Founder

Startup tools are more accessible than ever. Million-dollar businesses are being built in bedrooms and during off-hours. The creator and entrepreneur scene is thriving!

With the rise of new opportunities, bigger niches and no-code tooling, everyone is able to build a first version of their startup, gain validation and build it into something big.

And yet – the market is getting more competitive. Where 20 years ago you had a little over 200 marketing tools, there are over 10,000 today! Can you gain an edge and differentiate yourself from the rest?

Best books to explore the Startup career path.

A well-written and thorough book can be an amazing path to build deeper understanding and also act as a handbook as you discover the internet's vast resources.

These are our and our experts top picks to get started building career-relevant skills.

Zero to Sold

Zero to Sold

It's easy to build software products. The hard part is turning them into viable businesses that stand the test of time. If you want to build a business that survives, you have to know what challenges you will encounter. Zero to Sold tells the story of a sustainable, bootstrapped software business that grew to thousands of customers before it was acquired.

Zero to One

Zero to One

Doing what someone else already knows how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But when you do something new, you go from 0 to 1. The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. Tomorrow’s champions will not win by competing ruthlessly in today’s marketplace. They will escape competition altogether, because their businesses will be unique.

The $100 Startup

The $100 Startup

Chris identified 1,500 individuals who have built businesses earning $50,000 or more from a modest investment (in many cases, $100 or less), and focused on the 50 most intriguing case studies. In nearly all cases, people with no special skills discovered aspects of their personal passions that could be monetized, and were able to restructure their lives in ways that gave them greater freedom and fulfillment.

Mastering the VC Game

Mastering the VC Game

Jeffrey Bussgang is one of a very few people who have played on both sides of this high-stakes game. Now he draws on his unique perspective to offer high-level insights, colorful stories, and practical advice gathered from his own experience as well as from interviews with dozens of the most successful entrepreneurs and VCs. He reveals how to get noticed, perfect a pitch, and negotiate a partnership that works for everyone.

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

As Product Manager, user engagement is always at the top of your mind. The best way to have engaged users is to create habit-forming products. Nir Eyal walks us through the inner workings of almost addicting social apps and boils down how you can use the same mechanisms for good.

High Growth Handbook

High Growth Handbook

Every high-growth company eventually needs to tackle thet same set of challenges around organizational structure, late-stage funding and secondary stock sales, culture, internationalization, hiring executive for roles the founders don’t understand, buying other companies, and more. This is the handbook for navigating those challenges.

The Lean Startup

The Lean Startup

Rather than wasting time creating elaborate business plans, The Lean Startup offers entrepreneurs—in companies of all sizes—a way to test their vision continuously, to adapt and adjust before it’s too late. Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups in a age when companies need to innovate more than ever.

Advanced SEO: A step-by-step guide on getting to the top of Google

Advanced SEO: A step-by-step guide on getting to the top of Google

In this comprehensive book, you will learn the advanced techniques and strategies that top SEO professionals use to achieve top rankings. You'll learn how to conduct thorough keyword research, optimize your website's structure and content, build high-quality backlinks, and track your progress with analytics.

Social Media Marketing Mastery

Social Media Marketing Mastery

Do you have problems getting started with social media marketing? Not knowing what social media platform you should focus on? Being unware on how to create the most profitable ad campaigns? Or using marketing methods that are outdated and do not work? If you do, within this book many of the top leaders in the field have shared their knowledge on how to overcome these problems and more, most of which have 10+ years worth experience.

This is Marketing: You Can't Be Seen Until You Learn To See

This is Marketing: You Can't Be Seen Until You Learn To See

Over the past quarter century, Seth Godin has taught and inspired millions of entrepreneurs, marketers, leaders, and fans from all walks of life, via his blog, online courses, lectures, and bestselling books. He is the inventor of countless ideas and phrases that have made their way into mainstream business language, from Permission Marketing to Purple Cow to Tribes to The Dip.

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Courses to deepen your Startup skills.

These days, courses are no longer a sequence of videos. They are usually accompanied by projects and a learning community, keeping you accountable and on the path.

Our experts recommend these courses, from free selections to paid programs.

YCombinator Startup School

YCombinator Startup School

Learn how to start a company, with help from the world's top startup accelerator - Y Combinator. Meet with other founders through weekly live video chats and share tips on how you've grown your startup.

Keep track of your startup's progress with weekly updates and get ready to launch your product. Get access to more than $100,000 worth of deals on AWS, GCP, Digital Ocean, Stripe, Brex, Segment, and more.

Sam Altman: How to Start a Startup

Sam Altman: How to Start a Startup

Everything we know about how to start a startup, for free, from some of the world experts. How to Start a Startup is a series of video lectures, initially given at Stanford in Fall 2014.

How to Build a Startup

How to Build a Startup

The main idea in this course is learning how to rapidly develop and test ideas by gathering massive amounts of customer and marketplace feedback. Many startups fail by not validating their ideas early on with real-life customers. In order to mitigate that, students will learn how to get out of the building and search for the real pain points and unmet needs of customers. Only with these can the entrepreneur find a proper solution and establish a suitable business model.

The Lean Startup Seminar

The Lean Startup Seminar

How to create a system of "innovation accounting" within your company so that everyone is building products that meets customers needs.

The easiest and fastest ways to build minimum viable products so you can get your product launched as quickly as possible.

Financial Projections for Early Stage Start-ups

Financial Projections for Early Stage Start-ups

By the end of this 1-hour long guided project, you will be able to create well-structured financial projections for your start-up idea to be used to attract investors. Firstly, you will learn how to calculate sales projections for your start-up. Afterwards, you will learn how to calculate start-up expenses and finally create a profit and loss statement.

Get the guidance you need on the Startup Founder career path

There is no better source of accountability and motivation than having a personal mentor. What used to be impossible to find is now just two clicks away! All mentors are vetted & hands-on!

The Startup must-reads you shouldn't miss.

Key articles and posts of industry experts can help you get a better picture of what you are getting into.

In our opinion, these are some must-reads you really shouldn't miss.

Do Things that Don't Scale

One of the most common types of advice we give at Y Combinator is to do things that don't scale. A lot of would-be founders believe that startups either take off or don't. You build something, make it available, and if you've made a better mousetrap, people beat a path to your door as promised. Or they don't, in which case the market must not exist.

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The 5 Minute Guide To Cheap Startup Advertising

Imagine that you've just completed version 1 of your product and you're preparing for launch. You’ve greased the wheels with a few bloggers, targeted some keywords with SEO, created a bit of linkbait, and scheduled the press release to launch in the morning. At this point your co-founder turns to you and says: “What are we going to do with the $300 we have stashed away for advertising?”

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The State of the SaaS Economy

As a leader in the recurring revenue world, your job is always getting harder. Competition is increasing. Your customers are expecting more from you. The relative value of your features is declining.

We found that you're going to need an entirely new approach to everything from your monetization strategy to your customer development efforts.

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Opportunities and projects in the Startup space.

In the end, advancing your career is all about getting the right opportunities at the right time and a good portion of luck.

These are some interesting things going on in the Startup space and you probably don't want to miss them.

IndieHackers: Build your own product

Building your very own product puts you on the radar of any product-focused organization hiring managers, designers and engineers. Going from nothing to something requires and builds top-notch prioritization skills, the ability to stay scrappy and shows that you can get things done.

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Discover no-code

Not much into coding? The rise of no-code tools like Zapier, Webflow and Carrd has enabled creators of all backgrounds to build sustainable businesses, without the need to hire upfront.

Sounds weird? Businesses like Makerpad and Lambda School built entirely or mostly out of no-code tools are making and raising millions of dollars!

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Related career paths

If you like Startup careers, you might also be interested in these other career paths.

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