Start-bucks Coffee.

My first startup, STORM Consulting, started as an idea in 2005, I talked about it with around 10 people – all potential co-owners I targeted – mostly in Starbucks. I then narrowed the field down from ten to two people and began building the foundation of the firm with my two new partners.

A recent startup, StreamEngine, (site is still in beta) which is launching this January, started when I talked to potential partners – mostly in Starbucks (some in Seattle’s Best).

A chunk of my time now I’m currently using by  talking to different people regarding different ideas – all in coffee places and dining areas in the metro, 30-60 minutes each, mostly after hours.

You want to know where to start? Talk about it with someone. Get that idea of yours out of your head and into a conversation. To properly nurture ideas, they need to be out in the open, where they can grow, receive feedback, and get the attention they need. The more you talk about it, the more your idea will become real, more palpable. Energy is generated, momentum is generated – both critical elements in launching a startup.

Ideally, you are also using this process to recruit for potential partners. This is very critical, because once the incorporation is done – you essentially become married to your partners. Listen carefully: Who is excited about your idea? Who can help you take your idea further? Is this person DIFFERENT than you in key areas (ideas, skill set, network)? Is this person SAME as you in the key areas? (values, principles, work ethic)

So you want to start? Grab a cup with a friend tonight!

(Join the Juangreatleap movement and learn more about startups! Subscribe to the blog now to get the newsletter and join the forum!)

Ideas Are Overrated

A friend of mine who read the blog told me early today, “Okay, I’m sufficiently inspired, now put something concrete please! Tell me how I can start!”

So where do we begin?

The popular answer is that it starts with the idea. This explains why so many people have the excuse, “I’d start, but I still don’t have that killer idea.”

Let me tell you a story.

Around a year and a half ago, I was really inspired to start a UX (user experience) Consulting firm, seeing that more and more firms needed this service and that there wasn’t any one firm catering to this need. So I poured myself in getting to know as much about UX as I can, and then I started talking to people who might be interested in helping me put it up. I found two young people. We started meeting in Kenny Rogers Katipunan, and we started setting it up excitedly. But then there were some problems we encountered: we felt the market might not have been too lucrative nor too ready for the concept. Considering the background of the partners, the idea then pivoted into a front-end design firm instead of a UX firm. A few months after, another set of circumstances necessitated another pivot – the decision was to focus and do mobile sites for brands. Soon after, it was decided that it would be wise for the team to join forces with another startup group. Streamengine was then created. What do we do in Streamengine? Video production.

“The big idea” is easily the most overrated aspect of startups. They are a dime a dozen. Streamengine all started with an inspiration and then a decision – I want to do something, I WILL do something. That inspiration of mine then latched onto the first “big idea” I thought of – UX. The idea failed. If my basis for starting were the idea, I would’ve stopped altogether, right? But the idea wasn’t my anchor,so I instead re-directed my passions towards the next “big idea.” When that failed?  Onto its next iteration.

decided I had wanted to do another startup, and these failed ideas weren’t going to stop me from putting one up.

There is a lot of logic as to why I began with “encouragement” posts. Since it all begins with a decision, my great hope is that you get inspired to make one. If you do make one, I can guarantee that the going will then get tough and inspiration will fade. Then, only your decision will remain to hold on to and pull you through.

So you want something concrete to start with?

What about a concrete decision to start?