When I worked at Microsoft I used to read about startups on tech blogs and such. The funny thing is I cannot remember reading about any startups' experiences as they were just getting started. Now that it is my turn, I thought I'd try to capture some of the more mundane details about starting a startup. Maybe some of you will find it interesting.
By the third week of January, we were in full startup mode. We retained a corporate counsel and certified public accountant. They advised us, prepared incorporation documents then stood in wait for us to make the first big decision. What is the name of the company?
I'll have a whole blog post about naming your company. It is a very big deal.
Suffice it to say we decided on a name by Thursday, immediately acquired the domain then let loose the lawyers to reserve the name with the state and file the incorporation documents. I want to say that was when it all felt real but it wasn't.
It wasn't until we had working email addresses that it started to feel real. With an email address you can sign up for services. With an email address you start to exist on the Internet. I'll talk more about email as business infrastructure soon.
About the same time we acquired an intellectual property lawyer. Turns out law is far more segmented than I realized. A lawyer that can provide legal advice about state business laws may not be able to help with copyright or intellectual property questions. Fortunately, we found a good lawyer that is having a great time tackling the variety of intellectual property questions we've posed.
By the end of the third week of January, a customer called us who was interested in doing business with us immediately. So I start planning a trip to Oslo. Unfortunately, our new company wouldn't formally exist for 30 - 90 days so RobMensching.com LLC was used as a temporary business proxy. Internet time: zero; state government; one. We improvised.
All that in happened in one week. The first week of the startup. When that week was over, I was completely wiped out. It felt awesome.
The last couple weeks of January, my VOIP phone arrived, I ordered my standing desk and I packed for Oslo. The first full week of February I was in Oslo talking day and night about the WiX toolset. It was also awesome.
Looking back, that was an amazing first month for the company. It's even more amazing when I realize that we've only been doing this for two months. There are so many more things to talk about but it's late. I'll stop here. Expect more soon.
In the mean time, keep on coding.