As I sit here all by myself, I have to wonder how to make this happen. I’m just a designer and mechanical engineer. Do I have the skills I need to make this successful? The better question is do I need the skills to make this happen all by myself? The answer is no. Nobody is an island. Look at it this way. I’m by nature an introvert with not a huge bunch of friends. Yet in my network I have:
Finance specialists through my dad’s computer club where they used to have a Wall St. SIG.
Marketing people from the same place.
A high level logistics specialist who also is an expert in retailing and heavy ebay seller.
A media specialist who used to work at Time magazine.
a business development specialist who has already offered to help me start something up.
Laser specialists from my job at Jefferson lab.
Top programmers from a couple of different places.
Electrical engineers and board experts from my Facebook network, my last job at PerkinElmer and my NRHS chapter.
A professional videographer with studio level equipment.(think kickstarter video)
the local government innovation and entrepreneurial center.
My local hackerspace.
That doesn’t include people I can contact in various online forums, linked in and other places. Between all these things, I have contact just about everybody with the skills needed to get this project off the ground. And the good part is that with a little engagement they won’t charge up front for the services. There’s a lot of skills in retired people and people who are underemployed. One of the local universities might have people with the skills you need and students who will work for next to nothing for the opportunity to work for a start up and pad their resume. You don’t necessarily need to pay big bucks for the skills you don’t have.
Then there’s the fact that you can exploit your potential vendors for things. The vendors are looking at relationships and are frequently willing to cut you slack in early pricing, give you samples and help you with design for the opportunity of having the first shot at your business later. Some companies like Element 14 even provide extensive resources for makers and startups. These are resources that you should exploit.
Finally there’s what Danny Choo calls Google sensei. The interwebs. The internet will not only have how to videos on just about everything, online course for everything else and five webpages with more information than you want, it will give you access to people outside your network. You can get access to the top people at anything to critique your stuff, puff up your marketing effort and help you find the right thing to say for your kickstarter. Just for engaging their enthusiasm and getting the to encourage yours. How big a thing is that?
Book to read:
The Let’s Build Series: