4-Step Ladder From Job To Startup, Starting With Content
One Failed Perspective On Starting A Venture, When You Are In A Job.
Before I quit my job to start a company, I tried to build a startup on the side. How did I try to juggle my entrepreneurial aspirations with my full-time PM role?
I defined a 4-step ladder from working in a job to building a startup. This is one of my shortest posts, similar to Software vs Legal Contracts.
Step 1 - Content Creation
Write content about my learnings as a Product Manager. Build an audience. My goal was to show I’m thinking about business beyond my 9-5 (or 5-9?). I started this in 2020 by writing on Substack and Medium.
Step 2 - Entrepreneurial Ideas
Write about entrepreneurial ideas. What problems do I see around me at work and beyond? What are potential solutions? If I were to solve it, what other research would I do? How would I try to solve and launch the solution? My goal was to show I’m thinking like an entrepreneur. I wanted to see the engagement with these ideas. One example was analyzing the real estate market in Ireland.
Step 3 - Idea Testing
See which entrepreneurial ideas get more engagement. Build no-code landing pages for some of those. Look at the response I get on the landing pages.
This also approaches ideas like a funnel. Like design-thinking divergent-convergent process.Thanks to Michelle Ovalle for the illustration. Think of several ideas. Put some out there. Look at the response. Create pages for some.
Step 4 - Startup Launch
Pick one idea with an enthusiastic response to its landing page. Quit job to work full-time on the startup idea. Build MVP for the solution. Move onwards from there. I launched one MVP last year, and I wrote more about it here.
My Attempts At These 4 Steps
I started step 1 in 2020. My 4 steps sounded feasible back then.
But I got stuck at step 1 itself. I found it challenging to juggle my entrepreneurial aspirations with the demanding responsibilities of a full-time ownership-heavy staff Product Manager job.
The 4 Step Process Failed For Me. So, What Then?
The drive to become an entrepreneur pushed me to resign from my full-time role in 2022. I thought of Jeff Bezos’ regret-minimization framework. I didn't want to look back a decade later with regret, wishing I had made more time to pursue my dreams. I will share my adjacent thoughts in upcoming posts.