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  • Writer's pictureHarshal

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.


4-Step ladder starting with content and ideas to shortlisting ideas and launching a startup.
4-Step ladder starting with content and ideas to shortlisting ideas and launching a startup.

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.

Divergent and Convergent steps in the ideation process.
Divergent and Convergent steps in the ideation process.

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.


More about my trials with consulting in my next article here. More about my trials with launching a product startup and learnings here.


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.




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