TechStart: Building a Startup in 90 days

Building a Startup in 90 Days

Building a Startup company is a crazy roller coaster of obstacles, challenges, highs, lows, disappointments and let-downs. What’s more outrageous is attempting to build one again, if you’ve tried and failed, in just under 90 days. But I am hopeful, because with the advancement in technology and its ability to reduce the barrier to entry for new business ideas; technology allows for some semblance of possibility and even maybe success. As you know, attaining any type of success, takes work and in this case, smart strategic planning.

Moreover, in this unconventional business venture, the smart way, is how I will outline building a tech Startup in such a short span of time.

You’re maybe thinking… Why 90 days (three months), really?

Because, this is for you, the millennial who doesn’t have the time to sit years waiting for something to make sense. I fit in this category as well, we want to move fast, and break things, and hope, maybe just once in our lives that we become successful at something.

Throughout this series, I hope to inspire you, the reader, to take action or simply to be more educated on Tech Startups.

I personally believe that Dominica needs more Startups. We are in a time right now where job opportunities are scarce and more and more young professionals are forced to look elsewhere for employment. But with just an idea and the right mindset (a bit of knowledge too), I am hopeful that we can build a better economy through entrepreneurship.

With this new series, Building a Startup in 90 days. I am going to try something that has never been done on this platform before.

To come up with an idea, a real-world solution to a problem here in Dominica: to research a target customer and create a revenue model.

And attempt, through modern Startup strategies to build a viable business from scratch.

This series will take the form of  a bi-weekly post,  every other Monday, consisting of 8 parts.

  • Building a Startup in 90 days | The Idea
  • Building a Startup in 90 days | The Name
  • Building a Startup in 90 days | Potential Customers
  • Building a Startup in 90 days | Revenue Model
  • Building a Startup in 90 days | MVP
  • Building a Startup in 90 days | Marketing
  • Building a Startup in 90 days | Growth
  • Building a Startup in 90 days | Sustainability

 

Join me on this journey. Start your week with TechStart!

 

Who am I?

My name is Austin Lazarus and I have been in the Startup scene since 2014. My first experience came through the Digital Jam 3.0 App competition in Jamaica. Since then I’ve been to other regional Pitch competitions and worked and collaborated with both local and regional entrepreneurs. My most proud moment came from placing 2rd at the NCB Digital Innovation Challenge in Jamaica for Innovation in banking solutions.

Now, apart from my day job, I develop and operate the software solution for restaurateurs and local vendors, BudgEat.

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22 Comments

  1. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    May 15, 2019

    “In the U.S., 20 percent of businesses will fail the first year; 30 percent the next. Fifty percent will go down in their fifth year, and 70 percent fail in their tenth year.” (Steve).

    Steve, I am not going to the link you gave to read anything; but even this in the quote seems more reasonable, than for one to even contend that failure comes within 90 days.
    Nevertheless; even your contention in the quote is flawed: that could only happen if all the business commenced operating on the same day, the same month at the same time., the year!

    In the event at that, it is no likely that failures, would come in such a sequence, people like to quote percent, however, to quote percent we do off a base number!
    So, all the percent you are quoting without a direct number of business opening in that  same sequential order makes it difficult understand your logic.

  2. 100an
    May 14, 2019

    Well done Lazarus; i wish you all the best with your endeavors! Continue to push forward and strive for success.

  3. BM
    May 14, 2019

    I like your mindset Austin. Technology is moving at a rapid rate and Dominica is being left behind. I’m an entrepreneur based in London but have strong family ties to Dominica and visit often. The Government has to start looking at methods to get the youth into tech. Ross University has been sitting empty for the last 2 years , why can’t they transform the place into a temporary learning hub for developing & coding skills? Dominica frustrates me immensely, its time to wake up and smell the coffee , time for sharp minds and forward-thinking initiatives!

  4. One-of-the-Twelve
    May 14, 2019

    Mr. Telemaque, your obvious expression of negativity is suggestive of a straight-up naysayer. You cannot even dig deep within yourself to find a word of encouragement for this aspiring young man. Declaring that Mr. Lazarus does not make sense is bit of a rude and disrespectful over-reach, don’t you think?

    Mr. Lazarus may possess the level of professional restraint required to ignore your insolent and insulting diatribe; however, I as a grizzled veteran of NYC living, clearly recognize the antics of a verbal bully and will not be silent. Not one known to be a shrinking violet, I boldly advise you to have some decorum and to honor the DNO forum codes of conduct. Generally speaking, your posts are a welcomed read and contain some good ideas. I will excuse this one as an anomaly.

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      May 14, 2019

      If I indulge into nonsense, and encourage nonsensical argument, saying what the author want to hear; the person will remain stock in their senseless ideas; hence, that will retard them from moving forward.
      I have had business such as shipping, and Electronics; I operated a shipping business in Antigua, along with an Electronic business.

      I have a business in America which has earned me millions!

      So give me some credit for having knowledge on how to start-up a business, and failures too! 
      Here is a clue; if Ron Abraham did not build his Television Station Marpin in Dominica, which Dominicans stole from him; I would have been the man who might have built a Radio & Television Station complex in Dominica.

      So, unless you walked in my shoe, don; t knock it!

      Do you have a business; the Dominica mentality is simply talk but when it boils down to the real action to do something all voices becomes mute!

      • Bif
        May 15, 2019

        Dude you broke, don’t even try that I’m a millionaire thing. I own 2 space shuttles, so, big deal. What you have accounted on this blog is that you own apartments in a building that has a laundry downstairs. From your expressions here this smells of a slum lord, I’d be ashamed to say I’m a millionaire. Try something else like ‘I’m a braggart man’.

  5. Abraham J. Durand
    May 14, 2019

    Fantastic initiative, Lazarus! This is the kind of conversation that we need more of among our youth. Indeed I feel gratified whenever one of ours strikes out boldly into the realms of contributing to the global conversation on ICT development, particularly from the perspective of producing rather than simply commenting on, or consuming, what others have put on offer. I look forward to your regular posts and the conversation that they generate. Great job!

  6. Constructively Dissatisfied
    May 13, 2019

    Mr. Lazarus, thank you for sharing your experience, expertise and knowledge on Start-ups. The world, driven by the rapid advent in technology, is evolving at the speed of an 8-core processor. In light of these fast-paced changes, the young and not so young need be very agile and adaptable in order to keep pace.

    It appears the old, limited models of economic dependence will no longer serve small nation states like Dominica effectively, if they ever did at all. With innovative and visionary ideas from bright young minds like yours, our country will be well poised to compete in this technology based world moving forward. I wish you and all like-minded entrepreneurs success in all your endeavors.

  7. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    May 13, 2019

    You are not making any sense at all; you do not have a clue about how a business gets started!

    In the first place if you are into start-up business and have any knowledge about it, you would know that depending on the business different techniques are used, and you need “money to ensure the business survive until it takes off, and become profitable!

    If you start a business, and fail within ninety (90) days, that means you are a complete failure, a novice who does not know anything about business.

    Clue: when thinking of setting up a business one of the key to success is finding the appropriate location; location, location, means survival or failure!

    If a new business is going to fail it should be somewhere within 180 days (six months).

    If it survive go past six months, you know you are in business!

    • Abraham J. Durand
      May 14, 2019

      I am sorry, blogger, but your comment is in poor taste. Mr. Lazarus has been a very active part of the grassroots ICT development movement here in Dominica for many years and is very qualified to share his experience and expertise at the conversation that he has started. I see him as part of the vanguard that is seeking to reverse the muscovado bias imposed upon us by colonialism, and which has plagued our region for so long. If I were you and who you purport to be, wisdom would dictate that I encourage the youth who have actually chosen to remain in the struggle right here at home and provide for them some support and constructive critique rather than seeking to put them down so brutally. Peace.

      • carlty
        May 14, 2019

        Durand, this is something at I have spoken on recently that the muscovado bias is still very much prevalent in our society even after we gain independence and that it concerns me when I hear all talks on increased exports of our primary products. This plantation economy is has allowed the metropoles to grow while ensuring the hinterlands remain dependant on them and globalization made it no better especially for the smaller former colonies. We should break that cycle. Our young people should be encouraged to do just that and this young man is being a leader of his peers and must be encouraged to do so.

      • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
        May 15, 2019

        “Mr. Lazarus has been a very active part of the grassroots ICT development movement here in Dominica. ”
        Abraham, because a person is active in Dominica, or any other country say something does not mean their opinions and ideas are altogether correct!
        If that is the case you are suggesting anything an active or popular person say there should be no question asks, no debate must take place; everybody must simply accept what comes out of the mine of that person and tag along with that persons ideas even if it makes no sense!
        If that was the way the world operate, man would not have set foot on the moon; Radio & Television transmission/receiving  would never be; the Internet would not be invented; hence I would not be communicating this note which will be in Dominica the second I post it.

        There would be no Train, and Automobiles, there would be no 737 Aircraft’s with more than two hundred people flying 30 &40 thousand feet in the Sky!

    • Psudado Alano-Sdod Maletek
      May 14, 2019

      Boyy it is no surprise you have no clue what you just read and you dive straight into your usual predictable senseless psychobabble. We are no longer in high school with your location location location, stuck in the pre-1970s.

      • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
        May 14, 2019

        Moreover, in this unconventional business venture, the smart way, is how I will outline building a tech Startup in such a short span of time.

        Guy the key word here is “business venture.”I’ve been in business!I started s business which failed; I used a different approach with the same failed business which was successful.

        I worked for people using my academic knowledge and skills; retired at age 47, in business since then making more money right now than I could have ever made striking a time company’s time clock!Been there done that so, I know what it takes to start a business.I know the struggles involve in a business, okay!
        Have you ever own a business; if so, tell me what’s your experience, and how much have earned from it.
        I can tell you I have already earned millions from mine and continuing; I have already will it all to my children in a Living Trust!
        So, keep talking about me!

        Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah!

    • May 14, 2019

      “If a new business is going to fail it should be somewhere within 180 days (six months). If it survive go past six months, you know you are in business!”

      Neither of these statements is the case. You should take the beam out of your own eye.

      • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
        May 14, 2019

        Steve there are documented statistics proving the 180 days (six month) theory you know!

        Now I do not know about Dominica; where people pull their hypothesis; and ‘their they say’  out of thin air to make comments; nevertheless, if you asks them what scientific method they use to develop the theory to come to their conclusion.

        You find they ask you what are you talking about?

        And it is not beam out of my eyes; the Bible said “mote out of thine eye”
        Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah!

        • Pablov
          May 14, 2019

          As long as you can use the old location x3, this tells us the level you are operating at. It’s the internet age. This gentleman is way above your grade level.

        • May 14, 2019

          “In the U.S., 20 percent of businesses will fail the first year; 30 percent the next. Fifty percent will go down in their fifth year, and 70 percent fail in their tenth year.”

          https://venturebeat.com/2019/05/13/50-of-businesses-fail-in-their-first-5-years-whats-the-secret-for-those-that-survive/

          And that you forgot the part about the beam is quite apt. It’s almost as though Jesus had you in mind:

          “And why seest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye; and seest not the beam that is in thy own eye? Or how sayest thou to thy brother: Let me cast the mote out of thy eye; and behold a beam is in thy own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thy own eye, and then shalt thou see to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:3-5

    • carlty
      May 14, 2019

      This was not a very encouraging statement or comment to be made towards a young man looking to empower others. We call for development, but development starts when everyone plays their part and this is his part to play in the process. If there were information or additional advice that you would want to share with him, try getting in contact with him, share it, but d not discourage this young man from doing service beneficial to all.

  8. Simplicity767
    May 13, 2019

    Great job Austin. Positive young man doing positive things. You are indeed an inspiration. Can’t wait to follow your journey

  9. May 13, 2019

    I look forward to this series. Specifically I hope that it will identify some of the obstacles that small businesses encounter here in Dominica.

    For example, if one wishes to sell products direct to individual customers overseas (for example, copies of my books) how can I accept payment? Certainly not by universally recognized and preferred PayPal, for Dominica is not included in their sellers list of countries.

    I can import via payments to PayPal and be refunded via PayPal, but I cannot export via PayPal. For the customer, this restriction immediately casts suspicion on the transaction.

    I have raised the issue with PayPal, my bank, Invest Dominica and the Financial Services Unit, but it appears that nothing can be done about it.

  10. carlty
    May 13, 2019

    I love this idea coming from this young man. I hope it gets a lot of publicity and among our young people especially. Good luck during this journey Mr. Lazarus

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