Tanner-Maluchnik

Roll Up Your Business Plan and Smoke It, David Rusenko of Weebly.com, and Gen Y & Startups

by Tanner M. on

The other week I got to sit through an excellent presentation by former Penn State and fellow College of Information Sciences & Technology alum, David Rusenko who is the founder of Weebly.com.

David and Weebly.com got one of their breakthroughs when they received funding from the popular Y-Combinator Incubator (Reddit, Justin.tv, Dropbox, etc..).

There are a few things I wanted to point out that I took away from David’s presentation.

What is the first thing you should do when you have a business idea?

David mentioned to the class a few different scenarios to take if they had a business idea:
1. Write up a business plan
2. Develop a board of directors
3. Get a patent
4. Work on the product/idea/service
5. Become incorporated.

I believed that #4 would be the first thing you ought to do if you have an idea and was fortunately correct based on David’s experience.

Let’s take a look at a couple of these.

Business Plan – David mentioned about how people spend thousands of dollars and weeks worth of their time working on a business plan instead of the actual idea. This is valuable time and resources not well spent in his opinion and experience.

Business plans change constantly, especially in the tech startup world. In 2 weeks your business plan is going to be irrelevant.

Develop a board of directors – This is all fine and dandy once you have a marketable product.

Get a patent – David mentioned that if you have a profitable and marketable product, you will be able to get a patent. Work on the product and ship it first. Test it out.

Do not worry about spending countless hours and tons of beaurcratic work for a product that is not profitable.

Become incorporated – Once again, once you have a viable product/service/idea then it is very easy to give a lawyer $2,000-$5,000 to do all the incorporation paperwork for you.

Work on the Product

If you have read Seth Godin’s Linchpin (or even Seth’s blog for that matter), he mentions plenty of times about “just ship.”

Quit worrying about everything else, just ship your product, test it out, fix it up, repeat.

It is sort of like breaking through the analysis-paralysis wall which unfortunately I am somewhat hit with plenty of times.

Generation Y and Startups

Finally, one of the other points that I took away from Mr. Rusenko’s presentation was the idea that if you want to feel like you are making a change (something Gen Y prides itself on), then work for a startup.

Speaking from former experience, David mentioned that all too often when you are working for a large corporation, it never feels like you are doing something tangible, something that is truly going to impact something.

With a startup, every resource is EXTREMELY valuable. Every little thing you do in someway impacts that startup. Whether it be the brand identity or the processes involved. Your work matters a lot more in a startup than a large presentation.

Final Thoughts

I am glad to have met David and chatted with him a little bit after the presentation.

Weebly is continuing to grow and I asked David is Google has come knocking on his door. Not surprisingly they have. However, David plans on taking Weebly to a higher level and it will be exciting to see where he is in a few years.

In the meantime, if anybody is looking to develop an ePortfolio or website, check out Weebly.com, ITS FREE and EASY!

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  • http://yourradiantmoment.com Ivy

    Great advice!! Like you said, it's so easy to get caught up in writing a business plan without knowing exactly what it is that you want to provide (services, products, etc.).
    Thanks for the info!

    • http://lifedestiny.net/ Tanner @ Life Destiny

      Thanks for stopping by Ivy! Glad you enjoyed the advice of David, a very intelligent person.

  • commercialdoorcompany

    This is valuable time and resources not well spent in his view and experience.

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