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The Founder's Roadmap

What if there were literally a roadmap for entrepreneurs and web founders to understand the steps it takes to start a business?

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The Founder's Roadmap is an actual map that helps direct new entrepreneurs through the steps of starting a business.

This idea is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but if we could create a founder's roadmap, what might it look like?

I know there isn't one prescribed, one-size-fits-all way to start a business, but then again - might it be possible to lay out very clearly and visually the steps that everyone needs to take in order to start an online business? 

This roadmap could be available in hard copy (imagine it handed out at meetups and events) as well as online, perhaps as a resource provided by an entrepreneurship incubator like the Hub or Y Combinator.

How will your concept support web entrepreneurship?

Starting a new business - online or otherwise - is a convoluted and confusing undertaking. Everywhere you turn, people have different opinions, perspectives and suggestions. Whether it's trying to determine if your product or service is desirable or viable for your market, or trying to understand local or federal legislation related to your business, starting a new venture is messy and confusing. This roadmap would help new and future founders understand the basic journey they'll need to take to get their idea up and running.

What kinds of resources will be needed to get this concept off the ground and scale it?

When I think of resources, I think of two elements: the actual visual design of this roadmap and the information needed to populate it. The most challenging part would be the information that's included in the map. I'm aware that starting a business is very location-specific; that is, what matters in terms of regulations and licensing, for instance, varies across locations. However, there are certain steps that every entrepreneur must follow, from creating and refining a business plan to recruiting to the right team.

How could we get started?

As a start, perhaps we could interview people who have started web businesses, to find out about the steps they took in the beginning? While we know it would be difficult and probably too detailed to include every single step that every single entrepreneur takes when starting a business, I bet these interviews would help us identify which are the most common steps that entrepreneurs take when starting a business. Even something like a tag or word cloud could help us get a sense of the tasks, conversations and decisions that founders make when starting a business. We might also reach out to entrepreneur networks like the Hub, Women2.0 or others, to get their feedback and help us iterate the map further. These networks may also agree to share the map with their members when it's finished.

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