C. Keith Ray

C. Keith Ray writes about and develops software in multiple platforms and languages, including iOS® and Macintosh®.
Keith's Résumé (pdf)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

If I Were Advising Someone Forming a Start-up

If I were advising someone forming a start-up, or forming a start-up myself, I'd want to learn a few things first, and then be able to consult certain experts as I continued.

I would learn from this list of books here, in a page created by Steve Blank. Note Kent Beck's Extreme Programming Explained is listed near the top of this list of books, along with The Lean Startup by Eric Ries, and The Startup Owners Manual by Steve Blank. The list of books is quite long, so I'd get summaries of these books and skim through the few I'd buy, digging deeper as needed. Reading them all would take a long time.

I would consult with Esther Derby for team-work and process improvement. And her books:

I would consult with Johanna Rothman for management and hiring. And her books:

There are a variety of legal issues when starting a business. Nolo Press has a lot of advice. I'd get something like The Small Business Start-Up Kit: A Step-by-Step Legal Guide.


  1. One thing I found useful was understanding my management style and how it affects my employees. I tend to be extremely hands-off and let people work at their own pace and their own way, and in some cases I was doing my employees a disservice because I did not realize that they wanted more supervision than I was giving them. It also helps to understand your work style, even if you are a solopreneur. The assessment I found most useful was the one at www.peoplerightcareers.com.

    The other piece of advice I have is to do what you love, because as a startup you'll be working 20 hours a day, and if you don't love it, you'll never last through the startup phase.

    Don't forget your local SCORE office. As great as books and other resources are, there is absolutely nothing like sitting down and telling your problems and ideas to someone more experienced than you, and having them give you precise advice on how to improve.

  2. Thanks, Classicalgeek. Score is a resource we tend to forget: http://ww.score.org

  3. Keith, thank you so much for your recommendation of my books.

    I agree with Classicalgeek. You need to understand your own management style and adapt it to each person. And, you need to love with you do, because you will spend lots of time on your startup.