How to create and launch a startup in 10.5 hours

I just launched FEEDJIT. It took me about 10.5 hours (4pm until 2:30am) from the first time my hand touched the keyboard until I fixed the last bug and went live. I got a question on the Seattle Tech Startup list about how I spent my 10.5 hours. So here’s a brief summary:

  • I drew a mockup in Fireworks. It started getting complicated with user registration and so on. So I basically binned it and just wrote the software, but the mockup gave me an idea of the most basic value prop. So I made a decision to go out the door with the very very basics and see if it’s something users actually want. (1 hour)
  • I designed the database schema in SQL commands using a text editor. I mentioned this CompSci quote to a friend yesterday: “Get your data structures correct first, and the rest of the program will write itself.”. Doing the data structures in the form of a schema forced me into making all the hard decisions of what features I’m keeping and what I’m not going to have time to implement. (1 hour)
  • I wrote the functional app. I find that if I do graphical or UI work early on it can become very time consuming as I try to get just the right dropshadow on some element. So I just dove in and wrote the Javascript and server components. The app doesn’t require any registration so I could just write the widget and the server code to store and deliver the stats that are displayed. (roughly 6 hours)
  • Then the last thing I did was create the home page (the only page on the site). After cranking out code for 6 hours I was too tired to faff with dropshadows and so on. So it became purely functional. (roughly 2 hours)

I already have a server set up at serverbeach where I host this. It’s on a 10 megabit backbone connection but doesn’t cost me much. So I basically added a virtualhosts section to the httpd.conf file and copied the source code into the proper directories. I then compressed the javascript and used my SQL text files and the mysql client to dump the schema into the database. I brought it online and couldn’t figure out why everything was appearing to be in Denver, Colorado. Then I realized I’d hard-coded my own IP address into the Geo location routines. Shows you how you can screw up when you’re rushed. I fixed that and it worked perfectly.

I hope there’s some value in that. I think the smartest thing I did was to drop everything except the features that would test whether this is a product my target market would actually find useful. That remains to be seen of course, but I’m hopeful. We’re adding quite a few new blogs per hour now.

39 thoughts on “How to create and launch a startup in 10.5 hours

  1. Hi there, I think your web site might be having web browser compatibility problems.
    When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine however when opening in I.E.,
    it has some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to provide you with a quick heads up!
    Besides that, great site!

  2. Excellent beat ! I would like to apprentice even as you
    amend your web site, how could i subscribe for a weblog website?
    The account aided me a applicable deal. I have been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered
    shiny clear idea

  3. You’re so awesome! I don’t think I’ve truly read something like that before.

    So good to discover someone with a few original thoughts on this subject.
    Really.. thank you for starting this up. This web site is one thing that is required on
    the internet, someone with a little originality!

  4. This design is steller! You obviously know how to keep a reader amused.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Excellent job.
    I really loved what you had to say, and more than that,
    how you presented it. Too cool!

  5. I�m impressed, I have to say. Actually hardly ever do I encounter a weblog that�s each educative and entertaining, and let me let you know, you could have hit the nail on the head. Your thought is excellent; the problem is one thing that not sufficient persons are talking intelligently about. I’m very glad that I stumbled throughout this in my seek for one thing regarding this.

  6. There is certainly noticeably a bundle to grasp this. I assume you’ve got created precise good points in characteristics also.

  7. Pingback: Ryan Waggoner dot com » Blog Archive » Twenty-five tomatoes: experiments in micro-startups

  8. Pingback: Friday rocks!!

  9. Pingback: Sriram Krishnan™ Live » From 24 hours to 10.5 hours: Time it takes to start a dot com

  10. Pingback: Ramkumar Shankar » Create and launch a startup in 10.5 hours

  11. Pingback: Friday File - 31 August, 2007

  12. add a very small banner
    to promote blogs who use
    the widget randomly that
    would be good for the bloggers
    becuse link exchange networks
    just like youe service needed
    annoting registration

    and for you add google adsense
    to it

    and be friendly to users
    f some one writes he blog
    adress so you can visit the
    blogs who use your service
    there is no need to erase his
    comment

    rc

  13. it’s a great tool
    very simple to use
    i wonder if you think
    the blogs who you it
    can get extra traffic
    apearing on each other
    widgets from time to time
    good be a nice network

  14. Pingback: Get a startup up in 10.5 hours « Meltin’ Posts

  15. If this counts as launching a startup then I’ve “launched” about 27 startups over the past 8 years. Others might call this a feature or clever hack. (not to denigrate at all what you did here – it’s cool stuff, just not a startup in the traditional sense)

    Seed of a good thing: I launched a similar site/idea a while back (it took me more like 2 weekends of work) and it now grosses a passive $2,500 a month for me. You could be well on your way, esp. with widget monetizing options now blossoming finally.

  16. Hi Rob,

    I generally find that marketing is the hardest part of a startup (I’m on my 6th) – but that may be because I’m a geek.

    Monetizing tons of traffic is not hard. At some point we’ll work with our community of bloggers who are using feedjit to figure out something that can benefit both us and them.

    Regards,

    Mark.

  17. Hey guys,

    I’ve just rolled out an internationalization fix. I tested it on some swedish cities and it seems to work well. Please let me know if you see any more garbled chars. And let me know if you see international characters that are non-western and work correctly so I can verify this. Thanks!

    Mark.

  18. You didn’t just “launch a startup”…you created a cute little widget. There is a difference… With that said, it is pretty cool.

  19. Working on this now guys. Thanks very much for the reports. I should have a fix out within the next few hours.

    If you could point me to a test page that reproduces the bug that would help a lot.

    Thanks!

  20. Hi, like too much English people, your support for unicode in town names is broken (actually, I don’t know if this is really supported by the DNS). Take the IP address I use for this post as a sample if you wich, it should say “Besançon”.

  21. Hi Marshall,

    Using TM means you intend to enforce your claims to your trademark. You don’t have to file with the USPTO to do that.

    You gain certain rights by simply using a mark publicly. You’ll notice when you do file, your TM attorney will ask you when the first public use of the mark was and he/she will try to make that date as far back in the past as possible.

    Regards,

    Mark.

  22. Pingback: FEEDJIT: The 10 Hour Internet Startup | Josiah Cole dot com

  23. Nice! I’m wondering tho… What’s the story behind the “TM” next to the logo?

    I don’t pretend to know a lot about that sort of thing, but I was under the impression you had to register a trademark, and that it took time. Just curious!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.