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.

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

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

  5. 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”.

  6. 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!

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