Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide to Building Your Startup – The Strawberry Startup Method

Why do you want to learn how to build a startup?

There are 2 types of mindset in people who want to learn how to build a startup.

One believes that building startups is about making profits, while the other believes that building startups is about providing value.

If you are in it for the profits, you’re going to struggle in business. You might see some success when you build your startup but you are not going to reach greatness.

Your competition will gobble you up before you get anywhere or you’ll simply be too small for anyone to care. (Your startup will just melt with the slow burning of cash.)

I made that mistake before and although the startup did make some money, I knew this was not the right approach. Building a startup just to sell it shows in your work ethic and compromises your long-term strategy which can be detrimental to the overall health of your startup. 

Main Takeaway: Solve a problem and focus on providing value to your customers. The day you lose sleep over satisfying your customers is the day you’re on the road to success. 

This article teaches you the pitfalls of my journey in building a startup – such as not knowing who to ask, what to do and how to raise funding rounds. 


Table of Contents

🍓 Startups are like Strawberries

They have to be nurtured with delicate care, effort and time before the fruits of your labour can be harvested.

The Strawberry Startup provides a structured approach to building your startup and learning about the new, dynamic business speak of the 21st century for first-time entrepreneurs.

While many people talk about how great it is to start your own business, few manage to execute their ideas and only a handful become successful.

If you’re looking to run a small business and not how to build a startup, check out our step-by-step guide on How to Start a Mobile Phone Repair Business.

Product Market Fit

#1 – Does your Startup have a Good Product-Market Fit?

Your marketing strategy (or putting aside a marketing budget) is not as important as building something awesome – a product or a service that solves an essential problem. 

This is called having a Product-Market Fit – which is the underlying driver to a startup’s growth, success and valuation. Fret not, product-market fit can be easily understood without writing a single line of code.  

To really solve a problem for your customer, you have to understand what their needs are in order to help them

You can’t do that by just relying on what you think. Although your gut feeling is important, it’s not always right. 

That’s why you have to use data to backup any critical assumptions you make about your customer’s needs.

This is why you need to tap into insights through data. Effectively using data will help you build better products, and do it more efficiently.

Products that are remarkable get talked about. – Seth Godin

Remarkable design is certainly a goal that many marketers are familiar with. Especially those that are fans of Seth Godin.

Seth Godin has written a lot about remarkable marketing design, where he has written a bestselling book, This is Marketing.

So learn how to build a startup that’s sustainable by solving a problem that people face on a consistent basis.

Choose your co-founders wisely

#2 – The Pre-Startup Phase: Choose Your Co-Founders Wisely 

A startup can be more emotionally draining than other endeavours – especially when you’re stuck with co-founders whom you can’t get rid of. 

Sure you can fire employees, but you can’t fire co-founders as easily most of the times. Not that you ought to take firing of your employees lightly – we will teach you why your team is very important and how you can build a great team for your startup. 

Do due diligence on your co-founders – a sour relationship can kill an otherwise great startup.

The law is a minefield, and any legal implications get worse the longer they are left unaddressed. This is especially tricky when there are funding rounds involved, hence set up a vesting schedule and untangle IP issues early.

Despite the high level of activity on popular discussion forums, learning how to build a startup is an uncommon thing for many

You may find that you become a minority amongst your friends and family, and that feeling of a  loss of stability compared to a regular job can be daunting.


#3 – Equity & Fundraising: The money will come when your startup solves a problem + adept at acquiring customers 

Taking money from friends and family hurts the most when you lose it, and you shouldn’t be taking most of your funds from them. It’s alright to get them to invest at the start but these funds won’t be enough once your startup starts to grow. 

Fundraising is a full-time job. Startup progress happens when people are paying you, not when you are paying them.

Know that not all money is good money, as emphasized in The Strawberry Startup. A complex share registry can harm your chances of securing later rounds of funding, especially if you have a number of investors vested in your business. 

Beware of not burning cash because your customers may not always pay on time. Be prepared for such scenarios by keeping some cash, and/or ensuring there are other streams of revenue.

Once the money dries up, you will not be able to pay your bills or your employees’ salaries which can result in a disastrous nightmare. 


#4 – Learn How to Hire the Right Team for your Startup 

Technical experience is not a substitute for startup experience.

Youthful ambition is not a substitute for technical experience.

Hire people who complement existing capabilities in your team. Duplication of talents, especially in the same department, looks great from the outside, but internally it is often an unnecessary drain on the resources of an early stage startup.

Hire generalists early. Hire specialists later.


4.1 – Hiring is a lot like dating

When you go on a first date, you will know pretty quickly if the person sitting across from you has potential to be your ideal one.

Within 30 seconds of talking to them, you probably know if there’s a connection. You just know it. Culture eats strategy, which is why you ought to hire carefully. 

It’s the same when you sit down to interview someone.

Within the first 30 seconds, you’ve likely identified whether this person fits your ideal team. If you’re unsure, get a mentor along or create a second interview phase. 

So, why do you continue on with the next 29 minutes and 30 seconds of the interview? Because you’re trying to prove otherwise.

You look at their resume and ask questions to prove that the candidate actually won’t be successful at your company. If you can’t, they’re the one.

Here’s how to do it.


4.2 – Take time to understand the role you’re hiring for, and be clear what you want to see in the candidate suitable for that role

With so many people to interview, it pays to be efficient. And the only way to do that is by taking time to understand the role you’re filling.

Sometimes, you might not know off the top of your head what each role requires day-to-day.

So, make a point to speak with your hiring manager and ask about where to focus.

See what’s been discussed and what needs to be figured out. This helps you make the best use of the time you have with every candidate.


#5 – What’s your Marketing Strategy? 

Most startups focus on product development. That’s great. But the main reason why startups fail? It’s because they fail in sales and marketing.

Geoffrey James’ article published in Inc. magazine asked this crucial question: 

What’s the use of having a terrific product if nobody knows about it or can figure out how to buy it?

But marketing is not only about ads. It’s not only about promotion or gimmicks. Marketing is more than that when learning how to build a startup.

Marketing happens as you create the product – it’s omnipresent in every stage of a startup process.


5.1 – Facebook Advertising

We have had more success with Facebook Ads than we have had using either Google Ads or Linkedin’s service. 

However, this depends on what your startup is all about – the difference is customer intent. 

Users who search on Google for a specific keyword (for your ad to show up alongside search results) are different from users on Facebook scrolling through their newsfeed. 

Here’s why we like Facebook: The advertising platform allows you to upload spreadsheets of your customer email addresses and build lookalike audiences based on your existing user base. 

This means reaching out to similar audiences in terms of interests and purchase intent. 

In addition to using 1st-party customer data (it has to be yours!), Facebook’s advertising platform (or also known as Facebook Business Manager) also gives an extensive range of demographics to choose from – location, title, industries users are in to even the type of browsers you want your user to be using!

The degree to which you can customize your target for ads is staggering, which in part is why Facebook advertising can be extremely beneficial for a new start up.

If you can find great ways to showcase your startup using compelling videos, images, and a solid sales pitch, you can get a lot of eyeballs to your page regardless of how small your budget is. 

Remember not to focus your resources on an attractive-looking video but an attractive enough video for users to click and boost your customer acquisition efforts for your startup! 

Most new entrepreneurs make the mistake of wanting to look good before they realised that they’ve burnt so much cash that they don’t have much for their startup to survive, much less thrive!


5.2 – Get Listed on Online Directories

For a new start-up, try getting yourself listed on platforms where people are actively going to find alternatives, like Alternativeto.net or Capterra for example. 

Some say that getting your website listed on online directories is old news, old SEO tricks but it’s still relevant as long as these forums are active. You would want your startup to be where your customers are. 

To maximize your impact with this SEO strategy, you can double check how much traffic these sites get using a tool like SimilarWeb or SEMRush. These have both free and paid services – we’ve used the paid services of both before and we recommend either. 

Directory listing is not as powerful as it used to be back in the days, but you don’t want to not do it either.


5.3 – Be Featured in Local Press

Create a solid pitch, and try testing it out with your local press before reaching out to more companies. 

This will help you refine your sales pitches, your press releases and build relationships with the local press – challenges that you’ll have to overcome when learning how to build a startup from scratch.

In many places, they are always looking for stories to share about unique companies being built in the area, so we were able to get a lot of early traction and users following this strategy.

If you can create a pitch to pique the interest of your local press, you will be able to gauge how to better tailor it to larger, digital outlets. Part of learning how to build a startup lies in your PR strategy!

There are plenty of smaller digital press outlets nowadays that cover start ups (we found a lot on twitter) proposition a few with your best pitch and see what happens.

Moreover, it gives you that extra push of motivation – though press releases may seem a little less glamorous than getting featured on a major TV programme, it’s still something that fills your heart and gives you that motivation to make it even bigger with your startup idea.


5.4 – Are you creating a product that solves a problem?

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my own experience starting a business (and learning how to build a startup with little resources), it’s that you have to focus on solving a problem for your customer.

That has to be the basis of your business.

You need to think about who your customer is and what their pain points are.

How does your product solve their problem? How can you create a better customer experience than what is currently offered in the market?

If there’s no competition, it’s NOT good news. That means your product or service does not have sufficient demand for your startup to be profitable.



5.5 – Relationships are important: Take Care of Others and they will take care of your company

You will lose your friends and loved ones if you don’t regularly disconnect from business mode to laugh and love with them. 

I cringe whenever I hear someone use the word “busy” as a badge of honour, where a friend recalled a story: 

“A few months ago, I told one of my employees who had joined our company recently jokingly that she needed to work harder. 

I had meant for it to be a joke, but things soon turned aghast as I saw tears rolling down her cheeks. It instantly made me feel miserable and regretful but the words can’t be retrieved like a Telegram message.

It was at that point in time that I vowed to stay away from saying things that demotivated my employees.”

As a boss and startup founder, you are responsible for the progress AND well-being of your employees in addition to leading them in a direction that will bear fruits for the company. 

Learning how to build a startup isn’t easy – if you’re not comfortable learning to deal with the livelihoods of other people, then find a regular day job. 

There are many  ways to keep employees motivated but not every method will work with every employee.

Sometimes you just need to share your vision with the right people and with others, you will have to recognise them for their work. 

But one thing that works extremely well for all of my employees is communication.

Apart from monitoring your tone and not being rude without even realizing it, there are certain things that you should never say to your employees.

Employees are the backbone of any company – so take heart and deal with employees as you would with your family when learning how to build your own startup.


5.6 – Build a positive and healthy relationship with your employees.

Have transparency and effective internal communication in the workplace.

So that your employees know about the organisational goals and can perform better without any confusion or fear.

The crux of learning how to build a startup that’s sustainable in the long-term is having a great team – which is why you need to empower your employees.


5.7 – Empower your employees – you can’t do everything by yourself

Your employees are human too and have a vision and want to achieve, learn and grow in the process.

Give them that space considers their views and ideas and help them grow and learn. give them a sense of purpose and this will boost their confidence.

Autonomy in the workplace refers to how much freedom employees have while working. Autonomy helps in employees’ job satisfaction.

Research shows that when employees are given the freedom associated with autonomy, job satisfaction rises.

This also boosts employee motivation and happiness along with low employee turnover.

When you help your employees in personal growth and development, it boosts the quality of your employees’ work experience and this helps them to reach their full potential.

Along with this don’t hesitate to recognize and appreciate your employees’ good work.

It boosts their motivation, productivity, and overall job satisfaction. You can also opt for employee recognition platform to reward and recognize them.

This works well for both small and established companies.


#6 – Quickfire Checklist of an Awesome Startup Founder

  1. Serve and support them with whatever they need
  2. Listen to, trust, and enable them to succeed
  3. Regularly thank, praise, and celebrate them
  4. Don’t blame, or ridicule them – no one like to be humiliated
  5. Be honest, open, and transparent as much as possible
  6. Stay positive and optimistic
  7. Stay calm during high-pressure situations
  8. Communicate appropriately, thoroughly, and promptly – Speed is as important as what you say.
  9. Practice caring for others, sharing what you know, and daring to try new ideas
  10. Respond quickly and decisively
  11. Be generous with your time, resources, and knowledge
  12. Practice what you preach, model the desired behaviours, and lead by example
  13. Do the right thing
    1. Do what is right – logically, financially, morally, ethically, and environmentally – with decency, integrity, and fairness
    2. Do it the right way – honestly, accurately, correctly, and completely
    3. Do it right away – don’t procrastinate, make excuses, or avoid what is unpleasant


#7 – Proven Startup Ideas That Are Profitable 

Ideas for your startup:

7.1 – Online Publishing

This involves self-publishing an ebook on Kindle. Basically, if you have something to tell the world you can write a book.

Only sell “How To” type ebooks. Fiction is much harder to sell.

Stick to the most profitable niche markets in the world. They all fall under the umbrella of the big 3: money, health, relationships.

Within those markets get specific. For example, instead of “lose weight” you could create something far more appealing to a certain demographic; like “how to lose weight for women over 30″

Not only is it now more appealing to women over 30, but you can also increase your sales conversion rate dramatically by only targeting traffic that is “women over 30″

By the way, if you’re interested in knowing how to lose weight, check out The Obesity Code (a bestseller) – it debunks a lot of myths about weight loss!

Give that a read before you buy an online weight loss program or try out a ketogenic diet.

Also, promoting your ebooks is a bigger priority than creating your ebooks. But the most valuable lesson that most authors would agree with – is to build your list, segment your list, and keep in contact with your list.

Check out our article, How to generate leads for your business, to get a better idea on executing Lead Generation campaigns.


7.2 – Amazon FBA  

Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) is a logistics and fulfillment service run by Amazon through which you ship your products to the end-customer.

What this is all about is that  you find the products you’d like to sell either from third-party suppliers or your own warehouse.

Amazon handles the fulfilment (storage, repackaging, sales, shipping, and customer support) process which saves you a ton of time and money!


7.2.1 –  Low Start-Up Cost

When starting up a business, one of the main concerns is the start-up capital that you will need to startup your own business.

When you join Amazon FBA, you won’t necessarily need high money upfront to start your selling business.

You can save cost from the fact that you won’t have to build up warehouse storage especially if you have a large number of inventories.

You can also choose to start with selling items that you get from a thrift shop, items that you make on your own or you can outsource from manufacturers in China, which are known to sell cheap and quality products.


7.2.2 – Amazon has a Mark of Trust

When you start a business, trust is a very important matter to be strengthened for a business to do well. However, in doing FBA business, you already have an advantage of trust to customers because of the good business reputation Amazon has built and earned throughout its years of its existence.


7.2.3 – Marketing your FBA Business

One of the biggest challenges when starting up a business is the marketing phase. Marketing can be one of the most overwhelming endeavours on earth.

Finding customers to buy your products is hard for many new business entrepreneurs.

But undertaking FBA business, you will benefit from the basis that Amazon has already had a lot of customers and they still strive hard to build recognition to attract more new customers.

All you need to do is offer products that will draw customer’s desires and attentions.


7.2.4 – Shipment to Customer and Warehousing is taken care of by Amazon

One great advantage you can get from selling through FBA is the free of stress from the shipment of your customers order to them.

The shipping process will be taken care of by Amazon, as they will be the one who will handle the storage of your inventories as well.

This will greatly benefit you especially if you are new brand and do not have a huge store base to keep your inventories.

Handling and maintaining warehouses are mostly time consuming and costly as well. In signing up for FBA, you can be free from shipping and warehousing issues.


7.2.5 – Amazon handles Customer Service

With Amazon professional customer service team, you don’t need to worry about putting up a team for customer support to fill in answers for customer’s queries, demands, returns.

They also take care of other issues and make sure that your customers are always satisfied and happy with the business’ service.

However, that does not mean that your e-commerce store should not have your own customer service hotline.

Customers see your store as handling everything – the logistics, marketing – and whatever they say affects your store’s branding.


7.2.6 – Should you get the help of a Chatbot?

Chatbots are all the rage these days, but not many companies can say that using chatbots has brought them real benefits (financially). 

That’s not to say that the technology is bad.

To successfully implement a chatbot, you need to understand customer requests, understand all possible variations of questions, build and automate all these into a coherent business process. 

Most likely, a chatbot will help you in serving customers if you have a lot of common questions from clients or there exists no opportunity to provide help. The latter usually happens during the weekends, or during out-of-office hours. 

Chatbots are best used when questions can be easily answered i.e. new price lists, updates of goods in a warehouse – all of these can be pulled from a Google Sheets file or Excel sheet. 

Although chatbot can be taught a script to answer customer requests, most of the times, it will not be able to understand the client in the same way as a human can.

So understanding and meeting customer needs with a human face is very important. A chatbot can become an assistant in the contact center, but still, it will not replace the operators.

Figure out how a chatbot would help in streamlining your startup’s operations, else forget about investing time and resources into building one. 


7.2.7 – Focus on Growing your Business

Through FBA, you can focus on growing your selling business as it helps you save a lot of time.

You don’t have to handle the picking, packing and shipping of products, which is oftentimes a major bottleneck in ecommerce.

Having said this, you can focus yourself with other concerns and enables you to devise ways that can help scale up your business.


7.3 – Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a retail fulfilment method where an online store does not keep the products it sells on its online store.

More often than not, this is an ecommerce store without any physical presence or inventory.

Instead, when the store sells a product, it purchases the item from a third party supplier like AliExpress and has it shipped directly to the customer. The store is hosted on a platform like Shopify, WooCommerce or BigCommerce.


7.4 – Blogging  

A blog is a personal or business diary-style informational website published on the World Wide Web.

It consists of informal posts that are typically displayed in reverse chronological order.

Blogs can make a lot of money through monetization in several ways such as affiliate marketing, banner displays, pop-under ads, and even paid subscriptions, such as Tech in Asia and Medium’s articles for paid users.

You make money from starting something, and then working hard to create value that other people are willing to pay for.

And it does take a lot of work.

Almost all of the questions here are great ways to monetize a blog that has hundreds of thousands of readers…but you have to get there first.

For example, AdSense is actually one of the worst ways to monetize your blog.

It’s a hard way to make a living; you’ll likely need 2.5+ million visits per year to earn even $1,000 per month

So what are the alternatives?

Sure, you could try and get sponsors or affiliate partners.

But for most creators without millions of readers, sponsor payouts are unpredictable, and like ad networks, they put your income into the hands of someone else; someone who can cut that revenue off at will.

The best, most profitable and most sustainable way to monetize your blog is by selling directly to your audience.

If someone has been reading your content and getting value from it, then they already trust that you’ll create things of value.

So to monetise your blog, create something worth paying for. Note that a blog is important when learning how to build a startup because it tends to present a human face to your readers, while also allowing them to have a 2-way conversation with you.


7.5 – Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a person or business compensates one or more affiliates (associate, or partner), for each lead or customer sale brought about by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts or affiliate links.

The affiliate simply chooses a product they’d like to promote, then markets or promotes the product through affiliate links, to earn a piece of the profit from each sale, performance or lead.

The most successful and popular affiliate program today is run by Amazon.


7.6 – Information Products

An information product is a digital product where information and data are compiled in a structured manner and format to instruct, educate or guide the consumer for educational and other purposes.

The format can be in PDF (eBooks) or other media like video, audio or a combination of eBooks, video, and audio.


7.7 – Software and Mobile Apps

Developing and selling software online is fairly an advanced undertaking, but simple if you know computer programming.

Developing mobile Apps is a relatively new field, but one that is growing rapidly.

Think of mobile Apps as the new Web browser.


7.7.1 – How do I sell my mobile app?

There is a key difference between selling your app and selling your business.

While both are possible, selling your business requires that not only your app is performing well, but also your business fundamentals are in place – such as:

1 – An attractive EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest Taxes Depreciation and Amortization)

2- A well managed working capital cycle, well-serviced debts, if any, reasonable net worth, cash positive business or projected to be cash positive in a few years

3 – A highly capable and steady team, efficient internal systems and processes, patents, if applicable, and so on.

If your app is a me-too app or is still in very early stage (idea / proof-of-concept / minimum viable product (MVP)) then selling the app will be easier than getting buyers for your business!

Once you have identified the right approach for your app business, it is time to source buyers.


7.7.2 – Sourcing Buyers for Your Business

Buyers for your app business will be either individuals who are strategic acquirers with a portfolio of their own, or related businesses which are looking for growth through acquisition.

While tapping your personal network is a good start, to source a deal quickly it is recommended that you list your business on dedicated small-business acquisition platforms.


7.7.3 – Qualifying Prospective Buyers

How do you know that a buyer is serious? How much should you reveal to a buyer? How can you best communicate with a buyer?

Managing buyer inquiries and interests is a crucial aspect of deal management, and shortlisting buyers with whom you will share critical information about your business is often an uphill task.

It is also important to ensure that your buyers do not disclose any sensitive information about your business to outsiders – deal documents like No Disclosure Agreement (NDA) come in handy for this.


7.7.4 – Due Diligence

Once discussions between you and your buyer reach the point where you are both considering each other seriously, extensive due diligence (gathering and verifying all possible relevant information in a systematic manner) will be conducted by the buyer on you and your business.

It is an exhausting process, and it is advisable to prepare for due diligence right from the beginning.


7.7.5 – Valuation – How do you “price” your business?

Valuing your business means establishing the worth of the business in currency terms for the transaction to take place.

The 3 most important metrics when it comes to a valuation are:

  1. Length of time of profitability
  2. Actual profitability (how much you are making)
  3. Amount of traffic

It’s easy to determine an estimated valuation with just the above information

For example if you are making $25k recurring monthly, that’s great but how long have you been doing it? If you made $25k for two months and before that it was $3k recurring income, then that is going to throw off your average quite significantly.

Since every business isn’t listed on their actual net profit for the month, but rather on the average net profit over a series of months, you will want to find out what your true average net is first.


7.7.6 – Deal Structuring

Lastly, structuring the deal such as transfer of ownership, negotiation on payment terms and deal agreement, managing compliances, tax considerations takes time and professional help.

It’s recommended that you seek professional mediation to facilitate the process.


7.7.7 Coaching and Consulting

Believe it or not, if you know something many people don’t, you can be a consultant in your field.

And you can make money doing exactly that — offering consultancy services or coaching other people.

If you’ve built your own business before and have made successful exits, then coaching other entrepreneurs on how to build a startup (and a viable one with great product-market fit) is an easy option for you.

Create a portfolio of yourself. Video portfolios work best and the good thing about the Internet is that YouTube will host the video for you for free.

Set up your coaching website, a landing page to capture leads and you’re ready to go.

It’s that simple, don’t overcomplicate things.


#8 – Why do Startups fail?

Legend has it that 99% of startups fail.

While many startups fail within the first 4 to 6 years due to various reasons such as the lack of vision, not keeping up with the changing market demands and lack of employee talent, the real question in my eyes is:

What decisions does a startup make that causes it to fail?

While most startups do not have breakthrough technologies or have the power to potentially disrupt an entire industry, having additional players in the same market segment helps consumers.

The additional competition lowers prices while businesses compete for the attention of consumers, making them more attuned to consumers’ needs and preferences.


So, to the original question, why do most startups fail? Simply because:

8.1 – Does your startup solve a relevant problem?

You can’t create demand if your startup’s product or service does not serve to solve a pain point that isn’t faced by lots of people.

Or there’s no real need to use your product or service to get this deal.

Generally, startups promote themselves by saying that they have found the perfect solution to some kind of problem.

They then go on to talk about how their services will help to revolutionise their chosen market and will eliminate the problem altogether.

This is all well and good, but, when planning for your startup, you need to make sure that there is actually demand for a solution to the problem you are wanting to tackle.

If there are only a few people who experience the problem that you will be fixing, then barely anyone will use your services, it’s that simple.

Even before you start working on how to build a startup, you need to first identify a problem that’s worth solving.

Just because no one else is doing it does not mean that you should be doing it.


8.2 – Weak execution

Most failing startups could just not execute in a timely manner and/or showed a huge lack of judgment.

They worked too hard on product features, too little with the market. They built too many “nice to have” features.

They did not launch in time and did not work hard enough to build a customer base. Didn’t manage expenditures well enough.

Failed to identify opportunities, failing to build strategic connections and partnerships.

Focus on what brings in money and look at how to sustain that cash flow.


8.3 – Saturated space

The market that the startup is trying to enter is saturated with major organizations and large growing startups.

Entering a market that has way too many competitors does not help with getting your brand any attraction as there is always the fear “startups cannot provide fundamental value as they are new and growing.”

When learning how to build a startup, you might want to learn of going for a Blue Ocean strategy rather than dive into a red, bloody ocean.


8.4 – Poor Leadership

It goes as far as hiring the right talent and providing the necessary training for that individual to succeed.

Remember when Blackberry was the ultimate status symbol, and nobody could fathom having any other type of smartphone?

Blackberry has a history of nepotism, which often leads to poor leadership.

The company also promotes people from within based on tenure rather than on skills and potential to actually lead.

Poor leadership can also be equated with the lack of a long-term vision.

It’s hard to convince a customer that your young startup is the right business if you just focus on your present product features.

It’s hard to convince investors, partners, top talents if you can’t express where you want to take the company.

As a result you won’t get enough traction and most likely fail even before you learn the intricacies of learning how to build a startup.


8.5 – Running out of Funds

Keeping the expenses down and increasing profit without jeopardising core values of the company and employee morale is super important.

Trade shows, goodies, holiday events, company parties, bonuses, spending on mergers and acquisitions may eat into the money pool but…

Making smart decisions is key and understanding on how to diversify the seed money is the goal.

“Less showing, more doing” should be the motto for startups.

Looking to build a brand by doing rather than by investing in massive advertising fees. Learning how to build a startup ought to get you started in learning personal branding and then going on to build a product or service you’re proud of.

This is one of the most important lessons when it comes to learning how to build a startup that’s sustainable, viable and worth of investment.


I could have saved a ton of time if I knew about this book…

For aspiring entrepreneurs who want to learn how to build a startup, this book is for you – The Strawberry Startup: Everything you need to know about turning your passion into a profitable business & how you can build a startup on your own“ written by Moses Lim.

This guide on how to build your startup is available for sale on Amazon, Apple Store, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo

You can expect to learn:

  • 5 Simple Ways of Turning your Passion into Profit and It Starts with Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone
  • How to Gain Social Traction & Social Proof of Your Idea
  • Forget Side Income: Build a Solid Stream of Revenue for your Startup
  • What You need to Know about Venture Capitalism and Why Too Much Funding can Pose Problems
  • Be Nice to People: The Employee You Just Fired could be Your Next Investor


What is this book really all about?

In a newly released book, Moses pens a crash course on how to build a startup. This comes in light of the startups popping up across the globe.

He might have even invented a new phrase, The Strawberry Startup, where he argues that a company has to be treated the same way you grown strawberries.

“It’s a long-term approach if you want to build a company,” said Moses before adding, “If you harvest the strawberry too early, you get a sour taste.”

He would go on to argue in his book, Chapter 9 to be specific, that companies have to commit to at least a 5-year plan if they seek to be successful.

With permission from the author, we’ve sent this startup guide to several readers who returned with glowing, and some critical, reviews of the book.

We would love to see you write a review for the book as well on the Amazon page or on Goodreads.


“A quintessential read for first-time entrepreneurs looking to start out”

“A successful startup does not flourish because of a brilliant idea.

Success in a condition of uncertainty requires managing people through the challenges of innovation, growth and a dynamic external environment.

It means understanding yourself and your customer while also focusing on statistics and metrics that tell the true story of progress.

Whether you are a product developer or an executive at a Fintech startup or even a fresh-faced university graduate, this book benefits positions from all perspectives in every industry.

Read this book if you are looking to start a business. It’s the easiest, shortest and best way I know to explain to someone the pitfalls that they need to be aware of.”


“This author knows what he’s talking, and it’s an interesting read but…”

“If you’re interested in entrepreneurship, you have to read this book.

I would say this book is absolutely fundamental to understanding how certain things work before pursuing an entrepreneurial venture.

On top of being extremely helpful, Moses is a good writer, and the book is actually pretty entertaining and enjoyable to read.

If I can ding the book for one thing, it’s difficult to explain a concept such as cohort testing in a brick-and-mortar situation.

I would have loved to see how one might go about explaining that, something like an actual class on the best methods of market entry for a certain product or service other than tech startups.

Overall, this is a great and informative book. Not to be missed by an entrepreneur or by a student of management science.”


“Brilliant startup guide that emphasizes the presence of a market need for your startup’s product or service before starting out…

That’s the most important thing anyone’s got to know!”

“It provides a simple road map on starting a business with concrete steps and strategies for executing a plan.

The author gives guidance on when to persevere with the initial plan (going with good or bad ideas and how to identify them early)

Or to “pivot” based on the results, or the lack of results, arising from an entrepreneur’s initial business plan.

Entrepreneurs need to learn what their market wants and to provide a solution…

Not some product or service that the entrepreneur thinks that the market needs as advocated by Moses.

To do this requires building and testing a minimum viable product to determine the market’s reaction before taking real action.

In my opinion, we should advocate more attention to innovation in accounting to measure progress in the market’s acceptance of your product or service.”


Moses analyzes the problems confronting startups today, shares the insights to be gained and amplifies the lessons through interesting, bite-size stories and case studies.

Rather than spending copious amounts of money attending entrepreneurship courses or wasting time creating lengthy business plans, The Strawberry Startup offers entrepreneurs a simple way for entrepreneurs to test their ideas and execute them with minimal risk.

Moses provides a straightforward approach to creating a successful and sustainable startup in an age where failure is the name of the game.



The Strawberry Startup is an excellent introduction to understanding startup concepts, especially if you want to learn how to build a startup. 

Get the book at a special discount here from Amazon! (If you do not have a Kindle e-reader, we wrote an article on how you can read ebooks without a Kindle e-reader.)

What did you think of the book?

We would love to hear what your thoughts are in the comments below. Are there any other self-improvement books we should know about?


You might also be interested in the following articles:

  1. 150 Free Resources for Startups
  2. What if someone steals my startup idea?
  3. 6 Myths about Starting your Own Business
  4. Guest Post: 5 ways to get more followers for your small business on Twitter


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