How much time have you invested on your startup idea?

José Herazo
45 replies
Since the first moment you had a startup idea, how much time have you invested on it? If it's profitable, how much did it take for you to make it profitable? Could you also talk a bit about your startup idea? Lots of questions but I'm curious about your stories as entrepreneurs, specially the time you've invested on your startups


Shane Dee
Startups could take your skin away, hell of a lot effort is required in the beginning, Apple developers in early stage lost their girl friends, broke their marriages and much more....So be prepared and don't lose hope
Anurag Singh
First co from idea to exit 2 years 3 months, profitable day zero because was services centric co. Second co idea to exit 1.5 yrs, not profitable not revenue generating when sold. Third co idea to now.. still building and pivoting and pivoting.. about to hit 1 year of dev time, no revenue.. but now we have firm direction and we're hoping to drive hard to get revenue in. All attempts have been full time so there has to be some source of funds to keep you going.
Andrew Mangan
! First idea to now 7 months. No revenue yet, but seeing increased user use and working on converting users to subscriptions. Definitely testing at times to figure out if this idea is the right idea or if we should pivot...
Kanan Tandi
Well, time invested in thinking is 3 years, but time invested in actually putting up the effort and working is 10 months.
Eric Bae
Been spending ~2 hours per day for the past 12 moths on Newsy - not yet profitable, but generating revenue. 💪
Nazim @Koinju
it is not the time we devote to it but the will and the passion that we put into it
José Herazo
@nazim_m this has made me think. And it's true, there are more important things than just time and profitability
Anurag Singh
@nazim_m @joseherazo04 totally agree with the passion argument. You would never start if it were not for the passion. But a bit of realism is important. Time & Profitability are critical.. you can't live on nothing and unless you have funds sitting in your bank, its near impossible to build something, no matter how passionate you are about it, full time. A great thing to do is do what you're passionate about as a side project.. build it till it can sustain you financially and then go all in. The passion bit will be way more relevant at this stage and help you 🚀
Nazim @Koinju
@joseherazo04 @singhanurag Absolutely agree. An astronaut needs air to breathe and live, it's something critical in space. But his missions are not just to precisely control this critical resource. I think they have much more challenging things to do :-)
Mike Silver
@nazim_m This is so true! Because there is no guarantee that some venture will take off within a little time period - there are ups and downs. What's more important is the devotion to the idea - either you generate it your self or find among already developed one (e.g., The startuper should definitely understand that the true satisfaction comes from the desire to witness your idea development that is turned into a valuable digital product.
Stephane Ibos
I tend to totally agree with @nazim_m - it's all about passion. When you love, time doesn't matter ;) On my side, first startup took 8 months from "idea" to MVP. From there, 4 more years to global group and IPO on London Exchange. Total "idea" to exit: 5 years. First meaningful revenue (circa $1.5 m annual) end of Year 1. Personal time: about 18hrs a day, every day.... And it was by sheer ignorance. Never got a medal for it, nor should I have gotten one. I should have been smarter. Second one (current): 1 year in the making. No revenue yet on purpose (product for developers - so first Key Metric is users and usage). By comparison with previous, about 150% higher users on the product and 6 months ahead in terms of maturity. Learnt a stack load from 1st one. Now working a reasonable 50 hours a week. More focused, more efficient, better results. It's not about time spent - it's about how you spend it!
José Herazo
@stephane_ibos thanks for sharing. Agree, when you love time doesn't matter. It's cool to know you became more efficient after your first startup, just curious: what things you are doing now differently that help you be more efficient? I think there is something to learn here
Stephane Ibos
@joseherazo04 Keeping it short, I'd say the most important thing I've learnt is to keep laser-focusing on what truly matters - i.e. what makes your product excellent and gets it to a maximum of people. Anything that does not participate to these 2 goals should simply be parked. Of course, as the business grows, other matters become equally important, but unless you want to be in a situation where a straw breaks the camel's back, first you have to have the best product to the maximum of right people. Next top priority is to build an incredible team of efficient, smart, independent people. They are the strength behind your growth. Then - monetising it right, running fancy marketing, buying a tennis table will come in due course. Too many times I see founders who "play startup" and go all the wrong way about it. Make it work. Make it good. Make it known. In the first stages that should be all that founders should focus on. ;)
Promise Emeka
I have invested almost all my adult life in my startups, most of them failed while I have only succeeded in two. My first success was in my small software company (ExcellentBridge) that develops business management solutions for small businesses. I have run ExcellentBridge full time for 9years. I have used profits from ExcellentBridge to try to develop software that can be useful to the world. First I tried Ecommerce (it was a big failure, lost thousands of dollars) I failed in Ecommerce, mostly because I didn't understand the market (Ecommerce is not really a Tech business). I tried online Ticket platform and that failed too. Tried Online freelancing platform that failed before I could launch (ran out of cash and failed to close a seed round). In 2018, We started developing a collaboration service to simplify collaboration by having the important collaboration tools organized in one place. Before we could launch to the market it was already 2020 and the collaboration market has become saturated after the Covid pandemic. So we started working on something new in the crowded collaboration market. We created a service to allow people to easily collaborate with their network. More like a social media but for collaboration Entrepreneurship is a very time-consuming venture and very emotionally draining when success doesn't come too fast, believe me, it almost always doesn't come too fast as you expected when you first got the idea. ***No matter how exciting an idea is to you, it doesn't mean is a good idea to the world. Always try it out with a small group before you commit fully.
José Herazo
@promise_emeka there is a lot to learn from your story. Thanks for the advice, I think I'm making the mistake of not validating my idea with users before I put more time on it
Vlad Sviatetskyi
@promise_emeka @joseherazo04 you have to valid the idea with users asap. Try searching for Build-Measure-Learn loop
Promise Emeka
@joseherazo04 @vivalavladislav Yes validating the idea is a very important part of the process. Another important point is the time, Once you validate the idea move fast to get your MVP to the market because at least 10 people around the world might be working on same or similar idea. If you don't to the market on time, you may have to start trailing and running catch-up.
Bruno Domingues
I was my own first user, initially built my Social Organic CRM SaaS for myself, then my existing clients started using it as part of my normal service delivery, I gathered a lot of feedback and from a multi-million deal that I could have potentially made at the time if I knew then what I know now, who told me I needed to make it enterprise level and have a support team as a bare minimum. This was back in 2017, then in September 2019 started working on the enterprise level version (v2). In March 2020 had the MVP ready and onboarded the first paying subscribers, price point was set as $119/month for basic subscription. Churn rate was high as feedback indicated without certain features users considered essential it was just not useful enough to justify investing. Basically they wanted to be able to create custom pipelines and assign leads to them in a similar way as pipedrive. Took me several months to build this, got inspiration from Clickup to make it super easy to use! Had around $500-$800 MRR with 1 user churning per month, was not trying to get more users until I added more and more value until people just started telling me it was a no brainer and sign up rate from demos went up radically. On January 2021 MRR was $833, in February 10th we started onboarding more clients and working heavily on building relevant features based on user insights. MRR in February went from $833 to $4000 (still 3 days for month end). So that's the journey, took 3 years to start charging $ for subscriptions, about 9 months to go from a "I don't see enough value to use it" to "I want it now no-brainer". The "Magic Pill": - Add more and more value until it overdelivers (no-brainer effect) - Do 95% of product development driven by your subscribers requests (wow effect, they will love the product they helped build) Hope these insights help. :)
José Herazo
@bruno_domingues interesting story. It really helps to know how you found the way to grow your startup. Thanks for sharing, especially those tips👌
Terry D
Days, Months, Years. It's been a long ride and it don't stop here. :)
Sergio Mattei
All of it, everyday.
Tasos Valtinos
First time startup launch 9 months ago. Grown to a user base of 1,500 users across 12 countries. Since day 0 till today total revenue generated 210$. In terms of time invested, to be honest I invested all of my time to develop it.
Olugbenga Adewale
I can relate. Harder when you have to start lean.
Harry Duran
For the latest one, probably been percolating for over a year. Finally getting ready for an MVP
Pieter Limburg
Last three years I launched at least 4 ideas. You get super handy with putting together the website, landing page, MVP, etc. So every time you start, it takes less time. For me it's a great way to try new things as a hoppy. But early 2020, I transitioned to full-time working on 5 months after launch. There was an inflection point where I saw that if I would put 100% of my time in it, I could at least pay for rent. Fast forward to today, our product has been used 186,000 times in 137 countries and we are a team of 14.
First project, I was so enthusiastic and energetic about, took a couple of months to plan almost a year to build not profitable then I pivoted to my second project which was an app that provided smart career solutions and resources, took more than a year all in all. The second project good adoption among job seekers but made minimal profit. Today released my current product Yizy , a micro SaaS bookmarking solution web app for web and graphic designers. It got featured on Product Hunt, let see how it goes lol
Shivam Ramphal
The team and I have applied about 100+ hours a week. Early mornings, late nights to build our startup. We built a virtual assistant for entrepreneur called Maya More info on Maya:
Hugh Geiger
I haven't slept in 36hrs since we started our launch, and haven't had a real salary in 3 years. Lots.. everything... but it's also kind of a life choice. Life = mission. Never found that with a salaried job, but could be I just worked in the wrong places :)
Bruno Domingues
@geigster wow that's extreme =) sleeping is non-negotiable... as for salary it's important to have one as a good practice, it sets the bar higher which is a good thing plus reduces anxiety. In terms of mindset it forced me to find users early on to be able to self-fund right from the start. I think that's a good thing. :)
Ilia Pikulev
Coloban - 2 years in a row and not going to stop :) With every new feature everyone loves it just more and more Never thought the work can be fun until started to use it actually, ha-ha :)
with i would say years on and off, but im not working on it full time, so just when ever i have time