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Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup by Brad Feld, David Cohen

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Chapter 4. Get Feedback Early

Nate Abbott and Natty Zola

Get Feedback Early

Nate and Natty are the co-founders of Everlater, an easy and fun way to share your travel experiences. Everlater raised an undisclosed amount from Highway 12 Ventures after completing TechStars in 2009.

When we set out to build a travel web site, we were two finance professionals with zero practical knowledge of software development or how to run an Internet company. We didn't know what we didn't know. So, as an absolute necessity, we set out to share our ideas early and often with as many smart people as we could find.

First, we reached out to any of our friends and family who would talk to us. While our network wasn't rich with savvy Internet personalities or experienced engineers, we knew a lot of folks who wanted to see us succeed—and most of them traveled! We talked to them about how they found hotels, whether they liked scrapbooks, and whom they trusted online. We shared our opinions and received loads of feedback. From this, we stitched together a Frankenstein monster of an idea from our experiences, perceived market needs, and the invaluable advice of friends and family.

With our Franken-idea in hand, we set out to implement it. However, since we were new to programming, we had no experience and few resources with which to teach ourselves. As a result, we turned to the developer community with questions and open minds. Without ...

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