We’ve spent some time in the last couple weeks talking about what sets us apartour supports, and the successes we’ve had.  This week we’re going to talk about our role in this community and our dedication to startups.

We started out in this region over ten years ago when we started designing websites for local businesses.  With more than 500 websites under our belts, we started to watch the birth of this active startup community and saw potential for us to contribute to such a neat new avenue of growth!

Spend your time building your business and we’ll spend time building your product!

ChromeMedia prides itself for having a very active team who each attend various networking groups in the area. From peer 2 peer groups to the myriad of community events that happen throughout the year, we not only live and work here – we play here!  Because we are a startup and we’ve learned the early lessons of running this type of business, we have enjoyed shifting our focus to helping other startups get the ball rolling as their technical partner.  The main advantage of this relationship for startups is they are able to spend their time building their business while we spend time building their product!

The hard lessons

We asked Chris what the hardest part of starting a business was: “Probably managing the transition from entrepreneur to the nitty gritty of running a business.  The entrepreneur headspace is all about opportunity and excitement, but in order to execute your great ideas as a business owner you need to build effective systems.”

In order to execute your great ideas as a business owner you need to build effective systems.

For ChromeMedia, being in the web application development industry, we learned quickly the value of having proper methods and systems in place to build software.  Our first large-scale projects were a challenge as we didn’t have effective systems in place for project management.

We’re happy to say that today we have a rock-solid system for delivering finished web applications for the startups we work with.  The Lean Agile structured development methodology we employ enables us to work efficiently and effectively.

Advice for startups

So you’ve got your ‘holy trinity‘ team, you’ve been able to put together your MVP prototype, and you’ve just secured funding to get started on your product. This is often when startups have to decide if they’ve got room to hire a team of developers or if they should make the decision to outsource some duties.  If you’re a startup based around software (web, mobile, etc.), don’t try to build your product with co-ops alone. Try to get at least one member on your team who has experience running a development team.  If this isn’t feasible, then it may be time to consider enlisting outside help.

Working as the local outsourced development resource for startups helps founders rest easy knowing that their product is being produced by someone just around the corner.

There have been many articles on advice for startups (herehere and here).  There are often undercurrents of warnings against offshore outsourcing your product development. There are many obvious disadvantages to outsourcing so far from home turf, and many advantages to outsourcing responsibly and locally.  Luckily, you can sometimes find development teams in prominent startup communities that welcome the opportunity to be the technology partner for startups and working closely with startup founders on their product.

Working as the local outsourced development resource for startups helps founders rest easy knowing that their product is being produced by someone just around the corner. They also have the reassurance that their application is being produced by a well-established team they’re able to meet face-to-face and collaborate with.

Hindsight is 20/20

The biggest reward will come when you’re able to look back and realize that you were truly the master of your own destiny and that the work your team did directly benefitted your clients in great ways.  But the road there can be bumpy, and full of shoulda, woulda, couldas.

We asked Chris what the one thing is he would have done differently when starting out:

I would have sought help and mentorship earlier.  If you get into the startup game when you are young, you really need to put effort into building your network.  Having an outside mentor who can advise you can save you tons of time and effort. If you “go it alone” you are going to lose a lot of time making mistakes other people have already made.

Having your own startup can be exciting, challenging and rewarding.  There are many lessons from veteran startups, and many avenues you can explore to take advantage of resources in your community.

We’d love to hear your story, or your advice for startups!