This is the one simple trick you’ve been looking for. If you’re looking to launch your first startup, or find success with a new one, this is what you’ve been looking for.

It will get your idea launched, in front of real people, in less time using less money than you ever thought possible.

If you read articles like this just for the fun of it, go away. This isn’t for you.

This is serious stuff for a serious entrepreneur. If you want to launch your startup as soon as humanly possible without investing your life savings, these three steps are the only things you need.

#1 Validate

Just because you want to build a startup doesn’t mean people want the product you plan to sell. Seriously.

Don’t fall in love with your idea, or the idea that you want to launch a startup.

Nobody cares about it like you do, so make sure it’s really worth building.

I can’t tell you how many people are so arrogant that they just know their business idea is the greatest thing on the planet.

Wrong. You don’t know. The consumer of your idea knows, and if you don’t validate everything you want to build with them first, you’re going to fail hard.

Don’t want to tell anyone about your idea because it’s just too good to share? You’ll never build it. Go do something else, because startups aren’t for you.

#2 Plan

If you’ve gotten this far, you’ve already validated your idea. If not, go back and validate it.

Do not skip this step. 

Validated it? Good—let’s move on.

Now you are lucky enough to plan your startup. If you’re building an eCommerce giant, this is where you plan your operations. If you’re building an app or SaaS platform, this is where you figure out the end-to-end experience.

Either way, break out the pen and paper and get to planning.

The trick here isn’t to plan everything as you want it. The trick is to plan as little as possible before you can say it’s sort of done.

It’s called the MVP, or Minimum Viable Product, and it’s a neat way of reminding you not to plan too much, because it’s probably going to change a hundred times in the next year.

#3 Prototype

This is the most simple yet most difficult of them all. You have to take your validated idea, your planned MVP, and do something crazy with it.

You have to build it.

Enough talk about how great your idea is. Enough dreaming about how many millions your new venture is going to create you over the years. Enough fantasizing about how you’re going to sell for hundreds of millions of dollars down the road.

None of that is going to happen without a company, and your company doesn’t exist until you build something. I don’t care how many business cards you have, what your LinkedIn profile says or how many Facebook groups for startups you’ve joined.

Build your fucking prototype. Start your company.


Follow these three simple steps and you’ll be taking a shortcut to the front of the line with your latest startup. You’ll have a fast track to revenue, investors and living a life on your own terms.

Skip them, and be prepared to be forever talking about what could have been while the rest of us talk about how lucky we are that we got off the sidelines.

Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.

Steve Eakin is a startup founder, Jeet Kune Do black belt and taco addict. He is the CEO of Startup Black Belt: Helping people build, grow and scale their startups and the CTO of VenPath: Helping apps create a new revenue stream from their data.