There’s way too much startup jargon. You’ve got, UAC, LTV, CAC, product market fit, pivot, traction (and we could just keep going on, and on about this).

So, we’ve decided to put together a useful resource list as a general go-to-guide for first-time founders.

As Andrew Whalan, Managing Director of DevFU points out “startups should know basic financial principles, including budgeting” when they first start out. Our guide covers:

  • Validating your idea or product
  • Conducting surveys
  • Establishing networks
  • Growth hacking
  • A/B testing
  • MVP
  • Forming partnerships
  • Building a strong team
  • Understanding metrics
  • Burn and churn
  • User acquisition cost
  • LTV
  • Pitch decks
  • Advertising campaigns
  • Website copy and value proposition
  • Press releases
  • Raising funding
  • Patents and legalities
  • Social media and early stage marketing
  • Developing a business model

1) Validating your idea or product:

* A guide to validating product ideas with quick and simple experiments. (Grace Ng, Smashing Magazine)

* The startup pyramid. (Sean Ellis, Startup Marketing)

* The five whys. (Courtney Seiter, Buffer)

* Tools: QuickMVP, LeanMonitor and Javelin Board.

2) Conducting surveys:

* How to interview your customers. (Justin Wilcox, Customer Development Labs)

26 resources to help you master customer development interviews. (Zach Bulygo, Kissmetrics)

* 34 ways to improve your survey response rate. (SurveyAnyplace)

* Steve Blank’s customer discovery checklist. (Steve Blank,

* Tools: Qualaroo, SurveyMonkey, SurveyAnyplace and Typeform.

3) Establishing networks:

LinkedIn groups every startup founder should join. (Luke Fitzpatrick, LinkedIn Pulse)

* Facebook startup groups, Reddit, HackerNewsDigg, DribbbleGrowthHackers and Quora. (Various)

* Meetup groups. (Official Website, Just Search “Startup”,

* Tips: Get out and meet people, both offline and online.

4) Growth hacking:

* How do you market an Internet startup with no marketing budget? (Josh, Ledgard)

* After the Techcrunch bump: Life in the “Trough of Sorrow.” (Andrew Chen,

* 87 growth hacking techniques. (Ryan Law, Cobloom)

* Startup marketing. (Sean Ellis,

GrowHack. (Conrad Wadowski and Matten Griffel,

* Tools: Yesgraph, MaitreApp, SmartBribe, AnyGrowth and Guessbox.

5) A/B testing:

* The story behind Buffer. (Tessa Miller, Lifehacker)

What Is A/B testing? (Unknown Author, Optimizely)

* A/B Tests big wins by Kissmetrics. (Lars Lofgren, Kissmetrics)

* Tools: Kissmetrics, CrazyEgg, Mixpanel, Unbounce and Optimizely.

6) MVP:

* Minimum Desirable Product (Andrew Chen, SlideShare).

* 5 Lean startup examples. (Brant Cooper, Moves the Needle)

* 10 Ways to test if your MVP is a viable product. (Scott Gerber, ReadWrite)

* Tools: Canvanizer and

7) Forming partnerships:

* How startups can land big partnerships? (Tom Taulli, Forbes)

Uber offers gets merchants to pay for your ride. (Josh Constine, Techcrunch)

* Disruptive Business Modes by Harvard i-labs. (Michael Skok, Harvard Innovation Labs, Youtube)

* Tip: A great course on Business Development for Startups. (Scott, Britton, Udemy).

8) Building a strong team:

* How to build your startup team? (Ryan Allis, Startup Guide)

* Airbnb, hiring values and culture  (Sam Altman, Startup Class).

* Startup teams operate on different wavelengths. (Luke Fitzpatrick, Ghacklabs)

* Tip: Read 101 Hiring hacks for startups. (Michael Overell, RecruitLoop)

9) Understanding metrics:

* 15 Great articles about SaaS product management. (ChargeBee)

* Your 10 most important metrics. (By Tomasz Tunguz, VC at Redpoint)

* The complete quantitative guide to judging your startup. (Techcrunch)

* Tip: Take the course “Build. Measure. Learn” (Udemy, by Steve Blank, Eric Ries, Dave McClure, Janice Fraser and Ash Maurya). The course is free. Pirate Metrics is also a must read (SlideShare, Dave McClure).

10) Burn and churn:

* A high churn can cause your business to crash and burn (George Deeb,

* What is the right level of burn rate for a startup these days? (Mark Suster, Both Sides of the Table)

* Searching for signal: The how and why of financial models for startups. (Paul Bennetts,

* Tip: Startup Growth Calculator (It shows you how much capital you’ll burn through before you become profitable). The code is also available on Github.

11) User acquisition cost (UAC):

* How to calculate cost per acquisition for startups. (Andrew Chen,

* Rookies mistakes on CAC. (Mark Suster, Both Sides of the Table)

* What’s your real CAC? (Carlos Eduardo Espinal, Seedcamp)

12) LTV:

* Detailed definitions of SaaS metrics. (David Skok, For Entrepreneurs)

* Startup metrics: Don’t let your SAC get WACC. (Andrei Marinescu, 500 Startups)

* Starbucks LTV Infographic. (Jeff Desjardins, Visual Capitalist)

* ToolsValuiza and Chart Mogul.

13) Pitch decks:

* Mint pre-launch deck. (Hiten Shah, SlideShare).

* Airbnb pitch deck. (Pitch Deck Coach, SlideShare).

* Best Pitch Decks. (A site housing the best startup pitch decks including Facebook)

* Tools: Here’s a free pitch template – also check out CapitalPitch and the Sequoia Cap templates.

14) Advertising campaigns:

* 23 Campaigns every startup should run to gain immediate traction. (Juan Martitegui, 500 Startups).

* The ultimate guide to startup pre-launch marketing. (Manish Dudharejia, VentureBeat)

9 ways to hack your growth with Facebook ads. (Andrew Tate, AdEspresso)

* Tip: Watch: Complete guide to running Google Adwords campaigns. (Jerry Banfield, YouTube)

15) Website copy and value proposition:

* 7 Proven templates for writing value propositions that works. (Tor Grønsund,

Fantastic landing page examples that you’ll want to copy. (Lindsay Kolowich, Hubspot)

*  101 resources for writing great copy. (Unknown Author, Column Five Media)

* Tip: Check out the Kopywriting Kourse. (Neville Medhora)

16) Press releases:

* How I pitched Techcrunch and 13 ways to get press when you launch your startup. (Jason Baptiste,

* How to get press for your startup: The complete guide. (Austen Allred, Medium)

* Why most startups don’t ‘get’ press. (Mark Suster, FirstRound)

* Tools: PressKitHeroHeyPressPayPress and Ghacklabs Quotes.

17) Raising funding:

* Pitching hack: It’s not what you said, it’s how you made them feel. (Tyler Crowley,

* How to raise money for your startup: Infographic. (Anna Vital, Funders and Founders)

How these early stage startups got funding pre-MVP. (Luke Fitzpatrick, Ghacklabs)

* The investor hedge bet. (Luke Fitzpatrick, Ghacklabs)

* Tools: AngelListGustF6s, Ghacklabs and Crunchbase.

18) Patents and legalities:

* How to legally structure your startup for success. (Scott Annan, Business Insider).

* 10 big legal mistakes made by startups. (Richard Harroch and Richard N. Frasch, Forbes).

* Legal checklist for startups. (Scott Edward Walker, VentureBeat).

* Tip: Check out startup documents (Y Combinator) and LawPath’s templates.

19) Social media and early stage marketing:

* How to market a startup with social media. (Luke Fitzpatrick, Ghacklabs)

15 pre-launch growth hacking strategies for startups. (Stuart McKeown, Gleam,io)

* The $0 marketing stack. (Kevan Lee, Buffer)

* Tip: Check out the Foundr Mag free Instagram ebook.

20) Developing a business model:

* The 20 minute business plan: Business Model Canvas. (Alexander Cowan,

* 9 Startup business models. (Nina Tomaro, Huffington Post)

* 17 Unique business models. (Lauren Drell, Mashable).

* Tip: See Canvas Examples (by Steve Blank) and check out Canvanizer.

This is a general go-to-guide for new founders with the aim to break startups down by topic, as there’s just way too many things we all have to know. Here is a must read covering 60 SaaS Statistics That Will Change The Way You Think by Digital Marketing Stream.


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