Startup and small business operations and efficiency

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"Startup" is this weird phrase that means lots of different things. For me, one of the things that it means is really internalizing a couple of different concepts.

One is the Lean Startup, which has lots of baggage associated with it today, but at its core there is the Build - Measure - Learn loop.

You start with a hypothesis (another key concept), like "adding an ecommerce channel will lead to more sales", and then you build the minimal version of that that you can, measure the results, and learn from that.

Did you make a Return on Investment (ROI) of your time / money / interest? Does it look promising, but you need to build a more complete store or have a person dedicated to running it? Did you learn that you don't enjoy the process of figuring out an ecommerce app and online marketing, but want to have someone else do it as part of your business?

I also associate efficiency with my version of startup. This efficiency can come from:

  • "operationalizing" or "productizing" parts of your business so that you understand what runs your business, what the steps are, and how you might apply the next two concepts
  • using digital workflows and automation
  • outsourcing parts of your business / workflows so people can focus on what they like to do, are good at, or simply make more money by working on their core

Types of Startups

Venture Startup

A venture startup is a business that can grow (or "scale") to a very large revenue over time. The classic number is, can your business get to $100M in annual revenue in 5 years?

Venture Sized Business

The other line you'll hear a lot at the beginning of a venture startup is "do things that don't scale".

You don't know what the most valuable parts of the business will be, so you are optimizing for learning and insights from your customers rather than efficiency.

Digital Small Business


Deep Tech




Also Vancouver Moonshots

Capital Investment

  • Angel vs VC
  • Crowdfunding
  • IndieVC-style investment
  • Revenue Financing
  • Future of Venture

Getting Started

All businesses, companies, and ideas get started somewhere, and over time have various setup and improvement needs.

I say over time as well, because changes in the business โ€“ either a growth in the size of the business, adding more people, or trying out new ideas โ€“ will need new things to get started.

These are a set of recommendations of tools, generally aimed at the "just getting started".

Web Presence

TODO: write up "spend $0 or $5K on a website"

Company Information

TODO: Using Discourse Forum & Discord Chat for Company and Community

Company Formation

TODO: write down a couple of different options, esp. venture startup vs. small business

Banking, Finance, and Accounting

International Payments and Transfers

TransferWise will give you the best foreign exchange rates and also will give you USD, GBP, EUR bank accounts (amongst others) that you can accept money into from others.


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