Startup building — Why first-time founders need structure

Uttara Shekar
3 min readJan 27, 2022


Startups can be chaotic. For first-time founders, it’s worse — like taking shots in the dark.

Tell me if this sounds familiar — You have been at your job for (not just) a few years now, and you’re just not enjoying it anymore. You know you are capable of starting something on your own, but you do not know the first thing about starting a business. After all, you’re just a <your current profession>— your parents raised you to be the ideal employee in a top company. Their goal was to ensure you have regular paychecks coming in until you retire and a good amount of savings that’ll allow you to live comfortably after you do. They did their job well. Didn’t they?

But is there fulfillment? Do you feel like you just don’t have the enthusiasm to continue being a well-respected <your current profession> in just another top company anymore? Do you feel that fire within you that really wanted you to achieve something substantial in life asking for more?

Many of us aspire to be startup founders, but the idea of building a business from scratch seems too intimidating to even take the first step. For most of us, that dream of appearing on Shark Tank, as founders presenting our startups which are at the brink of achieving Product/Market Fit, usually remains just a dream.

But what if it’s as simple as understanding the process?

Starting a business doesn’t have to begin with actually starting a business. No, really, it doesn’t. It can begin simply by learning the different cogs in the wheel. If someone can explain the process to you in a simple, structured manner — helping you understand the steps you need to take now and the steps that will follow, that might help appease that knot in your gut, wouldn’t it?

In my book, The Startup Leap: : Finding Structure in the Chaotic Journey of Startup Building, I attempt to do just that. If you don’t believe me, let me share my Table of Contents with you:

  1. The Startup Mindset — How to get into the right mindset to begin building your startup.
  2. The Startup Ideation — How to find a compelling, well-researched idea that you are passionate to build.
  3. The Startup Business Model — How to add detail to your idea to narrow down on the different cogs in the machine.
  4. The Startup Co-founder — How to look for a compatible co-founder who will work with you towards the success of your startup.
  5. The Startup Execution — Phase One — How to take small steps towards building the right product by repeatedly validating it with your actual customers.
  6. The Startup Evolution — How to build the product your customers actually want by going over the cycle of re-wiring and re-tooling, or simply by changing directions.
  7. The Startup Jazz — How to build your product that leaves your customers so delighted that they cannot stop raving about it.
  8. The Startup Measurements — How to observe key metrics and trends to learn how your startup is doing.
  9. The Startup Team — How to build a team that is as passionate as you are about building an invaluable product for your customers.
  10. The Startup Marketing — How to sell your product like your customers cannot do without it.
  11. The Startup Network — How to build effective relationships with investors, advisors, and experts in the field, and learn how to navigate through unconscious biases to come out strong.
  12. The Startup Catch — What the founders I interviewed identified as “catches” that no one told them about.
  13. The Startup Failure — How to overcome rejection and bounce back so that you can keep the ball rolling.

Not only will you be learning how to take baby steps toward your dream of becoming a startup founder, but you’ll also read countless stories of real (and successful) founders explaining to you how they did it, every step of the way.

And wait — if you do pick up my book, are courageous enough to begin building your startup, and then fail horribly your very first time, I have written an entire chapter to serve as a pick-me-up. Because, you know, most successful founders have a string of failures that never get spoken about. :)



Uttara Shekar

Author of “The Startup Leap: Finding Structure in the Chaotic Journey of Startup Building”. I write for fun and code for money. [Website —]