When you are setting up a new startup there are a lot of tricky things that people do not consider ahead of time. This is why a lot of startups never make it past the ‘idea and a few lines of code’ phase. Which is a shame, because many of those ideas are great and if the person who initially had them just had access to a little more education or some helpful services they could have gotten off the ground. Today I want to talk about two services that I think are invaluable for any startup.
Subscribe to Codecademy Pro with a Promo Code
If you’re looking to run a startup then I assume that you know at least a little of how to code. Or maybe you have no programming background but a great idea and the willingness to learn. Either way, you can either get the skills you need or upgrade them for less using a pro plans promo code from Codecademy. It’s an excellent way to learn how to code, whether you are starting from the beginning or looking to take your skills to the next level. Their prices are already very reasonable, and then the coupon just makes them even better.
Let me tell you a personal story. I had a fairly decent idea for a Facebook app many years ago, remember when Facebook had apps that weren’t just Messenger? This was back in the Farmville days, I’m not sure anybody misses them. Anyways, it was a photo app inspired by the ‘photo sticker booths’ I’d seen while I was in Japan. I thought it would be fun to be able to add digital ‘stickers’ to your Facebook photos. I’d worked on it for a class project for my PHP course and had thought why not, let’s make this a full app. Problem was, I still had pretty basic coding skills and I kept running up against things I didn’t know how to do yet. Again, this was Farmville days (probably 2008 or 2009) so online learning platforms like Codecademy didn’t really exist yet. I’d spend a lot of time Googling and reading through posts on Stack Exchange which were helpful, but it took a really long time. I never did get a full version of the app shipped, and I like to think that had something like Codedcademy existed back then I might have gotten farther with it.
The moral of the story is you want your coding skills to be top notch and you want to stay on top of emerging technologies which is why I suggest subscribing to Codecademy so you can be a lifelong learner.
Use the Startup Legal Service Clerky to handle Paperwork
This is a big one, and I’m a huge fan of Clerky. Do you know how to set up a C-Corp in Delaware? Neither do I, and unless you are a lawyer you really shouldn’t attempt it yourself. Most startups don’t have the budget to have a dedicated legal team on retainer, but you really need to make sure that you do the legal paperwork of setting up your corporation correctly or it’s going to lead to massive headaches down the road. It could even end your business entirely.
This is where Clerky comes in, you get access to a team of lawyers that specialize in startups who can get your legal paperwork done correctly at a great price. Now, it’s not free, don’t misunderstand me. However they don’t charge you until the documents are all finalized. They have a few different pricing options. One is a lifetime company account for $800, which is really excellent value. That will cover your incorporation and the unlimited use of their documents for fundraising, hiring, and maintenance. The other option is pay per-use, for example to get set up as a corporation will cost you $99 and then any third-party filing fees. This option might be better for you if you’re trying to go as lean as possible in the beginning on and only cover the expenses that are absolutely necessary right now.
You might be wondering what sort of documents & legal advice are included with the lifetime plan. You will gain access to NDAs (Non-Disclosure Agreements), both one-way and mutual. For hiring there are Offer Letters, Stock Option Issuances, Consulting Agreements, and Confidential Information and Invention Assignment Agreements. For fundraising you will have access to Board consents, safes and convertibles notes, valuation caps, and other documents upon request. And then there are also document for the more day to day housekeeping of running a corporation such as adding or removing officers, directors, changing the corporate name, and shares management. Again Clerky specifically tailors their documents to startups, which other legal document template companies don’t do. I really can’t recommend them enough.
Good luck, and don’t forget to have at least a little fun along the way
Launching a startup is very hard work, there is a reason why not everyone does this. But even though the hours are long, you get to work on your project which is pretty awesome. Don’t forget to take at least a little time for yourself, use it to put that Codecademy promo code to use and sharpen your coding skills.