October 20th, 2010

How to build a successful startup in 21 days (Hint: Add bacon)

How to build a successful startup in 21 days (Hint: Add bacon)

Remember that whole Bac’n thing? That Portland startup that sold bacon on the Internet? Did you know that the entire project—concept to launch—only took 21 days? What the…? How the heck do you build a successful startup in three weeks? Furthermore, is this entire post going to be written in the form of questions?

Well, I can’t answer that last question. But the guidance on how to build a startup in 21 days has been all laid out for you in a new book from the founders of Bac’n: From Idea to Web Startup in 21 Days: Creating bacn.com.

That’s right. Now you too can learn “how three daring entrepreneurs challenged themselves to create an online business, complete with offline fulfillment and inventory, in only three weeks, by working hard and working smart.”

Even apart from the whole 21 day thing, the Bac’n story is an interesting one. Three friends—Jason Glaspey, Scott Kveton, and Michael Richardson—come up with harebrained scheme to sell bacon on the Internet. To make it even more difficult, they try and do it as quickly as they can. They actually succeed. And the business grows. They throw a huge launch party called Masterbacon. They host a party at SXSW. They talk about building Bac’n at WebVisions 2009.

And as luck would have it, someone from New Riders publishing just happened to be in the audience. And they thought the idea would make a good book. So they asked the Bac’n guys to write one. And they did.

But what’s a good book without a happy ending? Oh, well yeah, you’re right. That is a foreign film.

But I digress. The happy ending for Bac’n? A successful exit. A liquidity event. The startup that took three weeks to build is sold to a competitor for a tidy sum.

And… end scene.

So what did they learn? Better yet, what are they going to teach you?

Well, the book covers all the basics of getting a startup up and running as quickly as possible—without making the same mistakes that Bac’n did. From defining the brand to acquiring the URL to offline logistics to launching with a live audience to moving forward, the book is chock full of tasty ideas from helping you over the humps of starting your startup.

We wrote this book to help you follow along our path, the lessons we learned, the software we used, our mistakes, and our good fortune. Sometimes, though, we’ll just tell our story. We hope you’ll learn from our experiences, avoid our mistakes, and be inspired by our results. And we hope it will help you start your own project, and that—as we did—you’ll have a great time doing it, create a business you’re proud of, and maybe even make some money.

The book is peppered with tips and tricks. It’s an approachable quick read. And best of all, it’s a far cry from those boring business books.

As an aside, for those of interested in more trivial details of the Portland startup scene. That’s not the only thing that’s interesting about the Bac’n story.

You see, what’s happening in parallel as Bac’n is taking off? Two of the Bac’n founders—Kveton and Richardson—were working to build what would become Urban Airship, one of the most successful Portland startups in recent years. And now, the third Bac’n founder—Glaspey—has joined them as part of the UA staff.

I’m just waiting to read that book. Or maybe write it.

To get your own copy, be Portlandy and buy From Idea to Web Startup in 21 Days: Creating bacn.com from Powell’s. Or simply wander over to Powell’s to grab it. And maybe, just maybe, the Bac’n team will be willing to autograph your copy.

Not convinced? Thumb through Creating bacn.com on Shelfari.

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3 Responses to “How to build a successful startup in 21 days (Hint: Add bacon)”

  1. 21 Days is terrific and congratulations! Also, businesses are formed in 54-hours and that’s exactly what Startup Weekend Portland is all about.

    Check out the web site.

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