What do we call it? How do we fund it?
While setting up my legal entity so that I can get authorization for the development kit I purchased, I’ve been working on a couple of other important details:
What should the name of the company be?
How will I fund it?
What’s in a name?
For the former, my name search was accelerated by a great process outlined in a book I bought called Brand New Name. After creating a naming strategy, I spent several days brainstorming hundreds of potential names, ultimately narrowing the field down to ~25 candidates to bring into the next phase. In the second phase, I knocked the list down to 6 names, after careful research into fit, uniqueness and legal viability of each candidate (which included trademark screening).
I did cheat the process, however—I felt so strongly about my final 2 candidates that I opted to not do any market testing on the names. We’ll see if my shortcut bites me in the ass later on! For now, I have a couple finalists that I’ll bring to counsel for a proper trademark application.
What’s the funding plan?
As for how to fund this hardware startup company, I turned to another great book and framework called Target Funding.
My first step was to itemize every expense I could think of that the company will need in this early stage of establishing a customer/problem/solution fit. For me, this means going from zero to having a works-like / looks-like prototype validated by my target customers.
The biggest unknown for me right now is what kind of research & product development costs am I looking at to get to the end of this stage? To answer this big question, I’ve started reaching out to several companies and individuals who are experts in designing, developing and manufacturing consumer audio devices and successfully bringing them to market.
Always be strategizing
It’s been fun to switch gears from development kit research into company building strategies, but I am anxious and eager to get back to the big risks—unknowns and uncertainties—in my plan re: can my ideas actually work, and how much are they improving upon existing solutions already in the market?