Doing tech startups at college

Ahmet Alp Balkan
, on

_(Prelude: At we are 3 undergrad CS students, developing a mobile social network.) _

We have faced several difficulties in our startup adventure until now. Here’s a few of them:

Things are slow: When everybody is supposed to pay attention to college courses, development is not so agile and you cannot expect all team members to push feature implementations everyday. GPA-hobbies balance is pretty dangerous. Therefore, you keep postponing release dates.

Investors won’t believe: Since we are not able to put full-time effort on our project, investors do not believe the dedication of the team. Another question from the investors is “what if you get a job at Google or Facebook?”, they don’t believe you will follow the hard way.

No money: When nobody does believe you and you can’t raise anything, everything becomes costly, especially if you don’t have a job or side money. Several servers, GitHub, project management tool, cloud storage, email delivery are basic monthly costs.

Everything is bootstrapped: You can’t find any UI designer or iOS programmer, you need to learn them yourself and become a Swiss army knife. Otherwise, you’ll keep looking for UI designers whom you cannot afford and thus spend weeks on something you cannot afford.

Don’t do it as senior project: Yes, it is also our graduation project. (killed two birds with one stone!) First, it is not easy to make your idea by accepted from a professor. Once you do that, it is inevitable that the advisor and the team think about completely different things. The advisor will keep asking you to implement features from his dreamland and write infinitely boring conference papers —which probably you don’t want to do. Don’t do that. Be your own project manager, try to reach real users and jump out of the imaginary academic mindset.

We are working hard to submit our beta app to App Store in a few days. Register here to keep posted when we kicked out.

No matter what, it is still a huge fun!

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