Startups

Here's the latest in the world of startups. You'll learn how to start your own company, acquire customers, and find success.

Start here with our guide on how to start a startup.

Your Accomplishments, Now with Emojis

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We’re excited to present to you: the launch of emojis for iDoneThis! It’s a fun way to record your accomplishments and share with your team how you’re feeling.

To give it a try, just type a colon and then start typing a word, like :pizza: pizza.  If an autocomplete menu shows up, then we have it. Bread-and-butter emojis like smileys of different kinds work as well. smiley

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@Team and the All New Autocomplete

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We heard your complaints about the old autocomplete.

  • You had to know the username of the teammate that you wanted to mention. That was all fine and good when your teammate’s username was @janesmith, but not when it was @l33thax0r.
  • You had to know the exact tag that you wanted to use. It was too easy to create multiple tags for the same purpose, because it was way too hard to figure out what other tags were out there.
  • Autocomplete was case sensitive.
  • There wasn’t any way to mention the whole team, so you had to mention people one by one.

We fixed all of those problems in the latest revamp of autocomplete! Now it’s just plain easier to use.

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Integrate Everything—Introducing iDoneThis for Zapier

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We’re super excited to announce that we’ve integrated iDoneThis with Zapier.

Zapier, makes it easy to connect two apps together. Have you ever wanted your Google Calendar meetings to show up automatically in iDoneThis? Zapier makes it super simple.

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This means that the 400+ tools that Zapier integrates with are now available to you to integrate with iDoneThis, tools like Trello, Google Calendar, Dropbox, Evernote and more.

To get you started, we’ve created a few zap templates for you to use:

Note: to use this zaps, you’ll need to create a Zapier account.

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iDoneThis for Mobile

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Before on left, and after on right

We’re excited to announce that we’ve made iDoneThis better for your phone and tablet. When you pull up idonethis.com on your phone’s web browser, you’ll now get an iDoneThis that’s specifically tailored for your screen size.

Now it’s much easier to read what your team is getting done and enter your dones on the go, from your phone.

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To have the app-like experience of launching iDoneThis from your home screen with a single tap, just add iDoneThis to your home screen.  It won’t take more than 30 seconds to set up—just choose the directions for your device below.

Add to Home Screen for iPhone / iPad

Add to Home Screen for Android

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Introducing Goals for iDoneThis

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We’re excited to announce that we’ve built Goals for iDoneThis. It’s a simple way to plan your day.

To take it for a spin, just start your done with open and closed brackets–”[]“–and we’ll turn that into a goal with a checkbox that you can check off. Try this goal for today:

[] take the goals feature for a spin!

It works on the web, over email, and with any of our integrations.

Goals iDoneThis demo

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Introducing iDoneThis for Slack

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We’re proud to announce that we’ve built iDoneThis for Slack, a super simple way to track your daily accomplishments in Slack.

iDoneThis for Slack

Send your dones in Slack simply by using the slash command /done.

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See what people are getting done without having to ask or log on to the web. Just switch over to your #dones channel on Slack.

Go here to set it up and check out other integrations on our apps page.

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How to Avoid Startup Premature Scaling

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Startups are at their sexiest when hundreds of millions of people around the world use something that a couple of guys and girls built in their garage.

But I’ve noticed how that perception lays a trap for many first-time entrepreneurs. With their sights set on serving the masses, first-time founders often conclude that they must build a product that will work for millions of customers — before they even have one.

This is such a major problem that Startup Genome identified “premature scaling” as the number one cause of startup failure. Surveying 3,200 startups in 2011, the startup-community hub Startup Genome found that a whopping 70 percent failed because they tried to scale too early — expending resources on add-ons like expensive marketing and hiring salespeople before they truly had a product to satisfy a sufficiently large market.

Here are three ways to avoid the trap of startup premature scaling and build a successful business the right way.

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The Unexpected Naming Trick that Launched Amazon Out of Obscurity

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Amazon.com wasn’t the company’s originally conceived name.

The first name that Jeff Bezos chose for his new online bookseller was Cadabra, short for Abracadabra. But he found out quickly that Cadabra wouldn’t work. When he told the name to his lawyer over the phone, the lawyer replied incredulously, “Cadaver?”

He toyed with a few other names — MakeItSo, Relentless, Awake, Browse, and Bookmall — before finally settling on Amazon.com.

Bezos chose the name Amazon for two reasons. First, the Amazon River is Earth’s largest river and he intended to create Earth’s largest bookstore. “This is not only the largest river in the world, it’s many times larger than the next biggest river,” Bezos said. “It blows all other rivers away.”

The second reason Bezos chose “Amazon” seemed like an incidental thought at the time, but it turned out to be a surprisingly important driver of early growth — one that launched Amazon.com out of obscurity into becoming a billion dollar company.

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Why You Shouldn’t Build a Billion-Dollar Startup

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Entrepreneurs dream about building the next big billion-dollar company. But the Apple, Google, and Facebook-shaped stars in their eyes end up clouding their vision. It’s easy to get caught up imagining your company going viral and getting to millions of users — all before your business has made a single dollar.

All the hopes and visions in the world won’t get you any closer to your billion-dollar exit. In fact, setting out to build a billion-dollar startup is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.

Gary Chou, an instructor at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, teaches his students how to launch a startup by taking a completely divergent approach. His course in Entrepreneurial Design has an unexpected syllabus for a business class: forget about creating a business plan or making a pitch deck for a fictitious billion-dollar unicorn company. Instead, get out there and do it — create a real $1,000-dollar company.

Chou’s assignment is to create a business that will produce $1,000 in monthly profit in a way that’s repeatable and sustainable. What has emerged from this exercise includes real profitable, ongoing businesses and funded Kickstarter projects. But beyond the money that’s been made and the companies created, what’s most important is the experience and knowledge you take away — for if you take on the challenge of building a $1,000 startup, you’ll learn three invaluable lessons.

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3 Psychological Traps that Keep Your Startup in the Trough of Sorrow

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You’re stuck in the trough of sorrow. No matter what you do, nothing in your company is improving.

You look around you, and everyone you know is crushing it. Their companies are getting acquired, they’re raising huge funding rounds, and they’re announcing new product features that people love.

But not you. You’re stuck in the trough of sorrow, and it feels like you’ll never get out. It’s emotionally trying and tough to handle psychologically, and you’ll want to quit. That’s why famed startup investor Paul Graham has said that the number one underlying cause of startup death is that “the [founders] become demoralized.”

How you handle those plateaus, psychologically, will determine whether you remain stalled there forever and your company ends up in the startup graveyard. You’ll face these three psychological traps — avoid them, and you’ll have a chance of making it out alive on the other side.

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