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.

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:

Google Calendar → iDoneThis: Send completed calendar events to iDoneThis

GitHub → iDoneThis

Instagram → iDoneThis: Send new photos and videos from your Instagram to your iDoneThis

iDoneThis → HipChat: Send new dones in iDoneThis into your company’s HipChat

Todoist → iDoneThisSend completed tasks in Todoist to iDoneThis

Toodledo → iDoneThisSend completed tasks in Toodledo to iDoneThis

See All iDoneThis Zaps

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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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

naming your company like amazon

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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Open SSL Heartbleed Bug Security Update

At this time, we have no evidence that iDoneThis has been attacked or that there has been any compromise of user data. All our measures have been precautionary.

We recommend that iDoneThis users change their passwords.

Heartbleed for the Less Tech-Savvy

Heartbleed is a recently uncovered security vulnerability in OpenSSL, which is used to secure highly sensitive data such as passwords. This would allow would-be attackers to view sensitive, encrypted data from a compromised site without leaving a trace and to use this data to potentially impersonate users of the site.

We’ve fixed the security vulnerability and recommend that you change your password as a precaution.

See the BBC’s coverage as well as Lifehacker’s plain language explanation for more information.

Heartbleed for the More Tech-Savvy

Yesterday the OpenSSL Project released an update to address the CVE-2014-0160 vulnerability. This vulnerability affected over 60% of web sites, including iDoneThis.

We updated the relevant code on our servers on April 8th, 2014. As of 1pm (Pacific Daylight Time), the vulnerability is no longer present.

As a precaution, we have also re-issued our SSL certificates and revoked our old ones.

Questions or Need to Get in Touch?

Email Rodrigo at rodrigo@idonethis.com. Head here if you need instructions for how to give us security reports.

How to Keep Believing in Yourself

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I stood there catching my breath. Thoughts were gushing in my mind. “You don’t even believe in me,” I sighed to my best friend. “No one does.”

As soon as the words left my mouth, it dawned on me. This was a metaphorical mirror — a projection of my own reality. I’d hit a wall. Exhausted physically and emotionally from working 100-hour weeks, it was now as clear as day: I had lost my way in believing in me.

This wasn’t about others, it was about my own relationship with myself.

Usually fueled by a quiet confidence, I’d become worn down, paralysed from making decisions as big as the best way to issue company stock right down to the minutiae of which Instagram filter to use. I was plagued with self-doubt. Which was the best way forward? What are all the possible outcomes? Are things succeeding or failing? Who can and will help me? How do you keep believing in yourself?

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