511: Starting a Startup During COVID-19?

05.19.2020 - By The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten

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In today’s episode of The Startup Chat, Steli and Hiten talk about starting a Startup during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the COVID pandemic, there’s going to be a lot of people thinking about starting a new Startup. However, whether now is a good time or now to start is a question that needs to be answered.

In this episode, Steli and Hiten talk about if this is the right time to start a Startup, why there’s never a good or bad time to start, what to consider if you’re starting something right now and much more.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

00:00 About the topic of today’s episode

00:23 Why this topic was chosen.

01:37 If this is the right time to start a Startup.

02:22 Why there’s never a good or bad time to start.

02:34 How the world is very different right now.

04:38 Why this is a good time to start.

07:44 What to do differently if you started now.

09:05 Why cash flow is more important right now.

10:16 Why “nice to haves” are off the table.

11:57 What to consider if you’re starting something right now.

3 Key Points:

I don’t think there’s ever a good or bad time to start a Startup.The world is different.There’s more access to information right now than in 2008.

[0:00:00]
Steli Efti: Hey everybody. This is Steli Efti.
[0:00:03]
Hiten Shah: And this is Hiten Shah.
[0:00:05]
Steli Efti: And today on The Startup Chat we're going to talk about starting a startup during COVID-19. Basically the idea, if we have to start a new company or a startup right now, no co-founders yet, no money, no product. Would we do it? Would we think that, with what we know about entrepreneurship, would we think that this is a good time or would we want to wait until whenever the economy's better? And if we thought that now is a good time to start something, how would we go about it? How would we think about it? Is there anything different about starting a startup right now during this kind of special time in history around the world? Would we approach in any way differently than we usually would? I thought that it'd be a fun topic to talk about. It probably is going to have a few golden nuggets for people. So let's get the first question out of the way because I think that's going to be an easy one. You never know, especially with when you talk to Hiten Shah, but is this a good time to start a startup or a bad time to start a startup? What's your reaction to that if I asked you, "Hiten, I have entrepreneurial ambitions, but I wonder if this is the right time for me to start something."
[0:01:16]
Hiten Shah: Yeah, great question. It's just a great question because the circumstances, like this has happened before, right? So there's like the 2000s, and this is particularly in tech, so there's the 2000s and there's like the 2008 kind of housing bubble thing. And then I think the next one was right now. And these are all times when people are like, "Should I start something? Should I not?" People start talking about it. The one thing that like fascinating to me with this question as I think about it right now is, first I don't think there's ever a good time or a bad time. So I think it's false to think it's good or bad. But for some reason it comes to people's minds when the world is going to shit and they're like, "Oh, is this a good time?" It's never a good time. Is this a bad time? Well, it's never a bad time. I think it's like whatever time works for you. Meaning whatever it comes to mind or whatever circumstances dictate that you have to find other options in whatever you were doing, like you're laid off. So that's where I'll start. But I think there's a big thing that I haven't thought about till now that really hit me right now, which is, the world is different. Every one of those times, the world was different. You're talking about like 2000, then eight years later, and now 12 years later, and we're like 20 years from 2000, which many of us weren't actually working at the time.

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