The Oaks Ignore Their Pleas

Baby Steps to Entrepreneurship

Posted in Entrepreneurship, Software as a Service by Jeff Graves on September 6, 2006

A great blog for anyone thinking about starting a business, or anyone just a little stressed and frustrated with their existing “corporate job”, is Pamela Slim’s Escape from Cubicle Nation.  Last week (i’m just catching up on my RSS feeds), she posted a great article outlining some ideas for getting a business idea off the ground while still working a full-time job.  Or, working a full time job, raising kids, taking care of a house, and tending to other community responsibilities, as so many of us do.  Her first suggestion is to create a master list of tasks needed to get things rolling, so that you don’t have to feel like you need to remember everything all of the time.

The big challenge, of course, is to find a way to build your list, without creating so much complexity that you bog yourself down in the task of trying to maintain your list, instead of focusing on knocking off the items on your list.  While the tried and true Excel spreadsheet model is probably the cleanest and easiest method to get off the ground, I also want to recommend using 37signals Backpack product.  Backpack is a cool web-based project management tool that’s pretty light on complexity, and heavy on flexibility.  Basically, you can set up a bunch of pages and lists, organize them, and share them with others, as your venture grows.  And, the basic version is FREE, and can be accessed from anywhere.  37signals has added a calendar feature with the subscription version, which is very tempting, but in the interests of keeping things simple for now, I’m going to resist…FOR NOW.  To top it off, 37signals itself is a pretty cool “Web 2.0” company, focusing on creating basic, simple software, and reaching out to their customer base through their blog. 


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