12x Startup - Four makers building open startups for a year

Last month I declared I was going to build and launch 12 startups in 12 months.

I didn't have much of a plan. All I had was a handful of rough ideas sketched out.

I started by jumping in the deep end.

Then something amazing happened. I was chatting to Monica Lent on Indie Hackers. She read the blog post and said she'd been thinking about doing a similar challenge.

Putting myself out there paid off.

After sending a few emails back and forth, we launched 12xStartup.com - an accountability group of four like minded makers up to the 12 startup challenge! (and one trusty advisor 😄)

12x Startup

Many before us have tried this callenge and I'm sure we won't be the last. Just this week, a new contender appeared on Indie Hackers.

What's different this time?

As far as I'm aware, this is the first time 4 founders have banded together to do the challenge as a group. Already, this approach is proving useful. We're bouncing ideas off each other daily and providing feedback on each others progress. It's very motivating.

If we do manage build 12 startups each, that's 48 startups in a single year!

Of course, building 12 startups isn't really the goal.

The real benefit of doing this challenge is learning how to validate, iterate, build in public and form the right habits. Success is finding an idea turns into a profitable business.

That's much easier if you're doing with others.

It's a bit like rolling a dice trying to score a six. If you roll the dice once it all comes down to luck. If you roll the dice 12 times, the odds are stacked in your favor.

But building a successful startup isn't just luck. Each time you go through the loop you get better at it. Learning new things, creating more reusable bits and having conversations that lead to new ideas and better execution.

Almost nobody starts this challenge and completes all 12 startups. Some people give up and a few find success. Whatever happens I'm sure I'll come out the other side a more experienced founder.

What is a startup?

Okay, I get it, everyone has a different definition of what the word "startup" actually means. To me:

A startup is a product or service brought to market.

In my opinion, the definition of a startup isn't that important as long as the goal stays the same. To build and run a profitable business that suits your lifestyle.

It doesn't even matter if the first startup fails miserably, as long as I'm learning and getting better over time.

The 12 Startups

Keeping with tradition I'll leave room in this post and update it monthly with each startup I build.

If you want to follow along find me on Twitter @DylanWilson80 and on our status page at 12xStartup.com.

1. BlogStorm.io

A friend of mine had an idea for a kind of "product hunt" for blog titles to get feedback on your blog post ideas before you write them.

Although this wasn't my first idea I thought it was a pretty good one to cut my teeth on. It's also the type of website that could take some time to build momentum.