Working with a couple of startups in the San Francisco Bay Area, providing web design services and user experience consulting, has been an interesting opportunity over the past year. The startups have been well-funded and both have won recognition in industry competitions such as the 2013 Launch Festival in San Francisco and the DisruptSF and DisruptNY events. Exciting stuff!
While the technical side of the work has been both challenging and rewarding – working with developers, UI/UX guys and quality assurance people – the insight into the processes behind the emergence of both companies has been interesting. Some of the key take-aways have involved the art & science of “process.” Without process and process control, these companies and the resources they engaged would never have been able to function together as a team. Pooling together all of the resources just to make a successful online presence, let alone all of the traditional business infrastructure (banking, accounting, licensing, equipment, space, personnel, etc.), were hugely successful efforts by both startups, respectively. Process allowed them to move through the phases associated with most new products & services:
One of the important subtopics in the overall process turned out to be in the realms of copyright, trademark and patent. To most people, these terms are synonymous. But in the legal world, each serves its own purpose and each can be vitally important to the success and to the survival of the company. Without the right measures in place, the patent, trademark and copyright issues can be lethal problems. In conversation with a “player” at one of the startups, the idea that obtaining a patent for their product far in advance of going public from their beta release and winning tech competitions surfaced. Services who provide patent consultation and/or help with patent and technology valuation were recommended as a smart move in the early stages of any serious startup.