Is worth it?


Is worth it?

Any members on this site?

The landing page is has really sold me, except that I have my doubts about whether following a recipe is the right way to go for starting a start up.

Also, I'm somewhat cheap and wonder if, maybe, I can get the same information out of communities like this one and hacker news?

Questions if you are a member of

  • Are the start-up guides valuable and worth subscription fee for non-newbies
  • Is the community valuable and worth subscription fee

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asked Nov 4 '09 at 13:42
Dog On
308 points

11 Answers


I'm a member - since it's my startup I'd better be! I'm obviously biased: While we're only a month or so old, I'm seeing real value and real interaction going on within Re your (good) questions:

1 Are the start-up guides valuable and worth subscription fee for non-newbies?

2 Is the community valuable and worth subscription fee?
Re first question: Eric Davis ( ) is a member of He tweeted 32 days ago: "Was just about to research this: RT @BobWalsh: Just added to - "Pain free server/hosted domain uptime monitoring." then six days ago, "Perfect timing yet again: RT @BobWalsh: Just added to - "Inexpensive usability testing with"

This is exactly what I'm aiming for: Instead of spending 2-3 hours googling how/where/when to do a task outside your core expertise, you find a Guide that lays out a way to do it, with comments and ratings from other community members, and you get it done in 15 minutes. If that - and that alone - happened once a month, I think the 2+ hours you save is worth the $30 to $15/month you pay. Don't you?

Re second question: The community is valuable in a couple ways now and more so as it grows and I add in certain features. Now, if you have your web site up, other members can quickly review it using a Site Review form - instead of going to places like Joel on Software Business of Software forums and asking for reviews there (in public where customers can find it, uneven quality, no quantification).

Why will they review your site? Because the more reviews you do, the higher up your Site Review Request is in the listings... Also, Members can befriend other members: Your friends see what points you've earned, what Guides you are working on. - a good opportunity for collaboration and a bit of healthy competition.

Not that I am knocking communities like this, or Business of Software (I've been a moderator there for 4+ years), or HackerNews. But my focus is short-circuiting the "spend all your time figuring out what to do, no time left to do it" problem and the "bootstrapping is too damned hard, how do I know I'm making progress" problem and the "endless opinions and talk and information, but what do I DO next?" issue.

Let me sum up: if 1 Guide on average saves you 2 hours in an entire month, and your on the monthly subscription, ($30), you are ahead of the game. If 2 Guides, or 3, or 4... Bingo! The community is steadily growing, and since you have to provide your credit card info to Amazon to join, everyone is pretty focused, helpful and want to get on with the business at hand. Plus, while you give Amazon your okay to bill you, that happens after the free week's trial and you can cancel in two clicks.

Hope you don't mind this longish answer - but it's something I care about deeply! :)

answered Nov 5 '09 at 03:34
Bob Walsh
2,620 points
  • "(in public where customers can find it, uneven quality, no quantification)." very good point – The Dictator 14 years ago
  • While it is probably a good starting point I can't imagine abdicating doing your own research and following other people's opinions just because you paid $30 per month. I think there is a risk it becomes a stagnant community with few fresh ideas. How is that risk avoided? – Tim J 14 years ago
  • On the latter point time, will be adding more features in December on the productivity side of the productivity/training/community definition. Re abdicating - well, you definitely need to do your own research and thinking when it comes to your product, but what about all the work around your product? For example, I could spend endless hours on all the various ways to monitor server uptime; time I have to take away from what's at the core of my startup. Reading a Guide on that means turning a non-core 3.5 hr. task into a .3 hr. task. – Bob Walsh 14 years ago


I'm a member. The guides offer a checklist of steps centered on specific aspects of your business. Many of the checklists I like are about marketing and provide resources that I wouldn't have otherwise known about.

To be clear, startuptodo is not an advice forum like onstartups. The guides are clear and direct, and if I understand it right, community driven.

All that being said, I haven't used it as much lately because I'm freaking neck deep in a development cycle, scaling up my service, and direct to business sales.

Point being, it's a great tool when all you hear is crickets and you're thinking "what now?". When you're balls to the wall, using the site falls behind in priority, but that's a good problem to have.

answered Nov 5 '09 at 05:55
448 points


Personally, I wouldn't pay money for advice I can get somewhere else (like here) from people who have actually created sucessful companies, people like our hosts Jason Cohen and Dharmesh Shah.

answered Nov 4 '09 at 14:39
4,815 points


I'm actually planning to join in soon just waiting for our launch.

If you are doing business you can't afford being cheap. To me the crucial bit is the idea of a closed community, if they operate it good I'm sure it'll massively benefit to any startup.

They do provide feedbacks to each other and it's almost natural to pitch your idea in that community, personally I don't think you can do it any other communities since it'll look like you are spamming.

So out of whole this thing if you got one good feedback which will lead you one more sale, there you go you just got your money back.

I think paying for advice is great idea instead of trying to get it free by spending your valuable time. In a startup "time = cash", that's it.

Finally I never used the site, this is my prediction, I loved the idea. I'd like to see some comments from some active member of the website.

answered Nov 4 '09 at 19:41
The Dictator
2,305 points


No. It's not worth it (anymore), because it closed it's doors.

answered Jul 31 '11 at 22:55
Chris... S...
169 points


StartupToDo is not about using recipes, it's an extremely helpful forum that is very focused on what start-ups need to focus on to succeed. If you follow the advice you will save money, time, and be able to discuss your ideas with world-class entrepreneurs in a private community. This means there is an extremely high signal-to-noise ratio, and the feedback alone is very helpful.

I'm fairly certain there is a trial period, so you can take a look and see whether it's worth it before you're committed to paying.

Disclaimer: I was invited to the private beta, so I do not currently pay for my membership.

answered Nov 5 '09 at 01:18
158 points
  • +1 on all this. They are helpful guides, not "do this strict thing." Things like choosing a business format, getting a website up, etc.. Things you WILL have to do. It's like a checklist plus-plus. Then there's the community feedback and the trial in case you hate it! – Jason 14 years ago


It depends if you would like a structured guide designed to help you get from here to there, and if you're not up on how to make your product successful on the Internet.

If you are someone who has studied and understands the multiple things you have to do to be successful (see: Rich Schefren's Internet Business Manifesto ), then you may want to do it your own way.

I have read and studied all aspects of Internet marketing for years as I've developed my product. I read and follow all of Bob Walsh's works on startups, and have read his wonderful books on the topic.

His service is one of a kind and is designed to help those who want help, and it WILL help. Even with my experience, I have been tempted to sign up with StartUpToDo, just because a few tips here or there for me will be worth it.

But I'm on my own custom path doing it my way, and I'm happy with that.

answered Nov 13 '09 at 14:32
1,471 points


I have considered it. I am not sure it is worth it for my current venture - we are not doing social-type software and we are not writing a web type app. Many of the topics I see in the scrolling list of things to do seem focused on hype and marketing and presence on the interwebs - we're not selling to the general public and our audience is not the kind of people who go looking on twitter for a solution to the problem that we solve.

I might try it if there is a refund offered. But right now the real issue is it worth my time, not if it is worth my money.

answered Nov 14 '09 at 02:27
Tim J
8,346 points


I'm a member - it is worth it. It's harder to measure time saved, but you're saving yourself immense amounts of time and effort on matters that must be done but are not inherently interesting to you.

answered Nov 10 '09 at 01:22
Steve French
621 points


I've joined it today... So here are my first impressions after testing it for a day

The platform is great and there's a lot of potential but as of yet, there are not many guides and quite a few of them are about very basic things (like using pingdom to track website uptime, Setting up Google Analytics, Hosting your startup's blog with WordPress and Thesis). But there are a few guides that are useful and interesting and in a few months when there is more content, it will be very compelling proposition.

The site review functionality is great and well thought out and would certainly be a good stop before asking on places where comment might be more harsh such as Hacker News...

To go back to the platform, I must say it's well thought out and I find it useful to be able to take a guide, make it projet and annotate it... There are also points which give a sense of achievement (well, of course, if you want to create a startup and need something this gimicky to keep motivated you might as well drop the towel but as an extra boost to motivation, it probably doesn't hurt).

All in all, I'm still on the fence as to wether I will continue or cancel before the end of the trial. One thing is sure though, even if I cancel I will revisit it in about 5-6 months to let time for the content and community to be more developed.

answered Nov 22 '09 at 22:26
265 points


Its also aimed at ISVs so it is not just startups who can benefit from it...

answered Nov 14 '09 at 01:10
Mark Stephens
976 points

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