50+ Free Startup Resources
I read a lot, I tend to share dozens of good articles and resources on Twitter (@Mikenicholls88) each week as I go, but thought that rather than make you trawl through my Tweets, I would put this page together to make life easier and quicker for startup entrepreneurs to get moving.
If you think I should add anything, please include it in the comments section below. Note there are no affiliate links, enjoy.
If you think this collection is good value, there is more where this came from, sign-up to our newsletter & share the page with your followers.
Is your startup solving a problem worth solving?
Growth Hacking & Conversion
The definitive guide to Growth Hacking by Neil Patel (increased Techcrunch traffic by 30%)
Conversion Rate Experts – Do yourself a favour go and sign-up for their resources and ongoing emails
Search Engine Optimisation
Lean Startup & Product Development
LeanProduction.com Excellent explanation of the 25 lean tools for manufacturing
Intellectual Property & Startups
Many start-up entrepreneurs think that patents are a waste of time; the data suggests otherwise – Must read essay by one of our contributors Ian Maxwell
Raising Capital or Investing? Here is what you need to know about Intellectual Property & Due Diligence by one of our contributors one of the top ranked Patent Attorneys Rob McInnes
Tools & Apps we like and use
Buffer Install the Chrome Extension, best way to share while you are browsing, you can set up a schedule to post your shares over a 24hr period (buffering them)
Hootsuite for when Twitter is running hot or you need to see and search a lot of Social media feeds at once
Optimizely A/B Testing – You must do this if you are serious about growing your traffic and conversions
Visual Web Page Optimizer I have used both this and optimizely and I like them both
Qualaroo – Great tool for A/B testing and feedback
Intercom.io Intercom is a single platform where you can see in real-time who is using your product and send personalized messages to the right users at the right time based on their behavior
Unbounce Fast beautiful landing pages
Strikingly – Service to create beautiful Single Page landing sites
Trello – We use this to manage our development. Its pretty low overhead way to setup a team to manage projects and tasks for each project. We use it to assign features or stories to our team members.
Github – You need to be disciplined about version control and integration from day one
Picmonkey – Great for snapping screenshots or images and then cropping/sizing and all manner of editing
Canva – Web app that provides a lot of the basic features of Photoshop and Illustrator (we make banners with Canva)
Sumo.me Tool kit of Website apps that help grow email subscribers and traffic (their pop-up increased the number of subscribers I was collecting a week >10x)
Addthis Great Social Sharing Service (see them on the side of this page and at the top of each post)
Hellobar – Massively increase your newsletter sign ups
LeanStack has a multiuser Lean Canvas – Works well when you are working with an international team, simple but easy way to get the critical data to make a product and a decision down on one page.
https://www.fluidui.com/editor/live/ Available in your Chrome Browser for designing App mockups – Freemium
HotGloo – Multi user screen mockup service
123D Design – Free 3D drawing software, there is a desktop version (which crashed a lot for me) and a web version (which is not as capable as the desktop version). Despite these problems I still recommend it as it is very capable software and amazing given its free.
Tinkercad.com Very good if you are aiming to build models for 3D printing but I found it lacking for more complex object contruction (or it could be my lack of skill) Also free
Autodesk Inventor – This is what you will probably use if you need more than 123D. Easy enough to use, but you really need 8Gb ram and Win 64, it too will crash on 4gb. Extremely capable. Not free but a demo is available.
Foogi.me – Solving the scheduling problem –
So easy to get a site running with WordPress, it is in my opinion the best thing that has happened to publishing and websites.
https://www.circuitlab.com/ This is a great App for designing circuit schematics and then running them in a simulator – Freemium
Google Docs – Because enterprise collaboration tools will arrive in your company 2 years after you need them.
Want to know a little secret? The logo was developed on Google Draw, I love the Spreadsheets for keeping track of tasks and docs is amazing for group editing.
Amazon AWS – Free 1 yr developer account
Amazon EC2 and AWS services are one of the most significant innovations in getting startups to market quickly and cheaply. I remember trying to launch a web service some 7 years ago, it took me two weeks to get a server provisioned in the US and then another week to get it configured and if anything went wrong some guy had to go reboot it.
Now with AWS simply log into console and startup an instance, 2 minutes later and you have a fully functioning server and with all the 3rd party providers you can get just about any application packaged and launched in minutes
Amazon AWS allows you to launch pre-configured applications (in this case WordPress) provided by 3rd party companies who have built all of the services you need into an image that you can launch as a Server (or instance in AWS terms). Bitnami is my preferred provider for WordPress instances but they also package dozens of other popular software stacks,
Freewheel if you want scalable WordPress hosting but you can’t be arsed screwing around with Amazon
Google Analytics you just have to
Great for creating Infographics, reasonable free tier and not that expensive for the subscription options
Books that helped me a lot
Seth Godins Survival is not enough (this is an Amazon link, it may have Seths Amazon affiliate code)
Seth Godins Knock Knock (free PDF)
Bootstrappers Bible (free PDF)
The Emyth by Michael Gerber. This is a must read if you are to grow fast enough as a person to run a fast growth startup.
Getting Real by 37 Signals – The smarter, faster, easier way to build a successful web application