It’s decided. No matter what, I’m going to hold myself accountable. Though the idea started about a year and half ago, the decision was made only last week. It’s scary, and it’s exciting. I figured it’s good to document as I go. I’m not ready to share the concept. But, I’m happy to let you in on the process until I can unmask the idea.

Step 1: Identify talent needed to build the company

Without revealing too much, I can share that we are entering the food and beverage industry. I’d like to disrupt something I’ve watched unchanged over the years. So far, I’ve only been a casual participant. Which means, I need a co-founder that can provide some distinct superpowers.

For instance, marketing is my domain. It’s a big one. Yet, I don’t have experience with physical operations. I also don’t understand all the behind the scenes logistics of our industry. The industry we’re targeting is massive but still relational on the supply side.

Luckily, I found my co-founder. For transparency, here are the superpowers and skills I think will be most helpful to our business:

  • Deep industry expertise
  • Thorough, thoughtful, and tasteful product knowledge
  • Experience with physical operations and logistics
  • Familiarity with legal landscape
  • Key relationships to vendors
  • Experiential marketing chops at highly credible growth companies
  • High taste level

Step 2: Reach founding team alignment

We booked a 2-hour meeting for our first conversation. I can’t share all the details. However, I’ll provide the most useful tidbits. During the talk, we covered several high level items. Here’s a list of topics:

  • Vision
  • Individual contributions and commitment
  • Competitive landscape
  • Product and customer segmentation
  • Business model
  • Unit economics and margin
  • Capital raise and loose financial projections (broadly)
  • Brand story
  • Content ideation
  • Risks and challenges
  • Next steps

They say don’t loan money to your friends, but what about getting into business with them? I think if you set clear boundaries and expectations, there’s nothing wrong with it. We covered a lot of ground with two hours. It was possible because we’ve had a decade-long friendship. We’re aligned in many ways, including our ability to communicate effectively.

Step 3: Document your process

In order to stay present, I recorded the conversation. There may be better apps, but I didn’t plan ahead. I used the Just Press Record app. The app records and transcribes the audio to text. Given the conversation was almost two hours, I took an additional step. Here’s what I did to speed up the process and make the recording useful:

  1. Record the conversation using your preferred app
  2. Export the audio
  3. Upload the audio to Google Cloud and use the speech-to-text service
  4. Export the transcript and upload to ChatGPT (or whatever AI service you like)
    • Use text (.txt) format
    • Provide a prompt (see below)

When prompting AI, I tend to use the RISEN framework. The acronym stands for Role, Input, Steps, Expectation, and Narrowing. I didn’t bother using it for this task. Here’s the prompts I provided:

Prompt 1: Read to this transcript and give me an outline, summary, and key notes from the meeting.

Prompt 2 (follow-up request): Are there any micro details worth listing?

Feel free to tweak this however you’d like. If you’re not meeting in-person, you can also use an app like

Step 4: Always have next steps

My co-founder has a day job. I’m going to be driving the process. Going forward, there will be more firm next steps and expectation setting. This time, I provided some direction. Here’s how I wrapped it so we could keep the momentum:

Checklist for a roadmap to start a business
Checklist for our roadmap
  • Summarize and share our meeting notes
  • Start a Notion base1
  • Propose roadmap and timeline

That’s it. Day 1 in the books.

  1. This post contains affiliate links. I don’t promote products I haven’t used or don’t believe in. If you find my suggestion useful, please use the link. I respect your choice to visit the any product sites directly. ↩︎