Home ANTHILL TV Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin's $500 startup in 7 days… 133 days later

Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin's $500 startup in 7 days… 133 days later [VIDEO]


Frequent Anthill readers may recall Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin’s blog series, How to build a startup in seven days and under $500. If you haven’t read it, go do so now.

It is, in my opinion, one of the most fascinating, educational and inspiring blog series that we have ever run.

Over seven posts, Sebastien shared his daily journey from devising his idea, Autocarlog, to its launch.

Remarkably, he managed to achieve his goal and create his business for only $498, including the development of a brand and the construction of a website. He even managed to build his own modem!

I caught up with Sebastien in Sydney last month and had a great time sampling fine coffee and sharing war-stories (about business, despite the fact that Sebastien is a member of the Australia’s Navy and had his first foray into publishing delayed when sent to Iraq).

Of course, I also had to ask that important question: What has happened to his 7-day startup in the past 133 days? (And only wish this caffeine fuelled interview did his original series justice.)

Out of a sense of nostalgia (and curiosity), I looked up the email that triggered the series. Here it is:

It’s been a while since we’ve touched base, I think the last time we spoke/emailed I was in Iraq and you were just re-launching anthill online!   It looks great incidentally and your daily mailouts are a nice way to round out the day.

Anyway whilst I was with a group of friends and family lamenting that 2009 went past so quickly and how we’ve managed to squeeze so much into the last week, I got thinking – is it possible to build an online business from nought to operational in just one week?  And can it be done for less than $500?

Well I intend to find out.  I’ve got a plan to build an online tool that is useful for car owners and has wide appeal.  The concept is solid and it has good potential to be finished in a week.  I will be blogging about it next week and was wondering if you/anthill would be interested in co-publishing the series?

I’ll have 8 entries in total, one at the end of this week as the teaser and then seven from saturday through to friday documenting my progress, experiences, challenges etc.  My blogs will be informative (as in, lots of relevant links to tools, modules, australian business setup links) but focus on how and why I made the decisions I did.

– day one, research, the importance of research, building your theme wall (collection of ideas), point of difference, goals, aims, budget
– day two, design the software model, the flow on paper, sketch out the user experience, start coding the functional side, use third parties (rent-a-coder) etc
– day three, (monday) registrations, go through all the registrations required (abr, abn, post box, 1300 number, sms gateway, hosting, SSL, credit card payment, trademarks etc etc)
– day four, draw it, graphic design, crowd sourcing design
– day five, tying it all together, building your own SMS gateway and why you’d want to do it for a start-up
– day six, marketing strategy, press releases, blogs, twitter etc, tidying up loose ends
– day seven (friday) – the launch!

Let me know if you’re interested and how I go about giving you the entries!

(That’s how it’s done aspiring contributers.)

Now, with bated breath, we must wait for the next instalment. Or (gratuitous plug warning) you can meet him, alongside a panel of other inspiring young entrepreneurs, at our upcoming Sydney Young Entrepreneurs’ Night Out.

Signing off. 😉