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8 Things You'll Need to Launch the Next Big Startup

Working in a cube is a drag. So with companies downsizing and unemployment on the rise, why not ditch life as just another replaceable cog in a faceless corporate machine? Instead, go the entrepreneurial route, and become the next big Internet billionaire. If kids barely out of their teens can do it, how hard could it be? Here's what you'll need to go from pushing paper, to the Forbes 500.

1. A Concept.
Don't worry about being too specific. As long as you mention that your company does something "social", like social media (Facebook, Twitter), or social bookmarking (Digg, Reddit), people will love it. Even more so if you include the term "user-generated". Note: A variation of something already successful is always a safe bet, so feel free to use TechCrunch as an idea generator.

2. Venture Capital.
Don't worry if your concept seems too expensive to pull off. You're not actually going to use (read: risk), your own money. There's tons of people out there are willing to write the checks that'll make your idea a reality. Places like Cross Link Capital that invested in NetFlix early on (and we know how that turned out), or even networks that will help you find the right place for you and your company (vcfodder.com). Your dream is but a pen stroke away.

3. A Cool Office.
Once the VC write the check, you'll need an office befitting your cutting-edge-tech rep. Pseudo-industrial decor, high-end desks, flat screen TVs, all convey your image as the next up and coming tech phenomenon. So of course you'll need...

4. Sweet Technology.
iPhone, Blackberry, Macbook Air (with protective case) - these are just some of the required office tools you'll need to carry. Along with using virtual tools like BigString.com, for self-destructing emails that can be read only one time (can't have anything ending up on Consumerist), or Tsheets, that turns any mobile device into a time clock, to keep track of those virtual employees around the globe.

5. Distractions.
All work and no play dulls your employees' creativity and drive. Movie nights, Wii tournaments and even an old-school pool table can keep them sharp, even on three-day coding jags. Just don't let them convince you to let them hold a who-can-stand-it-the-longest stun gun challenge.

6. Buzz.
You're just another also-ran until you've been covered by Wired or Fast Company. And to create that buzz you'll need PR. Go with a large firm like Edelman or stick to your quirky tech image and go with someone who works with small tech companies, like this guy. (Nice hat.)

7. Caffeine. Caffeine. Caffeine.
Red Bull packed fridges, a cooler full of Monster, IV bags of coffee... The 'net runs on microwave time. And your staff will be pulling all-nighters getting your product/service up and running in the superhuman timeframe you've given them. They'll need fuel.

8. Revenue.
Scratch that... you don't need revenue.

 
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