Tool Wall at Nottingham Hackspace

This is a collection of links and resources for anyone starting a new online business. I hope you find it useful.

Lean Startup Methodology

Customer Development / Research

Prototyping / Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

  • Unbounce – very easily build and test landing pages
  • Keynotopia – prototype your website or app using Apple Keynote or Microsoft PowerPoint

Name Your Startup

Learn the Principles

Find an Available Domain Name

Buy an Existing Domain Name

  • Sedo – find and buy a domain name that’s already been registered
  • BuyDomains – another domain name marketplace

Build a Website

Create a “Launch Page”

  • Launchset – run a closed alpha/beta
  • LaunchRock – set up a “viral” launching soon page with email signup and refer-a-friend mechanism
  • LaunchEffect – set up a WordPress-based viral launch page with refer-a-friend mechanism

Web Page Elements

Test Your Site’s Performance

  • BrowserMob – load-test your website (free trial)
  • LoadImpact – load-test your website (a few free credits when you register)
  • Boomerang – measure the performance of your website from your end user’s point of view

Test Your Site in Different Browsers

  • Browsershots – view your web page in different browsers (free)
  • IETester – test how your site renders in different versions of Internet Explorer

Improve Your Site

Web Infrastructure

Web Hosting

  • Slicehost – cheap US hosting if you’re happy installing and maintaining everything yourself
  • Linode – more of the same, but with UK and US data centres [affiliate link]
  • Bytemark – same but UK-based (not used them yet, but I hear good things)


  • easyDNS – reliable DNS service

Uptime Monitoring

  • UptimeRobot – free website uptime monitoring for up to 50 websites

Customer Acquisition


Email Marketing

  • MailChimp – email marketing and analytics platform
  • AWeber – email marketing system popular for its autoresponder system


Viral Marketing



  • Pricing theory and advice from Joel Spolsky (a.k.a. Joel on Software)
  • Ask potential customers face-to-face. Watch their body language.
  • High-ball strategy: Tell the prospective customer “This’ll cost you £xxx” (insert amount you’re 99% sure is too high). Watch their response. Ask what they would pay.




  • VentureLoop – find a job in a venture-backed startup


Recommended Startup Books

Other Resources

If you find this useful, please tweet it.
You may also find some useful stuff in my post on useful resources for London startups.


Creative Commons License photo credit: Nottinghack