Curated Directory of the best tools, picked by experts. Started this list by cobbling together other resources. Constantly adding and refining. If you want to suggest a resource, feel free to comment!
- Experimentation and Testing: A Primer – a great resource when beginning testing from Avinash Kaushik.
- Google Analytics – this comes with “Content Experiments” which permits users to split-test page variants within programs.
- Optimizely – cost-efficient A/B, multivariate, and mobile texting for starters.
- Crazy Egg – at $9 per month this tool provides heatmaps to understand user behavior.
- Vanity – “an Experiment Driven Development framework for Rails.”
- Piwik – free, open source web analytics platform.
- Cyfe – “an all-in-one business dashboard app that helps you easily monitor all your business data.”
- WooRank – SEO, Social Media, Mobile Optimization, Usability reports.
- Buffer – free social media engagement stats.
- Google Analytics– free web analytics and optimizer.
- WordPress – most popular and flexible content management system.
- Joomla – an advanced CMS similar to WordPress.
- Wix – equipped with code-free website builder, a blogging platform, and website hosting.
- Medium – a collaborative blogging platform.
Business plans and canvas
- Small Business Administration – How to Write a Startup Business Plan
- Bplans – free business plan samples.
- Palo Alto Software – write your own business plans from scratch.
- Launchpad – “offers end-to-end solutions to validate business hypotheses, testing for value and accelerating time to market.”
- Business Model Generation – provides a free business canvas.
Cloud/open source resources
- Dropbox – free cloud storage that you can share.
- Github – the world’s largest open source community.
- Joyent – powerful public cloud and private cloud software solutions.
- Box – secure content sharing, management, and collaboration.
- AWS Free Tier – cloud solution from Amazon.
Competitive online Adword/PPC analysis
- SEMRush – advanced SEO/PPC keyword research tool.
- Google AdWords – a free AdWords tool and Keyword Planner.
- Spyfu – spy on competitors ads and keywords.
- iSpionage – up-to-date competitive analysis.
- WordStream – Adwords grader and advisor.
Content and online marketing.
- Curata – Content Marketing Tools: The Ultimate List.
- Searchmetrics – the best solution for content writers to take their content planning to the next level.
- Buzzsumo – allows you to analyze the content that is working for your competition.
- Quill Engage – a weekly email which presents analytics in an easy-to-understand format.
- Content Marketing Institute – a great resource if you’re looking for the latest news and tips regarding content marketing.
- Kickstarter – a great option for creative projects seeking funding.
- DreamFunded – crowdsource funding for your startup.
- GoFundMe – features built-in connections to Facebook, Twitter and email for easy sharing.
- Indiegogo – popular site internationally because of its flexibility to fund almost anything.
- RocketHub – features FuelPad and LaunchPad programs for promotion.
Customer feedback and support
- Olark – a live customer chat and customer loyalty platform.
- Tender – customer support software that contains a knowledgebase tool. forums and notifications regarding your site.
- Desk – one of the best and easiest support softwares I’ve ever used.
- Zendesk – web help software that features customer support, self-service and engagement tools.
- Groove – provides a simple online Help Desk, as well as customer support metrics.
- Withoomph – “Beautiful logos designed instantly.”
- Canva – create stunning photos for very startup prices.
- Infographics – simple to use Infographics creation currently in beta.
- 99 Designs – marketplace of 984,000+ designers.
- Wells Riley – Startups, This is How Design Works – great tutorial on design.
- KISSmetrics – “Track, analyze and optimize your digital marketing performance. We show you what’s working and what’s not across all campaigns.”
- Google Trends – provides the most popular online searches.
- Product Hunt – discover the hottest new products.
- Erli Bird – “Validate your product, beta test, get feedback, and improve.”
- TrackMaven – a powerful competitive intelligence tool.
- HARO (Help A Reporter Out) – share your expertise with a reporter.
- PRWeb – the highest-rated press release service.
- ProfNet – connects experts and journalists.
- Boost Your Posts on Facebook – promote posts on Facebook.
- Market Wired – provides news distribution and social communications solutions.
- MailChimp – used to gain subscriber profiles and send out personalized and automated emails.
- Hello Bar – free tool used to collect more email subscribers.
- Intercom – a great chat and help widget, that also has automated email triggers.
- YesWare – know when someone opens your email. Best stalking known to man.
- Boomerang – Gmail tool used to schedule emails and follow-up reminders.
- Shopify – sell your product on this popular online store.
- WooCommerce – a popular WordPress ecommerce plugin. Note: Mainly for smaller under 1000 sku sites.
- Magento – ecommerce software tailor fit to your needs. Note: Mainly for larger 1000+ sku sites.
- Prestashop – free software to set up your online shop.
- Symphony Commerce – “The most advanced commerce applications as a service to power your online store, fulfillment, and marketing.”
- Freelancer – great place to find outsourcing for small businesses.
- upWork – allows you to hire low-cost freelance talent.
- Loot – on demand social freelancers.
- Elance – you can browse profiles before hiring freelance help.
- TaskRabbit – you’re busy, so why not outsource errands and skilled tasks to others?
Find a co-founder
- CoFoundersLab – helps you locate a co-founder by city or industry.
- FounderDating – a premiere site for connecting founders and co-founders.
- Founder2be – helps you find a co-founder for your startup.
- YouNoodle – founder matching through competitions.
- FounderSoup – connecting you to “a network of Entrepreneurial Stanford engineers, designer, doctors, marketers, salespeople, etc.
- f6s – contains a list of all the accelerator programs, as well as a social network for startups and angels.
- Startup Stash – an excellent curated list for all your startup needs.
- Angellist – connect with investors and raise funds online.
- The Funded – a community of CEOs, founders, and entrepreneurs that discuss fundraising, as well rate and review angel investors and venture capitalists.
- Kaufman Founders School – an online educational resource for entrepreneurs.
- Colibri.io – allows you to tap into social networks and digital media to gain visibility.
- Nimble – gather the contacts of you and your team to construct an Intelligent Relationship Platform.
- Pay With A Tweet – create social buzz by rewarding people to mention your content or product.
- MixRank – creates a highly targeted list for your business.
- GrowthHackers – online community that helps marketers learn and share effective marketing techniques.
- Entrepreneurs’ Organization – the most influential entrepreneur community in the world.
- Young Entrepreneur Council – “America’s most elite entrepreneur organization.”
- Startup Grind – These are the top startup events in the World. They have monthly events in 150+ cities each month.
- FoundersCard – hosts networking events and provides premier benefits.
- Young Presidents’ Organization – a network of successful chief executives and business leaders who are under the age of 46.
- Startup Documents – “generates and stores legal documents for early stage companies”
- Orick’s Legal Documents for Startups – contains contracts and other legal documents that have been curated by an online community.
- Legal Zoom – legal solutions for starting and running a business.
- Nolo – share legal forms and connects you to a lawyer if needed.
- PandaDoc – eSign your important docs. Know exactly when and what they are looking at.
Living in Silicon Valley
- Founder Institute: The Most Comprehensive Guide to the Silicon Valley Startup Ecosystem Ever Created – Truly. Unbeatable.
- Living in Silicon Valley – Steve Blank’s much-heralded guide on being an entrepreneur in the valley.
- StartupTravels guide to Silicon Valley/San Francisco – General Resources for the area. Not bad, but quicker to navigate.
- Technology Advice – connects you to the best loyalty programs for your industry.
- RewardStream – a loyalty and customer referral designed specifically for your business.
- Perka – a loyalty program that encourages repeat visitors.
- RewardLoop – a powerful mobile loyalty program.
- BigDoor – a loyalty and rewards program that allows you to reward customers even when they aren’t making purchases.
- Business Data and Statistics – “a collection of resources providing free access to business and economic statistics collected by the U.S. Government.”
- The U.S. Census Bureau – demographic and population data.
- SizeUp – data that shows how you’re stacking up against the competition.
- Conducting Market Research – tutorial on how to conduct market research,
- BizStats – free business statistics.
- Entrepreneur.com – news and advice for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
- ForEntrepreneurs.com – advice and resources for entrepreneurs and startups.
- EpicLaunch.com – tips for young entrepreneurs.
- AllBusiness.com – provides online resources for small businesses.
- TechCrunch – my go to resource in Silicon Valley for startup news. I also like to see what others are doing.
- Silicon Vikings Entrepreneur Resources – This is one of the best reads on this whole page.
- Domainr: a free domain name search.
- Knowem – search tool for domains and trademarks.
- Naminum: helps you discover the perfect company name.
- Impossibility: “The best domain name generator ever.”
- Wordoid: suggests creative names for your product, domain, or product.
Payment – billing and invoicing.
- Yardbook – amazine invoicing tool for online professionals.
- Stripe – APIs and tools to accept and manage online payments.
- Aria – an active monetization platform.
- Due – online invoicing and time tracking platform.
- Quickbooks – Great way to keep track of your books.
- Unbounce – build, publish and test landing pages for your product.
- LaunchSquad – creates a press release, content and videos for your product launch.
- LaunchRock – “a site builder dedicated to early customer acquisition.”
- How to Effectively Launch Your New Product or Service.
- Prefinery– software for launching private beta.
- BaseCamp – popular project management; free for up to two months.
- Trello – organize and monitor projects visually.
- Campfire – team collaboration that features a real-time chat.
- Podio – cloud-based collaboration service.
- Wrike– delivers full discretion over your tasks and allows you to collaborate with your whole team.
Question and answer/networking.
- Quora – ask or answer questions related to your industry.
- LinkedIn – the world’s largest professional network.
- StackExchange – expert answers to your questions in 137 different communities.
- Reddit – large community who network by sharing relevant content.
- Onstartups – the discussions on this hub are great for information and networking.
- Asana – converse and assign tasks with team members without email.
- Skype – call or message anyone from anywhere in the world.
- StartMeeting – free audio conferencing.
- Yammer – a private social network designed just for companies.
- Hipchat – private group chat, instant messaging and file sharing.
Social media/social monitoring.
- Hootsuite – “Manage social networks, schedule messages, engage your audiences, and measure ROI right from the dashboard.”
- HubSpot – one of the best online marketing and web analytics systems.
- Buffer – simple social media marketing software.
- Tweetdeck – “the most powerful Twitter tool for real-time tracking, organizing, and engagement.”
- Adstage – manage all of your Google, Bing, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn Ads in one place.
- Fundable’s Startup Guide – Solid Info on launching a startup.
- The Startup Guide – lots of resources from the people who brought you iContact.
- MIT Entrepreneur’s Resources – Honestly, not as in depth as the other posts here, but there’s still a few gems.
- Crowdcube Entrepreneur Resources –
Surveys and polls.
- Google Consumer Surveys – fast, accurate market research from Google.
- SurveyMonkey – free online survey software.
- Typeform – create online surveys and forms.
- Qualtrics – little higher end but one of the best platforms for surveys out there.
- Tally – create polls…in no time.
Time management/distraction prevention.
- Self-Control –a Mac application that blocks out distracting websites for a specific amount of time.
- Concentrate – helps keep you focused by shutting down non-essential apps and websites.
- RescueTime – helps you understand daily habits so you learn to become more productive.
- Time Tracking – time tracking software to help you discover how much time you’ve spent on a project. Note: I’m owner of this company!
- FocusBooster – a digital pomodoro timer.
- Evernote – organize your daily projects in one workspace.
- Pocket – save important articles or videos to view later.
- Remember The Milk – to-do-lists and reminders.
- Wunderlist – lists that you can share with family or team members.
- Todoist – powerful to-do-list tool that comes with a task manager.
- Trip-it – gives you a master itinerary of your travel plans.
- Shoeboxed – use to scan and organize receipts during travel.
- Where Nomads at – connects you with digital nomads all over the world.
- Time Trade – appointment scheduling software.
- Airbnb – great resource when you need last-minute or affordable lodging.
Growth Supply – A huge list of websites offering tools for businesses.
The Startup Guide‘s post on Raising Venture Capital – Some great advice on things to keep in mind.
- Wistia – professional video hosting equipped with analytics and marketing tools.
- Powtoon – create awesome animated and video presentations.
- Tracker – video analysis and marketing tool.
- Stupeflix – create free, unlimited videos.
- Wideo – another tool to create animated videos.
Websites and hosting
- Ananova – Guide to Choosing the Best Hosting Package for Startups.
- HostWinds VPS – web hosting at only $2.95 per month.
- Siteground – secure and tailored web hosting.
- Strikingly.com – create mobile friendly websites in minutes.
- Host – 100 percent free Web Hosting (I’m affiliated with this company).
- DigitalOcean – cloud hosting specifically for developers.
Wireframing and mockups.
- proto.i0 – Great site for App Demos
- Gliffy – allows you to “ create professional-quality flowcharts, Org charts, UML diagrams, Network diagrams, Wireframes, Technical drawings”.
- Wirefy – intuitive wireframes for web development.
- Frame Box – easy, sharable frame sharing.
- Pencil Project – a free and open-source GUI prototyping tool
- MockFlow – easy wireframing tool that you can collaborate with others.
X, Y and Z…
- Bookkeeping 101: Debits and Credits.
- Ultimate Guide to Invoicing for Freelancers.
- Accounting Basics.
- Definitive Guide to Marketing Your Business Online.
- Content Marketing Guide – my personal guide to everything content marketing.
- How to Hire Your First Employee.
- Resumator– performance recruiting software.
- Desktime – find or share spaces for coworking.
- LiquidSpace – find daily or hourly office and meeting rentals.
- Alibaba – purchase whatever you need directly from the manufacturer.
- Shapeways – a 3D printing service and marketplace.
- Google My Business – “connects you directly with customers, whether they’re looking for you on Search, Maps or Google+.”
- Paul Graham’s Essays
- Steve Blank – Startup Tools.
- Startup Grind – Top Startup Events Worldwide.
- Kissmetrics: 101 Resources for First Time Entrepreneurs.
- Startup Weekend Resource List.