50 things to do in a startup as an intern

Preparing your CV for a startup is like pruning your resume for any other corporation – except this time your imagination, ability to ship and appreciation of building companies and products are the things that count.
As the application time for Startup Life summer 2012 is drawing to it’s end we encourage everyone to revisit their portfolios and check the following:
>> Have you included projects you’ve built, either technical or non-technical? GPAs or resumes don’t tell much, outside of school projects, clubs and activities much more. If you want to know more about building side-projects, check the following post
>> Can the reader understand the essence in less than a minute? Startups are in a hurry, so lengthy cover letters are not needed. Respect peoples time.
Want to put an extra spin to your application? Try building something small for your favourite. Inspiration from the intern guidebook that you can skim through on top of the post or download here.
50 things to do in a startup
Fun projects to add? For sure! Comment below or send us your ideas at team@startuplife.in

  • Make a list of 50 most promising journalists in the field of your startup. For general leads, check https://goo.gl/veIQ8
  • Find 50 most influential future users and contact them.
  • Business students – learn basics of HTML and CSS.
  • Start compiling a FAQ site of the product.
  • Make screencasts of the new features of the product.
  • Write an interview of an existing customer. Take a look at how 37Signals does it: productblog.37signals.com
  • Make custom 404 pages. Or five. Inspiration from Github: https://github.com/404
  • Analytics. Dive deep into the numbers. Present what you learned!
  • Organize a Friday evening beers & pizza session for the startup.
  • Document the company culture (photos, examples) and make a slideshow. Upload it to Slideshare.
  • Learn to take product shots. Check out Etsy’s guide: https://goo.gl/5FGQl
  • Plan and take press pictures of all founders.
  • Write a 100, 300 and a 1000 word decsription of your startup in english and finnish.
  • Collect related blogposts that are worth benchmarking.
  • Compile a presskit for your startup. Check out https://goo.gl/4jU7i and https://goo.gl/piBmZ
  • Paper prototype a new interface and try it out to at least 100 customers. Write three actionable items you learned.
  • Do the same with Balsamiq or Mockingbird.
  • Organize an open hackday for all the local developers.
  • Organize a community micro-event for the users.
  • Create a template for a newsletter.
  • Make video-interviews of the founders & employees.
  • Learn typography.
  • Try A/B testing something with the website.
  • Clean the pitchdecks. Inspiration from venturehacks.com and noteandpoint.com
  • Find competitors.
  • Plan a viral marketing campaign, measure the results.
  • Find the coolest hackers and projects related to your startup from GitHub.
  • Find the most interesting designers from Dribbble and see if they do contract work.
  • Build an internal dashboard a la Panic board https://goo.gl/AHDX
  • Do customer support for a day, whatever your main job is. Engage and ask a lot of questions.
  • Put together a lead generation document.
  • Update all the support documents.
  • Learn to handle Google AdWords, banner advertising, text advertising etc.
  • Research potential partners APIs and terms of service.
  • Hack the officespace. Make it something like Zappos or 37Signals https://goo.gl/gks8N
  • Plan a Jobs-section. Make your startup sound cooler than anyone else.
  • Watch at least 10 customers use your product. Communicate your learnings.
  • Retweet relevant Twitter-posts and schedule updates. Gather favourites!
  • Scan and organize or those papers.
  • Learn scrum.
  • Design stickers and t-shirts.
  • Make a cheeky robots.txt file. Check out flickr.com/humans.txt and google.com/humans.txt
  • Benchmark the best internal communication solutions: Hipchat, Flowdock, Yammer, Basecamp, Google Sites etc.
  • Try out Reinvigorate, Get Satisfaction, UserVoice, Geckoboard and other hip startup tools
  • Shadow a user for a day to see where the pain points are.
  • Survey people who returned the product or took a trial and didn’t continue.
  • Digg deep into Quora, Digg, Reddit, Twitter. Identify super-users, twitter-lists, Facebook groups.
  • Write a blogpost on your learning experiences.
  • Make an internal Spotify list.
  • Make a company blog (check out wordpress.com for hosted or tumblr.com or posterous.com).
  • Plan a company summer party. Execute some crazy vision with zero-budget!
Author of this post