"Five Ways to Kill an e-Commerce Startup," 500 Startups > > Sean Percival [COMMERCISM 2014]
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"Five Ways to Kill an e-Commerce Startup," 500 Startups > > Sean Percival [COMMERCISM 2014]

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BETTER DEAD THAN RED: FIVE WAYS TO KILL AN E-COMMERCE STARTUP, Sean Percival, Venture Partner, 500 Startups

BETTER DEAD THAN RED: FIVE WAYS TO KILL AN E-COMMERCE STARTUP, Sean Percival, Venture Partner, 500 Startups

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"Five Ways to Kill an e-Commerce Startup," 500 Startups > > Sean Percival [COMMERCISM 2014] Presentation Transcript

  • 1. BETTER DEAD THAN RED: FIVE WAYS TO KILL AN E-COMMERCE STARTUP SEAN PERCIVAL VENTURE PARTNER – 500 STARTUPS
  • 2. 1) Passion Outstrips Experience Pro tips: • Constantly be hiring smarter people than you • Know your arrogance is going to be expensive • Get some serious industry BFFs
  • 3. 2) Shipping Fail Order Placed Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Customer Happiness/Patience Over Time ---Happiness--- Stoked Concerned Pissed You Ruined Christmas Happy Out for blood We both said things we didn’t mean
  • 4. 2) Shipping Fail Pro tips: • Go to a 3PL ASAP • Fight with your vendors more • Set good expectations with customers • Worth discounting when you screw up
  • 5. 3) Margins You Can’t Fix Pro tips: • Test upfront (then test more) • Avoid discounting • Make the tough price switches early • Find secret unsexy revenue
  • 6. 4) Fundraising Screw-ups Pro tips: • Ecom words to never use with a VC: • Subscription commerce (or the trend of the moment)! • Lifestyle brand! • Curated artisanal experience! • Celebrity endorsement! • It’s Pinterest for…..! • Never go out in Q4 • Know your numbers
  • 7. 5) You Suck at Marketing Pro tips: • You have try 10 things to get 1 that works • Learn to ankle bite the big dogs well • Assume 100% of sales come on a 2nd visit
  • 8. …and if that all fails? Thank you.