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DevDay 2013 - Building Startups and Minimum Viable Products

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DevDay (http://devday.pl), …

DevDay (http://devday.pl),
20th of September 2013, Kraków

Video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4eTOvq2WmM&feature=c4-overview-vl&list=PLBMFXMTB7U74NdDghygvBaDcp67owVUUF

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  • I have fun with startups
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/newyorkbaltimore/8010607852/sizes/k/in/photolist-dcSsCu/Taking everything you’ve heard this week and applying it to real businesses with the aim of making *money*
  • Stages of a startupBuild, measure, leanDon’t be scared to failDon’t be scared to kill it if it’s not workingBe public, be visible, talk to everyoneDon’t fail too early!
  • Meerkatalyst example Thought I understood customer problem. Problem I had personally while at 7digital, knew others had it, ran with it as a side project before joining Springboard startup accelerator
  • Ideas by themselves are worthless100% on executing the visionPrevious company tried to split attention across 4 company streams. It doesn’t work.Without a core desire, you’ve already lost the game
  • Ideas by themselves are worthless100% on executing the visionPrevious company tried to split attention across 4 company streams. It doesn’t work.Without a core desire, you’ve already lost the game
  • Transcript

    • 1. Building Startups & Minimum Viable Products @Ben_Hall Ben@BenHall.me.uk Cornershop.io Hacker in Residence and Partner at Cornershop / #1seed
    • 2. You talk about it, we ship it. #craftsmanship @Ben_Hall Ben@BenHall.me.uk Cornershop.io Hacker in Residence and Partner at Cornershop / #1seed
    • 3. Let’s make some money #craftsmanshipisdead @Ben_Hall Ben@BenHall.me.uk Cornershop.io Hacker in Residence and Partner at Cornershop / #1seed
    • 4. Who am I? • Hacker in Residence at Cornershop / #1seed – Meerkatalyst / MaydayHQ (Co-founder) – Swapit (Lead Dev / CTO) – 7digital – Red Gate Software • Multiple open source and side projects • @Ben_Hall or Ben@BenHall.me.uk
    • 5. Agenda Idea Build Release
    • 6. How I see the world With a bit of a rant and various lessons learned along the way
    • 7. Startup Mindset
    • 8. Validate / Invalidate a concept as fast as possible
    • 9. “Lean” Build Learn Measure
    • 10. Not about being cheap Lessons learned
    • 11. It’s good to fail, as long as you fail fast
    • 12. But not so fast that it’s impossible to succeed
    • 13. What is a startup? A company that is confused about 1) what its product is 2) who its customers are 3) how to make money
    • 14. Validating The Idea
    • 15. What happens if you don’t have an idea? Find a space, theme, problem that you personally find interesting
    • 16. Betaworks, Science Inc, Rocket Internet
    • 17. Without a core desire, you’ve already lost the game BELIEVE IN THE VISION
    • 18. People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it. http://www.flickr.com/photos/atomicpuppy/2132073976/
    • 19. Easier to go from shit to great than nothing to great.
    • 20. Going to Church (a punt) vs. Science (running a process) CORNERSHOP PROCESS
    • 21. Leave the building Understand potential customer acquisition approaches early
    • 22. Identify a Minimum Viable Customer Segment • • • • Influencers Users of competitor products Potential new users People in different verticals with similar business models • Understand industry, customer segments • Test different value props, identify which connects best
    • 23. Always discuss previous experiences. People are rubbish at predicting the future
    • 24. LISTEN TO USERS/CUSTOMERS NOT ADVISORS / VC. CUSTOMERS PAY.
    • 25. Iterate, update, log insights Go back to BMC and update. Keep previous copies for history.
    • 26. People seem interested? You’ll need a name & brand Naming is the hardest problem Can kill days and suck motivation
    • 27. Google Airbnb Spotify YouPorn Apple Ryanair
    • 28. KEEP TAGLINES SIMPLE BUT SAY WHAT YOU DO! DON’T SAY YOU’RE DISRUPTION OR INNOVATING LAME!!! Only others can say that http://insideintercom.io/what-everyoneneeds-to-know-about-disruption/
    • 29. CustDev can only get you so far At this point you should have a concept / vision clear in your own head
    • 30. The Build
    • 31. What is a MVP? • “An MVP is an experiment that tests a critical, falsifiable hypothesis of your business” Devin Hunt https://speakerdeck.com/devinhunt/mvps-in-practice
    • 32. Fake it until you make it
    • 33. Lesson learned from Rate it Slate it Prototyped Functionality Took 2-3 hours to go from a concept to learning valuable insights
    • 34. Avoid writing code if you can • Email / blog first startups are cool!! • Sunrise (Just raised $2.2m, started as morning email of your day’s schedule each day) • Mattermark
    • 35. Speed of delivery is key • • • • Beg, steal, borrow – just get it done! Ability to learn Should be based around your vision Lesson from “Project X”: Took too long to release because the aim wasn’t to learn about customers but make money. Missed a number of (commercial) opportunities. Failing? Likely.
    • 36. Don’t reinvent the wheel TOO MANY FUN THINGS IN LIFE TO WRITE BORING CODE
    • 37. Do you need a full application? WebFlow.com / strikingly.com
    • 38. Fake it? • Proto.io
    • 39. Really need to build… • Foundation over bootstrap etc • KISS!! Do you really need EmberJS, Backbone etc etc etc?
    • 40. Build on the shoulders of giants Community NodeJS  *AMAZING* ElasticSearch  *AMAZING* 4SQ API, Screen scraping, hidden APIs – whatever is required to get the job done. KEEP IT SIMPLE. KEEP IT DIRTY.
    • 41. Low traffic, dyno is paused. First user needs to spin it up. Keep alive script A WORD OF WARNING ABOUT HEROKU
    • 42. Paul Stack rocked my world – Vagrant + Rackspace Cloud / AWS EC2
    • 43. Cult of the Software Craftsman • Code Quality is not a feature! • Do you really need 80% test coverage? What value is that actually adding? • Do you really need that abstraction? That IoC? That level of separation? That ability to scale? • Is that really going to change your world?
    • 44. BULLSH*T
    • 45. WHO CARES ABOUT CLEAN CODE IF THERE ARE NO SALES!
    • 46. IF DEVELOPERS WERE IMPACTED BY REVENUE THEN THEY WOULDN’T SPEND 10 DAYS WRITING CLEAN CODE
    • 47. Write tests / code / shell scripts to speed up feedback loop – not about long-term. STOPPED DOING TDD A LONG TIME AGO
    • 48. DON’T BE AFFAIRD TO THROW CODE AWAY
    • 49. Building a startup? Don’t turn into a developer! • This isn’t an exercise in learning new technologies. • It’s an exercise in building businesses • Don’t confuse the two.
    • 50. Lesson learned from Meerkatalyst Built an over complex system when a shell script would have done
    • 51. Lesson learned from Mayday Stopped the MVP, started scaling (technical backend), didn’t have product/market fit. Massive Fail
    • 52. Do things that move the needle What are you trying to learn? What value are you adding?
    • 53. The Release
    • 54. Job done! If you build it they will come Must be true, Hollywood said so
    • 55. Customers Metrics Application TIME TO LISTEN
    • 56. Metrics • Collect everything • Visualise key data • Have key metrics that you want to track
    • 57. Librato Librato - Pretty
    • 58. Track User Events / Actions Your own database is most valuable source. Use it!
    • 59. Metrics became the tests • Ensure the system is working as expected • Alerts when the system stopped working outside of normal bounds
    • 60. Pirate Metrics - AARRR
    • 61. Drive Traffic • • • • PR (Hacker News, Techcrunch, The Next Web) Buy traffic (PPC) Social Media Email still king • Piggyback off others – Paypal > Ebay – Airbnb > Craigslist
    • 62. Speak to people using the product • Red Gate UX team • Watch, Listen, Learn • Introduce explicit touch points in the application for reaching out – Rate it Slate it inbox beta list • Do people want the feature? • Can we build a email list of people who are actively engaging with the product
    • 63. Quickly qualify a lead & call
    • 64. A/B Tests? • Waste of time at the early stage. • Complex to configure, not enough traffic to make them statistically significant. – Mayday A/B tests • Took ages to get data, could have just asked people
    • 65. Finally…
    • 66. Start with something, iterate. Have a vision, a goal, a desire and execute on it.
    • 67. Value Driven Development Do things that people care about!
    • 68. Get feedback. Not working? Change it. Kill it. Move on. Building startups people care about is amazing! Working on ones no-one cares about is sole destroying.
    • 69. @Ben_Hall Ben@BenHall.me.uk Blog.BenHall.me.uk Cornershop.io