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101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
101 Lessons Learned for Startups
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101 Lessons Learned for Startups

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A collection of my real-life experience of running startups. Hope others can find this useful.

A collection of my real-life experience of running startups. Hope others can find this useful.

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  • Transcript

    • 1. 101<br />Lessons Learned<br />for<br />Startups<br />Andy Harjanto<br />
    • 2. Collected from others’ and my<br />experience as running startups <br />
    • 3. More details, please visit<br />Shift Happens Blog<br />http://www.andyharjanto.com<br />
    • 4. Why listening to me? <br />I’m just one of you<br />Not a startup celebrity, <br />Nor a superstar genius<br />
    • 5. Building astartup today<br />is not the same as <br />building it a decade ago<br />Shift Happens<br />
    • 6. Down Trend <br />Time to Market<br />Development Cost<br />Capital Expenditure <br />Distribution Cost<br />Fund Size<br />Better Tools<br />Cloud Computing<br />Modern Programming<br />Social Media<br />
    • 7. Up Trend <br />Market Size<br />Competition<br />Noise Level<br />Impatience<br />Globalization<br />Social Media<br />Easier Barrier to Entry<br />
    • 8. Lessons Learned Topics <br />we’ll be discussing<br />
    • 9. Most of topics discussed<br />are also applicable <br />to “startup” teams <br />inside a company<br />
    • 10. Thinking Starting up? <br />
    • 11. 1<br />Do you have what it takes? <br />http://bit.ly/5dGJFb<br />to be a good<br />Entrepreneur<br />Risk Taker<br />Competitive<br />Resilience <br />Tenacity<br />
    • 12. 2<br />Prepare to unlearn<br />what you’ve learned<br />2010s Startups have to do<br />many things backward and<br />unconventional<br />more later…<br />
    • 13. 3<br />Your “killer” idea is just a hypothesis <br />Talk to potential customers, friends,<br />family without writing a single code<br />
    • 14. 4<br />No need to perfect your idea<br />It’s almost a guarantee to change<br />
    • 15. 5<br />Careful for creating a new market<br />Less competition, <br />yes, but…<br />It’s a lot longer <br />to create <br />than you think <br />
    • 16. 6<br />Some games are in town really over. Don’t compete<br />Let the big boys play<br />
    • 17. 7<br />Ride the wave, <br />Be the first<br />You have millions<br />of potential usersfrom day one<br />Facebook Apps<br />Twitter Based Services/Tools<br />
    • 18. 8<br />At the end of the day, does your product solve problem?<br />Remember, <br />just cool won’t cut it <br />Can you retain users?<br />
    • 19. 9<br />A 5 year business plan? How about 5 day operating plan?<br />Startup is operating<br />under extreme uncertainty<br />
    • 20. 10<br />Targeting Consumer Market..<br />..seems so binary<br />More often than not, you have to be BIG fast <br />(millions of users) in order to succeed<br />OR Go Home<br />
    • 21. 11<br />Targeting Business Market<br />…be prepared for long cycles<br />Work with channel partners, sales, <br />build relationship.<br />
    • 22. 12<br />Your Plan: Getting revenue from advertising… Think again<br />Unless you’re to top 5 sites<br />in your market, you’re <br />almost nobody<br />
    • 23. 13<br />Overnight success is a myth<br />Build a long runway<br />Media loves <br />overnight <br />success stories<br />All you heard is, <br />6 month start; 1 million users <br />
    • 24. 14<br />Don’t sweat over your <br />competitors<br />They could be even <br />more clueless than <br />you are<br />
    • 25. 15<br />Going against entrenched players? <br />They resist to change <br />Provide a product that solves<br />problems in a different, <br />better way. <br />
    • 26. 16<br />Be wary of a small number of <br />competitors in your market <br />It’s either you’re genius <br />OR there is no market<br />
    • 27. 17<br />Sadly, luck plays roles in your startup success too<br />Your product is ahead of its time<br />Celebrities love your product<br />It’s the economy, stupid<br />
    • 28. 18<br />Gauge market interest first via <br />Social Media<br />Don’t worry about someone <br />stealing your ideas<br />
    • 29. 19<br />Be prepared for extreme rollercoaster emotional rides <br />Low of the lows<br />High of the highs<br />
    • 30. 20<br />Be prepared for rejection after rejection<br />No one cares about your startup<br />Persistenceis <br />the key<br />
    • 31. 21<br />Just Do-It, you’re ahead of<br />99% of people<br />Too many people just talk <br />with zero action<br />
    • 32. Money Matters<br />
    • 33. 22<br />If you start a startup to get rich, you’re in the wrong business<br />Only few will make it “big”<br />Change The World<br />Challenges<br />Solves Problems<br />Independence<br />
    • 34. 23<br />Startup is a very high risk business <br />It does not make<br />sense from <br />financial<br />perspective<br />Many ways to minimize the risk <br />
    • 35. 24<br />Be prepared for at least 18 months without pay & benefits <br />Don’t jump<br />before<br />you’re sure<br />Too many jump and abandon<br />before fully developed<br />
    • 36. 25<br />Always operate under assumption of no investors<br />Got change for<br />my startup?<br />
    • 37. 26<br />More than anything else, <br />tractions are what investors looking for<br />Traffic<br />Number of users<br />Number of subscriptions<br />Can business scale?<br />Growth<br />Retention Rate<br />
    • 38. 27<br />Knowing when to fold<br />More of art than science<br />Gut Feeling will tell you<br />Measuring your tractions is a good indicator<br />
    • 39. 28<br />In many countries, government grants are plenty for startups<br />Governments encourage<br />high tech companies to <br />have presents locally, create<br />local jobs, and national<br />pride<br />
    • 40. 29<br />Your passionate user are sometimes your best investors<br />
    • 41. 30<br />Watch your burn rate very carefully. You’re on diet<br />No Physical Office<br />Skype (Free)<br />Free Email, Docs<br />FreeSoftware<br />Open Source<br />Ramen profitability<br />
    • 42. 31<br />Less money gives you sense<br />urgency and boosts creativity <br />It’s amazing to see how human<br /> survival instinct kicks in<br />
    • 43. 32<br />Charge for the service <br />from day 1 is not a bad strategy<br />You’ll get <br />very passionate customers<br />who believe in your product <br />
    • 44. 33<br />Spend generously on tools, books, chance to network. <br />Your ROI is excellence<br />
    • 45. 34<br />Don’t optimize your product<br />For VC<br />VC: <br />How big is the market size? <br />Superstar developers? <br />At the end of the day, <br />tractionmatters the most <br />
    • 46. 35<br />Get into partner programs<br />with the big guys <br />Many offer free software <br />and services<br />
    • 47. Building A Team <br />
    • 48. 36<br />Find a great co-founder<br />Share the same values<br />Compliment skills<br />Check and balances<br />
    • 49. 37<br />1st Stage: Hire Designer and Community Manager, instead<br />This could also be You<br />Gauge Market Interest<br />Ideas Validation<br />Quick Prototypes<br />
    • 50. 38<br />2nd Stage: Hire Great Developers, Testers<br />This could also be You<br />Knows Scalability<br />Supportability<br />Quality Code<br />Security<br />
    • 51. 39<br />Hire for Culture Fit & Passionate<br />Set min-bar for Intelligent <br />Gauge Market Interest<br />Interview Process: <br />Make the candidate as if<br />an employee for a day<br />Ideas Validation<br />
    • 52. 40<br />Hire temp, consultants to keep<br />burn rate low<br />Gauge Market Interest<br />Channel Partners<br />Product Videos<br />Marketing materials<br />
    • 53. 41<br />A very short daily meeting is much<br />better than a long weekly meeting<br />Human needs <br />constant reminder<br />of progress, accomplishment<br />and togetherness<br />
    • 54. 42<br />Run effective meetingin<br />22 minutes<br />http://bit.ly/caXq6h<br />
    • 55. 43<br />Don’t grow fast, until you<br />get to the product-fit phase<br />Gauge Market Interest<br />Keep in in quick tight cycles of <br />build, validate, learn<br />
    • 56. 44<br />666 is the number to avoid<br />In a given startup project, nomore than <br />6people<br />6months<br />6day a week<br />
    • 57. 45<br />Everyone should be CEO of<br />something<br />Promote a culture of <br />Veni, Vidi, Vici<br />I saw the problem<br />I own the problem<br />I solve the problem<br />
    • 58. 46<br />Be decisive; majority of decisions are irreversible<br />Heard on the street: <br />“An hour meeting with 7 people <br />to decide one API change<br />What a waste!”<br />
    • 59. 47<br />External dependencies are kiss of death for startups<br />They’re not moving <br />at the same speed<br />Reorg does happen<br />They can easily out-live you<br />
    • 60. 48<br />Run your team on POT<br />(progress, ownership, transparency)<br />http://bit.ly/6XT3NG<br />
    • 61. Designing Product <br />
    • 62. 49<br />Why building an awesome product no body wants?<br />“Build it, they may notcome”<br />Talk to customers, <br />before writing a single code<br />
    • 63. 50<br />Fail-Fast; and<br />Get Traction-Fast<br />Really means Fail-Fast on bad ideas<br />It does not mean abandoning project too <br />quickly<br />
    • 64. 51<br />Quick build, validate, measure and learn. <br />It’s in our engineer DNA that we<br />like to build a perfect system<br />In an early stage, <br />Resist to be perfect<br />
    • 65. 52<br />Can you tell the difference:<br />Progress vs. Wasted Progress?<br />Run tight, <br />small loops of<br />Ideas (Hypothesis), <br />Validate/Measure and<br />Build<br />
    • 66. 53<br />Don’t just accumulate work done without measuring<br />Measurement will give you <br />feedbackto continue path, or to<br />change direction <br />Retention Rate<br />User Traffic<br />Bounce Rate<br />User Happiness<br />Conversion Rate<br />
    • 67. 54<br />It’s OK to write messy codes<br />during validation process<br />
    • 68. 55<br />Your spec should be UI<br />prototypes<br />Written spec is easily <br />obsolete <br />The cost of writing,<br />maintaining<br />UI prototype is minimal <br />and fun<br />
    • 69. 56<br />Suppress many of your ideas<br />It’s not a feature to feature<br />competition<br />It’s who solves <br />the problems the best<br />
    • 70. 57<br />Just build it now and fast. <br />No need for optimization yet.<br />Your code will likely<br />be a throw away<br />as you gather feedback<br />
    • 71. 58<br />Concentrate on core scenarios<br />Make it great!<br />No place for mediocrity <br />People either love it <br />Or hate it!<br />
    • 72. 59<br />Ignore your 10% cases.<br />That will take 90% of your energy<br />
    • 73. 60<br />Eat your own dog food daily<br />Use your own product<br />regularly<br />In the early phase, <br />It’s better than hiring <br />a full-time tester <br />
    • 74. 61<br />Boost virality, make sharing a click a way<br />People love to share<br />
    • 75. 62<br />Boost retention rate.<br />Human is a curios being <br />Add a few analytics, news<br />about themselves and friends<br />e.g.“your doc has<br />been viewed 5 times”<br />
    • 76. 63<br />Boost retention rate.<br />Human craves for attentions<br />RIM (Blackberry), Twitter, Facebook do this perfectly<br />They make users addicted to their product, by telling<br />them – “You’re important”<br />
    • 77. 64<br />Minimize Frictions<br />Users are “very lazy” nowadays<br />One click<br />One minute setup<br />No installation<br />
    • 78. 65<br />Don’t give user options<br />Set appropriate default<br />They have enough<br />other things to<br />worry<br />
    • 79. 66<br />Ship your product with a minimum feature set<br />Enough to showcase<br />Your core scenarios<br />Add features<br />later after<br />after undisputable<br />feedback<br />
    • 80. 67<br />After iterations, often ask what features to drop, instead of add <br />Remember, your ideas are just<br />a hypothesis; willing to let go<br />Pivot on your core beliefs, and<br />go to other directions appropriately<br />
    • 81. 68<br />What Microsoft, Google, Apple can’t afford, but you can? <br />They can’t ship a crappy product,<br />even for their beta<br />They have reputation to maintain, <br />You don’t!<br />Use it to run <br />a tight feedback loop to<br />improve your product<br />
    • 82. 69<br />Without instant gratification<br />Users drop like a fly<br />First 60 second experience is critical <br />I saw dead users leaving<br />
    • 83. 70<br />Create a product that 10x<br />better<br />Dare to be different<br />Stand up and get noticed<br />The world is a very noisyplace<br />(and getting worse by day…) <br />
    • 84. 71<br />Collect less, better privacy,<br />security. <br />Many analytics tools are good<br />enough to measure user behavior<br />
    • 85. 72<br />Don’t put any features, concepts that you can’t explain in 15 secs<br />Does your product <br />ship with you? <br />Don’t make<br />user think<br />
    • 86. 73<br />Reach Product-Market Fit Phase. Celebrate, Work Harder.<br />40%<br />will be upset <br />If your service discontinues<br />
    • 87. 74<br />Watch out for your<br />site performance<br />Users have no patience <br />for sluggish sites<br />
    • 88. 75<br />Do a side project/experiment.<br />Minimize your risk<br />Many side projects <br />made it big <br />
    • 89. 76<br />Use Cloud Computing<br />Let’s not be IT guys<br />Let’s focus on building<br />great product<br />Sleep better at night<br />
    • 90. 77<br />Building a new walled garden,<br />community is really, really hard<br />Piggy back existing ones<br />facebook<br />linked-in<br />twitter<br />
    • 91. Customers, Where r u?<br />
    • 92. 78<br />Never too early to start your <br />marketing campaign<br />How about Day 1?<br />Or even 90 days before<br />valuable contents<br />quality<br />comments<br />
    • 93. 79<br />Show the world what you’re <br />doing. Stealth Mode is counter intuitive. <br />No need for private beta<br />Are you worried someone<br />stealing your ideas?<br />Really?<br />Are you building<br />space shuttle?<br />
    • 94. 80<br />There is no such thing is product launching for startups<br />Continuous <br />improvement<br />Unless you’re Apple.<br />
    • 95. 81<br />Approaching Press. Do you have unique, interesting stories?<br />They’re not your writers<br />Build a human <br />connection first<br />
    • 96. 82<br />Don’t have good retention rate,<br />Don’t go to press yet!<br />News<br />published<br />Traffic<br />Wasted<br />
    • 97. 83<br />Most effective way to acquire customers? Your passionate customers<br />Good news, travel fast and far<br />
    • 98. 84<br />Save your money on press releases. Ineffective.<br />Different countries, however, it could be different stories<br />
    • 99. 85<br />SEO, Social Media takes time to develop<br />Millions of others <br />are doing it; <br />how you stand out?<br />
    • 100. 86<br />Viral is not a strategy<br />People are immune. Mutate! <br />Unless your<br />Product is <br />irresistibly good<br />
    • 101. 87<br />Simple pricing is almost always better than complex one<br />Have 1-3 pricing<br />options as opposed <br />to complex pricing<br />choices.<br />Customers want predictable costs,<br />not many options <br />
    • 102. Going Global<br />
    • 103. 88<br />US is a crowded place. <br />Go play outside<br />Less competitors<br />Growing market<br />Of course, there is a catch…<br />
    • 104. 89<br />Partner locally. Remote management is an illusion<br />Close, personal relations<br />often are prerequisite <br />outside US<br />
    • 105. 90<br />Global team communication <br />is easy. Culture fit is hard<br />
    • 106. 91<br />In many countries, social status is more important<br />…than your product itself. <br />“Your product sucks,<br />But X uses it, so I use it”<br />
    • 107. 92<br />One size does not fit all<br />Package your product <br />differently in <br />other countries<br />based on market<br />demand<br />
    • 108. Miscellaneous<br />
    • 109. 93<br />Nice guy finishes first<br />… in the long run<br />
    • 110. 94<br />Admit mistakes, start from the top. We’re all learning<br />
    • 111. 95<br />Set expectation to team<br />Changes are constant<br />We’re a startup<br />not a manufacturer <br />
    • 112. 96<br />You’ll be surprised, many people<br />are routing for small guys<br />Many offer <br />a helping hand<br />
    • 113. 97<br />Whom Microsoft, Google, Apple should be worried?<br />You<br />They may have the muscles, but you can run faster<br />Few of youwill be the next them<br />
    • 114. 98<br />Startup is not a job<br />It’s a life style. It’s drive and <br />passion to change the world <br />with little financial reward.<br />Yes, few made it very big<br />Yes, it has been known that startup entrepreneurs have genetic defects <br />
    • 115. 99<br />It’s a growing pain experience with big personal rewards<br />
    • 116. 100<br />Subscribe to these excellent blogs, vlogs, podcasts<br /><ul><li>Paul Graham http://bit.ly/pgqy8
    • 117. Steve Blank http://bit.ly/juvQr
    • 118. Venture Hacks http://bit.ly/1BOE8x
    • 119. Both Side of Table http://bit.ly/EsjT7
    • 120. Mixergyhttp://bit.ly/rgDKP</li></li></ul><li>101<br />It’s a blank canvas… <br />What are you waiting for!<br />
    • 121. For more presentationslike this….<br />Please visit: <br />http://www.slideshare.net/Guppers/presentations<br />
    • 122. Contact me <br />mailto:andy@gestone.com<br />

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