Agile Mindset for Your Startup: From Vision to Viability

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This is the presentation Jeffrey Beir & I gave at Harvard Innovation Lab on 7/23/2013.

You’ve got a big idea addressing a huge market opportunity - should be no problem getting financed and building a successful company. But that’s not how real companies get built. In the engineering world, agile has replaced traditional waterfall methodologies because it lowers risk, improves predictability and allows for mid-course correction. The same applies when thinking about how you build your business.

Abby and Jeffrey will present a framework for building your business with an agile mindset and explain why most companies should be built this way...

Published in: Business, Economy & Finance

Agile Mindset for Your Startup: From Vision to Viability

  1. 1. Vision to Viability Agile Mindset for your Startup Abby Fichtner @HackerChick Harvard Innovation Lab Jeffrey Beir @jbeir seed2A
  2. 2. @jbeir | @HackerChick@jbeir | @HackerChick@jbeir | @HackerChick
  3. 3. Startup Stage? Idea Plan/Prototype Building Product in Market
  4. 4. Some startups get stuck in the mud • Too big, or too small of an idea • All product, no customer • Surprised by external events • Assuming a straight line • Running out of money
  5. 5. 9 out of 10 New Products FAIL
  6. 6. @jbeir | @HackerChick Single Biggest Predictor of Failure?
  7. 7. @jbeir | @HackerChick Single Biggest Predictor of Failure? Sticking to Initial Business Plan
  8. 8. @jbeir | @HackerChick@jbeir | @HackerChick
  9. 9. We DON’T Have All the Answers! What should we DO About it?
  10. 10. Defer Decisions Deliver Fast AGILE Mindset Iterate Learn Eliminate Waste
  11. 11. Agile Mindset: Vision to Viability Vision Focus Risks Flexibility Sequence Value
  12. 12. VISION
  13. 13. @jbeir | @HackerChick
  14. 14. @jbeir | @HackerChick
  15. 15. @jbeir | @HackerChick@jbeir | @HackerChick “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible & useful”
  16. 16. @jbeir | @HackerChick@jbeir | @HackerChick “To be the earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
  17. 17. @jbeir | @HackerChick@jbeir | @HackerChick “To be the pulse of the planet”
  18. 18. @jbeir | @HackerChick
  19. 19. @jbeir | @HackerChick
  20. 20. @jbeir | @HackerChick
  21. 21. What’s Your Big Vision?
  22. 22. FOCUS
  23. 23. GoBig VISION
  24. 24. GoBig VISION
  25. 25. @jbeir | @HackerChick
  26. 26. GoBig GO SMALL (dominate Small Market) VISION
  27. 27. Minimal Viable Company Financeable - oR – Self-Sustaining
  28. 28. What’s Your MVC?
  29. 29. RISKS
  30. 30. Sources of Risk IP Competitors Customers Suppliers Employees Technology Legislation
  31. 31. What’ Risks Are you Taking?
  32. 32. VALUE
  33. 33. How can I demonstrate value? Progress towards vision User traction Product/technology Not the Kitchen Sink Revenue
  34. 34. @jbeir | @HackerChick
  35. 35. @jbeir | @HackerChick @ashmaurya, Running Lean
  36. 36. @jbeir | @HackerChick @ashmaurya, Running Lean
  37. 37. What’s Your Most Important Metric & What are you doing to move it?
  38. 38. SEQUENCE
  39. 39. Riskiest Assumptions? Can I Build It? Can I Get People to Know About it? Can I Make Money from It?
  40. 40. Can I Make Money from It? Riskiest Assumptions? Can I Build It? Can I Get People to Know About it?
  41. 41. Milestone- Driven Development
  42. 42. MDD Logical milestones that achieve certain proof points, and allow to you raise capital, (ideally at an increased valuation).
  43. 43. MDD Start with your MVC • What (will I prove)? • How (will I prove it)? • When (and how much)?
  44. 44. @jbeir | @HackerChick Half done on all elements isn’t financeable
  45. 45. @jbeir | @HackerChick Prove something
  46. 46. Flexibility
  47. 47. Set interim milestones Plan for rework Build in Flexibility Build the bare minimum Test early and often Add cushion
  48. 48. Agile Mindset: Vision to Viability Vision Focus Risks Flexibility Sequence Value
  49. 49. But will I get financed?
  50. 50. How do I protect my downside? What proof do you have that it will work? You should be able to answer these questions Why is this a big opportunity? How can I write a small check so I can see some proof? what will you do next and how much more capital will you need? What can go wrong?
  51. 51. Agile Mindset: Vision to Viability Vision Focus Risks Flexibility Sequence Value
  52. 52. Jeffrey Beir, seed2A @jbeir | seed2a.com Abby Fichtner, i-lab @HackerChick | HackerChick.com

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