Jon Crawford: Entrepreneurship on Rails

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4 (of the many) keys to Web Entrepreneurship

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http://joncrawford.com
http://www.storenvy.com

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  • Jon Crawford: Entrepreneurship on Rails

    1. 1. WEB ENTREPRENEURSHIP: HOW I'VE MADE IT WORK Jon Crawford KCRUG • May 12th, 2009
    2. 2. INTRO • Not my definitive guide to Web Entrepreneurship. • Don't have experience in B2B or quot;enterprisequot;-grade companies. • Thisis a talk for people who want to start their own business instead of working somewhere or contracting. • Will try to keep know-it-allism and boasting in check. (No promises!)
    3. 3. BACKGROUND • Business/Marketing degree from KU. • Some basic graphic design skills from making newspaper ads for the KU newspaper, but not a career. • No web dev knowledge until 2005. • “What’s a <br/> tag?”
    4. 4. DEEPTHOUGHT DESIGN • Focused on good design and custom-made CMS systems for small business. • In business for 2 years • Lots of CMS-based websites.
    5. 5. HATED CONTRACTING • Did a few months of contracting and couldn’t stand it. • Running a business vs. building HTML eblasts. • Fulfilling your dreams vs. someone else’s dreams. • Decided I needed to come up with an idea. Had several!
    6. 6. Scope creep like you wouldn’t believe.
    7. 7. TAKE THE PLUNGE • Had money in the bank and decided to go for it. • Stopped taking on work in April 1st ’08. • “Launched” August 1st ’08. • Break even from Day 1. Supporting three people full-time.
    8. 8. STORENVY • Still “pre-launch”. • Full launch this summer.
    9. 9. ENOUGH BACKGROUND!
    10. 10. JON CRAWFORD’S 4 KEYS TO WEB ENTREPRENEURSHIP
    11. 11. KEYS TO WEB ENTREPRENEURSHIP Have good taste.
    12. 12. KEYS TO WEB ENTREPRENEURSHIP Have good taste. Don’t have good taste? Get some!
    13. 13. KEYS TO WEB ENTREPRENEURSHIP Have good taste: Study •Visit CSS galleries. ex. http://cssremix.com/ •Look at logo galleries. •Dissect what makes the good, good. •Compare yourself! •Does our product belong among these sites?
    14. 14. KEYS TO WEB ENTREPRENEURSHIP Have good taste: Study • Use a Mac. Seriously.
    15. 15. KEYS TO WEB ENTREPRENEURSHIP Have good taste: Study •Listen to the RailsEnvy Podcast •http://ruby.alltop.com •RSS for A FreshCup •Follow leaders on Twitter - Developers & non-developers
    16. 16. KEYS TO WEB ENTREPRENEURSHIP Have good ideas.
    17. 17. KEYS TO WEB ENTREPRENEURSHIP Have good ideas. • Know what people actually want. • What apps are becoming successful? • What are the trends? • How should stuff work? • Compare your idea to these. Does it hold water?
    18. 18. KEYS TO WEB ENTREPRENEURSHIP Have good ideas. • How can you improve something that already exists? • If it doesn’t exist, there’s a reason for that.
    19. 19. KEYS TO WEB ENTREPRENEURSHIP Have good ideas. Get to the point where you know what “good” is and then don’t compromise.
    20. 20. KEYS TO WEB ENTREPRENEURSHIP Stop learning new stuff!
    21. 21. KEYS TO WEB ENTREPRENEURSHIP “Stop learning about web development and actually develop something!” — Jon Crawford
    22. 22. KEYS TO WEB ENTREPRENEURSHIP Stop learning new stuff! • Don’t read so many RSS feeds! • Don’t follow so many Twitter users! • Don’t explore and conquer every new technology that comes out! • If it won’t make you money, ignore it!
    23. 23. KEYS TO WEB ENTREPRENEURSHIP Stop learning new stuff! Stuff I’ve never learned: CouchDB
    24. 24. KEYS TO WEB ENTREPRENEURSHIP Stop learning new stuff! Stuff I’ve never learned: Any other database besides MySQL
    25. 25. KEYS TO WEB ENTREPRENEURSHIP Stop learning new stuff! Stuff I’ve never learned: Ruby (without Rails)
    26. 26. KEYS TO WEB ENTREPRENEURSHIP Stop learning new stuff! Stuff I’ve never learned: Test::Unit
    27. 27. KEYS TO WEB ENTREPRENEURSHIP Stop learning new stuff! Stuff I’ve never learned: jQuery
    28. 28. KEYS TO WEB ENTREPRENEURSHIP Stop learning new stuff! Stuff I’ve never learned: Unobtrusive Javascript
    29. 29. KEYS TO WEB ENTREPRENEURSHIP Stop learning new stuff! Stuff I’ve never learned: Ajax in Rails w/o RJS
    30. 30. KEYS TO WEB ENTREPRENEURSHIP Stop learning new stuff! Stuff I’ve never learned: Merb or any other framework
    31. 31. KEYS TO WEB ENTREPRENEURSHIP Stop learning new stuff! Find tools that simply solve the problem you’re currently facing. It’s only a problem if it’s preventing you from launching.
    32. 32. KEYS TO WEB ENTREPRENEURSHIP Get quality help.
    33. 33. KEYS TO WEB ENTREPRENEURSHIP Get quality help. • Let people know you’re looking for a good designer. • Be picky. • Hang around people more talented than you. • Consider an advisor.
    34. 34. KEYS TO WEB ENTREPRENEURSHIP Have good taste. Have good ideas. Stop learning so much. Get quality help.
    35. 35. KEYS TO WEB ENTREPRENEURSHIP What is success?
    36. 36. KEYS TO WEB ENTREPRENEURSHIP What is success? Don’t compare yourself to 37signals or Etsy. These are the outliers.
    37. 37. KEYS TO WEB ENTREPRENEURSHIP What is success? Success is being self-sustaining. Anything on top of that is gravy.
    38. 38. KEYS TO WEB ENTREPRENEURSHIP Questions?

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