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Product Development in a Startup Venture
 

Product Development in a Startup Venture

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Guest lecture given by Rahul Sharma at Stanford Technology Ventures Program (MSEE 273) in Oct 2013. This lecture gives an overview of product development in a new technology startup venture. The areas ...

Guest lecture given by Rahul Sharma at Stanford Technology Ventures Program (MSEE 273) in Oct 2013. This lecture gives an overview of product development in a new technology startup venture. The areas covered include--product, go-to-market and product market fit, process and execution, people and culture.

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    Product Development in a Startup Venture Product Development in a Startup Venture Presentation Transcript

    • Product Development in a Startup Venture Rahul Sharma rahuls@cal.berkeley.edu @rashrtwit Stanford Technology Ventures Program | MS&E 273 Technology Venture Formation
    • Product Development in a Startup Venture Product Go-to-market Users/ Customers Process and Execution People and Culture Stanford Technology Ventures Program | MS&E 273 Technology Venture Formation
    • What’s Different Now you are an entrepreneur… Unknowns and constraints Passion and conviction Skepticism and over-optimism Fast and hectic Feels like a roller coaster… and fun Stanford Technology Ventures Program | MS&E 273 Technology Venture Formation
    • Stages in a Startup Pre-seed Seed Funding Series A Series B Business Theoretical business model model Initial customer traction Proven go-tomarket model Focus areas Planning, Idea validation Product development Product market fit, Customer traction Scale revenue and customers Product Idea on paper or prototype Initial product Commercially launched product Revenue scaling product Team Founders with passion and conviction + no resources Founders, 2-3 engineers Founders, Scale on sales, Engineering team, marketing and Product mgmt, engineering teams Initial Sales and goto-market team Reference: http://workingwiththn.blogspot.com/ Stanford Technology Ventures Program | MS&E 273 Technology Venture Formation
    • Product Definition What we will build? Inputs into product definition: • • • • • • Vision and idea Alignment with go-to-market Voice of customers and users Unique and differentiated Must have tablestakes What is possible given time and resources Not a one-time decision Be agile and iterative-incremental on product Stanford Technology Ventures Program | MS&E 273 Technology Venture Formation
    • Product What to build? • What not to build is an equally important decision • Align the product with business objectives: Build only necessaryand-sufficient product to meet the objectives: – Seed phase: Customer input and validation on compelling use cases – Series A phase: Product market fit, usage, referenceable customers • Avoid falling into these traps: x x x x Keep building and they will come Just a few more features will turn-around the customer Build one-offs or features for a small sample set of customers Let’s just pivot… yet again Stanford Technology Ventures Program | MS&E 273 Technology Venture Formation
    • Getting to Product Market Fit Target compelling use cases Track measurable business metrics Drive usage from users and customers Get paying and referenceable customers Get tangible validation of repeatable go-to-market model Stanford Technology Ventures Program | MS&E 273 Technology Venture Formation
    • Process: How to build? Choose what applies best to your product and people: • Lean startup and Minimal Viable Product (MVP); experiment, pivot and persevere; build->measure->learn cycle • Agile development with sprints, scrums and releases • Even waterfall makes business sense in some cases Be pragmatic and agile There is no one process to fit all cases Stanford Technology Ventures Program | MS&E 273 Technology Venture Formation
    • People and Team • Core team is the most critical • Build the team with the best from your own network • Define and plan team structure, growth, roles and responsibilities • Scalability of team a must but over-hiring is not a solution: Optimize team size • Offshoring and outsourcing Stanford Technology Ventures Program | MS&E 273 Technology Venture Formation
    • Offshoring and Out-sourcing Ensure critical mass for the team Identify functional areas that can be outsourced: testing, product support Contract manufacturing Trade-off between cost benefit and product execution Stanford Technology Ventures Program | MS&E 273 Technology Venture Formation
    • Building product the right way Technology and Architecture • • • • • Use cases and requirements Architecture and design principles Foundational tenets System architecture and design Choices on platform, infrastructure, frameworks and programming languages • Patents and IP Stanford Technology Ventures Program | MS&E 273 Technology Venture Formation
    • Execution • Startups cannot afford long multi-year product development cycles • Agility on execution a must • Release cadence: fast incremental and iterative product cycles • Product early and often to customers and users Stanford Technology Ventures Program | MS&E 273 Technology Venture Formation
    • Financial Plan and Resources Plan, budget and track: – Headcount – Development tools and services – Hardware equipment – OPEX: cloud services – Licensing of 3rd party software components integrated into product – Open source components Stanford Technology Ventures Program | MS&E 273 Technology Venture Formation
    • Innovation and Differentiation Innovator’s dilemma Patents and intellectual property are MUST New-unique-and-differentiated in product Competition—emerging and existing Stanford Technology Ventures Program | MS&E 273 Technology Venture Formation
    • Culture • You have to develop the culture; it doesn’t happen by itself • Work hard and have fun • Celebrate each and every success Stanford Technology Ventures Program | MS&E 273 Technology Venture Formation