Code Show Kickoff: Damon Young
The Pre-Startup Questionnaire
Agenda <ul><li>About the speaker </li></ul><ul><li>The startup landscape </li></ul><ul><li>Questions every entrepreneur sh...
“ Damon Who?”
The Startup Landscape <ul><li>Small   businesses make up 99.7% of all the private, non-agricultural employers in the U.S.,...
Fruit of the Poisonous Tree <ul><li>Most small business failures have little to do with market forces </li></ul><ul><li>Mo...
Question #1 – Why?   <ul><li>Most common answer – “I want to be my own boss” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Especially in tough eco...
Question #2 – Why take the financial risk? <ul><li>Most common answer – “I want to be rich” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Rich” is a...
Question #3 – How rich do you really want to be? <ul><li>Consider the potential ROI on various investments: </li></ul><ul>...
Question #4 – How big is your idea? <ul><li>Consider: Plentyoffish vs. Skype </li></ul><ul><li>It’s not just about revenue...
Question #5 – What are your credentials? <ul><li>“ Who the heck are you?!?!?” </li></ul><ul><li>For potential stakeholders...
Question #6 – What is your skill set? <ul><li>Example – Servoy </li></ul><ul><li>Does your business require the skills you...
Question #7 – Business or Process? <ul><li>Is this company your life’s work? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What role do you want o...
Question #8 – Are you answering a question no one is asking? <ul><li>For technologists who’ve invented a new app </li></ul...
Question #9 – You’ve identified a market.  So what? <ul><li>For businesspeople who’ve identified a hole in the market </li...
Question #10 – Is money even the point? <ul><li>Is your idea really a for-profit enterprise, or is it a non-profit? </li><...
The Point <ul><li>Shooting first can kill your dream before it’s born. </li></ul><ul><li>An idea is NOT a vision. </li></u...
The Questions <ul><li>Why? </li></ul><ul><li>Why take the financial risk? </li></ul><ul><li>How rich do you want to be? </...
“ Damon Who, again?” <ul><li>Damon Young </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Director of Sales – ProjectLocker </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><l...
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Thanks and Good Night
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Scrum Club Code Show Lecture 01 Damon Young

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The foundation lecture for the Scrum Club Code Show lectures on creating Agile startups

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  • Scrum Club Code Show Lecture 01 Damon Young

    1. 1. Code Show Kickoff: Damon Young
    2. 2. The Pre-Startup Questionnaire
    3. 3. Agenda <ul><li>About the speaker </li></ul><ul><li>The startup landscape </li></ul><ul><li>Questions every entrepreneur should answer </li></ul><ul><li>What’s the point? </li></ul><ul><li>Review </li></ul><ul><li>Q&A </li></ul>
    4. 4. “ Damon Who?”
    5. 5. The Startup Landscape <ul><li>Small businesses make up 99.7% of all the private, non-agricultural employers in the U.S., employ roughly half of the nation’s workforce and account for roughly half of the nation’s sales. </li></ul><ul><li>2 out of every 5 small businesses fail within the 1 st 2 years. 3 out of 5 fail within the 1 st 4 years. </li></ul><ul><li>Why? </li></ul>
    6. 6. Fruit of the Poisonous Tree <ul><li>Most small business failures have little to do with market forces </li></ul><ul><li>Most have already failed before a single line of code has been written </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal Flaws </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conceptual Flaws </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Many of these flaws can be addressed – but many would-be entrepreneurs don’t </li></ul><ul><li>Answering many of these questions honestly can mean the difference between success & failure </li></ul>
    7. 7. Question #1 – Why? <ul><li>Most common answer – “I want to be my own boss” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Especially in tough economy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Boss” is a loaded term. What do you actually want? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A promotion? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To go freelance? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To be a business owner? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Supervisor Plus” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Legal responsibilities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Financial responsibilities </li></ul></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Question #2 – Why take the financial risk? <ul><li>Most common answer – “I want to be rich” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Rich” is also a loaded term </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is someone drawing a $500k salary in a corporate job rich? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We’re really speaking about financial independence, i.e. your business is an investment property, e.g. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Commodities & stocks </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Real estate </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>To achieve a comparable level of ROI, you’d have to invest considerably more up front capital, but they require far less labor and the path to success is simpler </li></ul></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Question #3 – How rich do you really want to be? <ul><li>Consider the potential ROI on various investments: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stocks – perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Real estate – perhaps millions of dollars </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tech startup – perhaps tens of millions of dollars or much, much higher </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Honestly – what is the net worth you want to have? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ProjectLocker founders </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The Fresh Prince </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The size you want to achieve can help dictate the kind and shape of business you begin. </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Question #4 – How big is your idea? <ul><li>Consider: Plentyoffish vs. Skype </li></ul><ul><li>It’s not just about revenue potential: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What’s the cost of doing your business? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How many employees would it take to run this business at its height? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This question is less about the business and more about you, the entrepreneur </li></ul>
    11. 11. Question #5 – What are your credentials? <ul><li>“ Who the heck are you?!?!?” </li></ul><ul><li>For potential stakeholders, it’s all about risk limitation, NOT profit potential. </li></ul><ul><li>When talking to investors, does your skill set or experience correspond to the business you’re hoping to build? </li></ul><ul><li>Look horizontally, not vertically </li></ul><ul><li>Work with Agility </li></ul>
    12. 12. Question #6 – What is your skill set? <ul><li>Example – Servoy </li></ul><ul><li>Does your business require the skills you possess in house to be successful? </li></ul><ul><li>The E-Myth </li></ul><ul><li>Do what you do best, then get help for the rest </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Find good teachers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Equity is your only currency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outsource with care </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Question #7 – Business or Process? <ul><li>Is this company your life’s work? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What role do you want over time? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Are you a serial entrepreneur? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How do you want this one to end? And when? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What’s your plan for the lean years? </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Question #8 – Are you answering a question no one is asking? <ul><li>For technologists who’ve invented a new app </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Coolness does NOT equal Demand </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If it’s a question you think the market SHOULD be asking… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What would it take to educate them? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Do you have the ability to make that happen? </li></ul></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Question #9 – You’ve identified a market. So what? <ul><li>For businesspeople who’ve identified a hole in the market </li></ul><ul><li>Finding a niche is NOT the same thing as filling it. </li></ul><ul><li>The “Field of Dreams” myth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What’s the actual strategy for achieving market share? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What do you need to carry out that strategy? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How are you going to survive while carving out that market segment? </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. Question #10 – Is money even the point? <ul><li>Is your idea really a for-profit enterprise, or is it a non-profit? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you REALLY want to work for a non-profit? </li></ul><ul><li>Different markets, same questions </li></ul>
    17. 17. The Point <ul><li>Shooting first can kill your dream before it’s born. </li></ul><ul><li>An idea is NOT a vision. </li></ul><ul><li>Vision gives equity value. </li></ul>
    18. 18. The Questions <ul><li>Why? </li></ul><ul><li>Why take the financial risk? </li></ul><ul><li>How rich do you want to be? </li></ul><ul><li>How big is your idea? </li></ul><ul><li>What are your credentials? </li></ul><ul><li>What is your skillset? </li></ul><ul><li>Business or process? </li></ul><ul><li>Are you answering a question no one is asking? </li></ul><ul><li>You’ve identified a market. So what? </li></ul><ul><li>Is money even the point? </li></ul>
    19. 19. “ Damon Who, again?” <ul><li>Damon Young </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Director of Sales – ProjectLocker </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>@dayfornight and @projectlockerhq on Twitter </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
    21. 21. Thanks and Good Night

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