6 startup lessons learned

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Presentation on Slush 2010 startup conference in Helsinki

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6 startup lessons learned

  1. 6 startup lessons learned(One more than promised )<br />Allan Martinson<br />Managing Partner<br />MTVP<br />
  2. Background<br /> Baltic<br />
  3. Valley of Death<br />The Death Valley?<br /><ul><li> 3000 companies and business plans reviewed in 2004-2010
  4. incl 12 companies invested or launched by MTVP
  5. Out of 3000:
  6. Only 2-3 home-runs (valuations >$1b)
  7. ~15 companies with valuation potential >$100m
  8. Only ~25% of companies show some growth and progress</li></li></ul><li>6 lessons on how to grow your stupid little startup into SOMETHING<br />
  9. Lesson 1: It’s all about people<br />
  10. It’s all about people<br />People, not business plans or technologies<br />2 founder rule (Leader & skeptic)<br />Multi-skilled talents<br />Values and teamwork are more important than business plan<br />Successful companies have bias towards action<br />
  11. Lesson 2: Incubation takes years<br />
  12. Incubation takes years<br />Most successful teams have been together 3-5 years…<br />… working on some rubbish<br />Phoenixes rising from ashes are possible<br />Most successful companies are launched by people aged 30+ …<br />… but truly disruptive companies need the young<br />
  13. Lesson 3: Why elevator pitch?<br />
  14. The What<br />30 seconds to tell (your mum)<br />Who is your customer<br />What does your company do for this customer<br />Why are you better than competition<br />Do the “Google test”<br />Most great companies:<br />Copy existing business model to new markets<br />Seek better solution to existing problems<br />Seek unknown solution to unknown problems<br />Most new ideas come on cross-roads of trends and disciplines<br />
  15. Lesson 4: The art of pivot<br />
  16. The art of pivot<br />Not a single great company follows its original business idea<br />You shall turn back when:<br />Your solution seeks a problem, not vice versa<br />Nobody wants to use your product – even you<br />You have ceased to believe into your company for >1 month<br />Don’t be afraid of failure but try to fail fast!<br />Importance of milestones<br />One year, one million principle<br />
  17. Lesson 5: Need for speed<br />
  18. Need for speed<br />A startup is a human institution designed to deliver a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty (Eric Ries)<br />Startups, by very definition, are probabilistic<br />Success seems intentional only in retrospective – impossible to compute<br />Speed is the best factor to increase success rate<br />Hunger is the best speed-boost<br />
  19. Lesson 6: Importance of right signals<br />
  20. Importance of the right signals<br />With whom do we compare ourselves?<br />What do our customers, investors, partners really think?<br />Are we insiders or foreign?<br />Nothing replaces human interaction even in internet era<br />Silicon Valley is the focal point of information, emotions and ideas<br />Finnish (or Estonian) references are wrong and negative information<br />It is not only place. It is mental state<br />Go West.<br />
  21. Extra free lesson: pick the right investors<br />
  22. Thank you!<br />allan.martinson@mtvp.eu<br />

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