Living the Dream: Life at a Start-up Andy McLoughlin - Co-founder, Huddle.net © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-08- C...
Introducing Huddle.net © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential “ A winner. We have yet to see another onl...
Introducing Huddle.net <ul><li>Launched March 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Enterprise 2.0 social collaboration </li></ul><ul><li...
Microsoft  and  Open Source? <ul><li>ASP.net web application </li></ul><ul><li>SQL Server database </li></ul><ul><li>JQuer...
Take a look – it’s free! © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential http://www.huddle.net http://facebook.hu...
Who has thought about running a start-up? © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
<ul><li>Long hours </li></ul><ul><li>Terrible wages </li></ul><ul><li>Poor diet </li></ul><ul><li>Uninspiring office space...
<ul><li>Excitement </li></ul><ul><li>Work with people you like </li></ul><ul><li>Incredible satisfaction </li></ul><ul><li...
© Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential “ I’ve never been more tired, stressed or outrageously happy as I...
© Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential The Huddle.net Story (and 20 things we’ve learnt along the way)
April 2006 © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
June 2006 © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential Court – My Big Break
Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential Spend every waking hour researching and developing...
June 2006 © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
July 2006 ? © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential How do two guys with no commercial development experi...
July 2006 © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential London-based software development company specialising ...
Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential Take advantage of every connection (however tenuou...
Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential Be ruthless when doing deals, even early on You ar...
August – November 2006 © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential (repeat ad finitum as i’m a really difficu...
Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential Be completely and utterly uncompromising in your v...
November 2006 <ul><li>Leave jobs? </li></ul><ul><li>What about staff? </li></ul><ul><li>What about customers? </li></ul><u...
Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential Go big or go home If you aren’t convinced that you...
© Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential ? How do you go big quickly with limited resources and limited ca...
© Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential Seed funding! A  seed round , sometimes known as a  friends and f...
Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential The way to a rich man’s diary is via his PA Via Th...
March 2007 <ul><li>Secured seed funding </li></ul><ul><li>Small office </li></ul><ul><li>Small team </li></ul><ul><li>Beta...
Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential Software is expensive (but it doesn’t have to be) ...
Microsoft Empower <ul><li>MSDN Access </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Office Licenses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Development Tools <...
Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential At the beginning, focus all of your energy on buil...
July 2007 <ul><li>Nice Little Earner </li></ul><ul><li>or </li></ul><ul><li>Global Business </li></ul>? © Copyright, Ninia...
Venture (Vulture?) Capital © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential Venture capital  is a type of  private...
Early Stage VC – The Facts <ul><li>VCs are in the business of making money </li></ul><ul><li>They invest in firms they bel...
Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential VCs are people too Good VCs in the technology spac...
Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential Get out there! There are tons of events, meet-ups,...
3 Approachable VCs in London © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential Ben Tompkins Nic Brisbourne Paul Fis...
The VC Process © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential Raising VC money is a full time job and takes  mon...
Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential Don’t be afraid to play several VCs off against ea...
Other routes © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential American early-stage tech incubator Competitions wit...
September 2007 © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential September 2007 St. Regis Hotel,  San Francisco, CA
Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential Successful web 2.0 companies don’t have to be in S...
November 2007 © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential HUDDLE.NET RAISES $4 MILLION IN SERIES A FUNDING (W...
Mo’ money, mo’ problems <ul><li>Hiring (and firing) </li></ul><ul><li>No longer in  complete  control </li></ul><ul><li>Us...
Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential Funding provides a little breathing space Take thi...
Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential You can’t do it all yourself If your assembled tea...
© Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential ? You have the cash, the product and the team but what next?
<ul><li>Refine Business Model </li></ul><ul><li>Product Management </li></ul><ul><li>Team Management </li></ul><ul><li>Sca...
Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential ‘ Get Acquired’ isn’t a business model If it happe...
Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential You will  always  have more ideas than capacity to...
Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential A happy team is a productive team Be transparent a...
Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential Always keep one eye on the web You never know wher...
A few online tools and resources © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential Never lose sight of why you’re doing it You’re run...
April 2006 © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
April 2007 © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
December 2007 © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
June 2008 © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
Christmas 2007 (start-up style) © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
Product Launch at DEMO in LA © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
Brain storming (start-up style) © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
Web 2.0 Expo San Francisco © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
Internet World 2008 © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
IT Management (start-up style) © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
Web Mission 08 to Silicon Valley © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
© Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential ? How do you get a taste of start-up life?
We’re looking for interns! <ul><li>Development </li></ul><ul><li>Design </li></ul><ul><li>QA Testing </li></ul><ul><li>Sal...
© Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential ? Questions?
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Living the dream - life at a start-up

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A presentation given by Andy McLoughlin to students at the Imagine Cup about lessons learnt at a start-up in the UK

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  • I have bought team dream life, its a good product overall, you can read
    my review here =>> http://mypsreview.com/2009/07/team-dream-life-review/
       Reply 
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Living the dream - life at a start-up

  1. 1. Living the Dream: Life at a Start-up Andy McLoughlin - Co-founder, Huddle.net © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-08- Confidential
  2. 2. Introducing Huddle.net © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential “ A winner. We have yet to see another online collaboration environment that offers the functionality of Huddle” Guidewire Report
  3. 3. Introducing Huddle.net <ul><li>Launched March 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Enterprise 2.0 social collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Network of hosted workspaces </li></ul><ul><li>Project management, team collaboration and document sharing </li></ul><ul><li>API, mash-ups, social network integration and other web 2.0 goodies </li></ul><ul><li>Built on Microsoft and Open Source </li></ul>© Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
  4. 4. Microsoft and Open Source? <ul><li>ASP.net web application </li></ul><ul><li>SQL Server database </li></ul><ul><li>JQuery </li></ul><ul><li>NHibernate </li></ul><ul><li>Dot Lucene </li></ul>© Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
  5. 5. Take a look – it’s free! © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential http://www.huddle.net http://facebook.huddle.net
  6. 6. Who has thought about running a start-up? © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
  7. 7. <ul><li>Long hours </li></ul><ul><li>Terrible wages </li></ul><ul><li>Poor diet </li></ul><ul><li>Uninspiring office space </li></ul><ul><li>Huge uncertainty </li></ul>© Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
  8. 8. <ul><li>Excitement </li></ul><ul><li>Work with people you like </li></ul><ul><li>Incredible satisfaction </li></ul><ul><li>Great support network </li></ul><ul><li>Cool factor </li></ul>© Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
  9. 9. © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential “ I’ve never been more tired, stressed or outrageously happy as I am running a web start-up”
  10. 10. © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential The Huddle.net Story (and 20 things we’ve learnt along the way)
  11. 11. April 2006 © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
  12. 12. June 2006 © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential Court – My Big Break
  13. 13. Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential Spend every waking hour researching and developing your idea and take any opportunity work on it. (Even if it gets you into lots of trouble with your current job or partner.) 1
  14. 14. June 2006 © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
  15. 15. July 2006 ? © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential How do two guys with no commercial development experience and no money launch a web application?
  16. 16. July 2006 © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential London-based software development company specialising in scalable .Net and Java web applications (who’s CEO is best friends with Alastair’s wife)
  17. 17. Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential Take advantage of every connection (however tenuous) You never know who might be able to help 2
  18. 18. Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential Be ruthless when doing deals, even early on You aren’t in business to make friends and the early deals will set the precedent 3
  19. 19. August – November 2006 © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential (repeat ad finitum as i’m a really difficult customer)
  20. 20. Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential Be completely and utterly uncompromising in your vision Don’t worry about changing your mind. Your developers will hate you but your users will love you in the end. 4
  21. 21. November 2006 <ul><li>Leave jobs? </li></ul><ul><li>What about staff? </li></ul><ul><li>What about customers? </li></ul><ul><li>Are we ready to launch? </li></ul><ul><li>What if everyone hates it? </li></ul>? © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
  22. 22. Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential Go big or go home If you aren’t convinced that your idea will be a massive success how will you convince other people? 5
  23. 23. © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential ? How do you go big quickly with limited resources and limited cash?
  24. 24. © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential Seed funding! A seed round , sometimes known as a friends and family round or seed funding , is a securities offering whereby one or more parties that have some connection to a new enterprise invest the funds necessary to start the business so that it has enough funds to sustain itself for a period of development until it reaches either a state where it is able to continue funding itself, or has created something in value so that it is worthy of future rounds of funding. via Wikipedia
  25. 25. Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential The way to a rich man’s diary is via his PA Via The Beermat Entrepreneur 6
  26. 26. March 2007 <ul><li>Secured seed funding </li></ul><ul><li>Small office </li></ul><ul><li>Small team </li></ul><ul><li>Beta launch </li></ul>© Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
  27. 27. Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential Software is expensive (but it doesn’t have to be) Spend time looking at Microsoft Partner Programs, Open Source tools, Online applications 7
  28. 28. Microsoft Empower <ul><li>MSDN Access </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Office Licenses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Development Tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>OS Licenses </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Help and support </li></ul>© Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
  29. 29. Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential At the beginning, focus all of your energy on building a great product Sales and PR will follow – keep everyone up to date with email, blogging and social media. Let the buzz spread virally! 8
  30. 30. July 2007 <ul><li>Nice Little Earner </li></ul><ul><li>or </li></ul><ul><li>Global Business </li></ul>? © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
  31. 31. Venture (Vulture?) Capital © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential Venture capital is a type of private equity capital typically provided by professional, outside investors to new, high-potential-growth companies in the interest of taking the company to an IPO [or sale] via Wikipedia
  32. 32. Early Stage VC – The Facts <ul><li>VCs are in the business of making money </li></ul><ul><li>They invest in firms they believe will succeed </li></ul><ul><li>They want the largest stake for the lowest spend </li></ul><ul><li>They buy preferential shares that give ultimate control if things go wrong </li></ul><ul><li>They succeed if you succeed </li></ul>© Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
  33. 33. Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential VCs are people too Good VCs in the technology space are passionate, knowledgeable and always keen to discuss new ideas. Don’t be afraid to approach them! 9
  34. 34. Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential Get out there! There are tons of events, meet-ups, showcases and parties in London. They’re a great place to meet investors, bloggers and other entrepreneurs. And sometimes there’s free beer! 10 mini bar
  35. 35. 3 Approachable VCs in London © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential Ben Tompkins Nic Brisbourne Paul Fisher Plus many, many more...
  36. 36. The VC Process © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
  37. 37. Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential Raising VC money is a full time job and takes months ! Is your team big enough to cope without having you coding / designing / selling / marketing? 11
  38. 38. Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential Don’t be afraid to play several VCs off against each other The better the deal, the bigger the island you can buy when you sell out  12
  39. 39. Other routes © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential American early-stage tech incubator Competitions with cash prizes, great pr and a ready-made contacts book Angel networks designed to provide early stage capital and mentoring
  40. 40. September 2007 © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential September 2007 St. Regis Hotel, San Francisco, CA
  41. 41. Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential Successful web 2.0 companies don’t have to be in Silicon Valley But getting out there from time to time doesn’t hurt. And it’s an awful lot of fun. 13
  42. 42. November 2007 © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential HUDDLE.NET RAISES $4 MILLION IN SERIES A FUNDING (WOO!)
  43. 43. Mo’ money, mo’ problems <ul><li>Hiring (and firing) </li></ul><ul><li>No longer in complete control </li></ul><ul><li>User targets </li></ul><ul><li>Revenue targets </li></ul><ul><li>Stretch targets </li></ul><ul><li>Targets to set targets </li></ul>© Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
  44. 44. Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential Funding provides a little breathing space Take this opportunity to ensure your team is perfectly balanced and packed full of superstars. 14
  45. 45. Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential You can’t do it all yourself If your assembled team is as good as it should be, there should be no problems in delegating responsibility. 15
  46. 46. © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential ? You have the cash, the product and the team but what next?
  47. 47. <ul><li>Refine Business Model </li></ul><ul><li>Product Management </li></ul><ul><li>Team Management </li></ul><ul><li>Scalability </li></ul>© Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
  48. 48. Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential ‘ Get Acquired’ isn’t a business model If it happens, great. If not, you need to ensure your business has legs. How will you generate revenue? Who are your customers? 16
  49. 49. Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential You will always have more ideas than capacity to execute them Prioritisation is the key. Put a $$$ value against everything you develop – what is going to earn revenue? 17
  50. 50. Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential A happy team is a productive team Be transparent about the company’s goals and keep everyone involved. Get partners along to socials. Make it feel like a family. 18
  51. 51. Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential Always keep one eye on the web You never know where inspiration will come from. It’s also the easiest way to stay ahead of the competition and find out what people are saying about you. 19
  52. 52. A few online tools and resources © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
  53. 53. Lessons Learnt © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential Never lose sight of why you’re doing it You’re running a start-up because you get to do something you love every single day. If you become fabulously rich then even better! 20
  54. 54. April 2006 © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
  55. 55. April 2007 © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
  56. 56. December 2007 © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
  57. 57. June 2008 © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
  58. 58. Christmas 2007 (start-up style) © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
  59. 59. Product Launch at DEMO in LA © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
  60. 60. Brain storming (start-up style) © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
  61. 61. Web 2.0 Expo San Francisco © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
  62. 62. Internet World 2008 © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
  63. 63. IT Management (start-up style) © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
  64. 64. Web Mission 08 to Silicon Valley © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
  65. 65. © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential ? How do you get a taste of start-up life?
  66. 66. We’re looking for interns! <ul><li>Development </li></ul><ul><li>Design </li></ul><ul><li>QA Testing </li></ul><ul><li>Sales </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Come and talk to me to find out more! </li></ul>© Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential
  67. 67. © Copyright, Ninian Solutions Ltd 2006-07 - Confidential ? Questions?

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