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David Weekly @ SG Emprende

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A talk about Silicon Valley, Mexican entrepreneurship, innovation, and culture.

A talk about Silicon Valley, Mexican entrepreneurship, innovation, and culture.
This is David Weekly's keynote at SG Emprende, given November 23, 2010 in Mexico City.

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    David Weekly @ SG Emprende David Weekly @ SG Emprende Presentation Transcript

    • Launching the Mexican Internet Boom Observations from a Silicon Valley Nerd David Weekly, November 2010, Mexico City
    • Where are we?
    • Where am I from?
    • What does SV have that MX doesn’t? • Good food? • Good weather? • Good programmers? • Good businessmen? • $ for ideas? • Better access to information?
    • What does SV have that MX doesn’t? • Good food? GREAT FOOD BOTH PLACES. • Good weather? GREAT WEATHER HERE. • Good programmers? SHARP HACKERS HERE. • Good businessmen? WORLD’S RICHEST BUSINESSMAN IS A MEXICAN. • $ for ideas? US GOV’T PROVIDES NO FUNDING. • Better access to information? PACKETS DON’T TAKE YEARS TO CROSS THE BORDER.
    • I Thought SV Funded Ideas! • (Kinda true in late 1990’s, but…) • Terrible idea. – No revenue focus – No validation for team/idea/market – 0% 10-year returns • Angels Today? Looking for: – Validated idea & team – Fanatical paying customers anatical, anatical customers. • Ideas are worthless. The value is in execution.
    • SV Funding Infrastructure Landscape is changing rapidly rapidly. • Friends & Family ($1k - $50k) • Angels ($50k - $1m) – Often ex-entrepreneurs, investing own money! – New resources like AngelList • Angel Groups ($250k - $2m) • Seed VC / Series A / Series B ($500k - $100m)
    • Why does Silicon Valley work?
    • Failure Acceptance CA Gold Rush, 1849 Hard work earned you a chance at wealth, but no guarantees.
    • Failure Acceptance • If you want to succeed more, fail more. – Edison, Hewlett-Packard, Nintendo, GM! • Success hides failure pretty well. – Odio, Wirehog, Google Base • Could scientists learn anything if every experiment had to succeed?
    • Pay-it-Forward Hippie Movement, 1960’s Life is better together. Joy > Dominion
    • Pay-it-Forward tough. • Entrepreneurship is tough – You need support, peers, and energy. – So do they. • You could, today: – Help a fellow entrepreneur. – Share something you know. – Ask for mentorship / advice.
    • Creating a Support Ecosystem • #1 = CONVERSATIONS. • Regular meetups • Mailing lists • Conferences • Places! • Read, write, discuss, hold each other accountable.
    • Don’t Be Afraid to Start Small...
    • …Things Can Grow Fast!! SHDH 40 500+ hackers! <18 months old 187 members! 8000+ square feet
    • Sharing? What About Competition? • If you’re not both growing fast, you both fail. • Economic growth comes from innovation innovation. • This is not a zero-sum game. Make more pie.
    • Scrappiness Homesteading: 1800’s The government gives you some empty land. You gotta take it from there. Autonomy -> Prosperity
    • Scrappiness • Are you a programmer? – Start now. You have no excuses. • Are you not a programmer? – Befriend a programmer. – Learn how to program. ☺ Guess how much $ Shawn Fanning had to start Napster?
    • Coceve PBwiki PBworks • Started in August 2003 as Coceve. • Quit my job: no idea what to build. • $6,000 in savings. • No office, no grant, no government loans. • Every day I’d look myself in the mirror: “If I fail, it won’t be because I didn’t try.”
    • Coceve PBwiki PBworks • Sole employee for 2+ years. $0 salary. • $60,000 raised from friends & family. • 1.5 years on IM Smarter. • BotBlock, Coceve, SingleStat.us… • PBwiki: 1am->8am @ SHDH#1 – The power of encouragement! • 1.5 years later: 1st financing: $350,000. • 0.5 years later: 2nd financing: $2,100,000.
    • Coceve PBwiki PBworks • Ad supported? Low revenues • Prosumer? Limited market • Education? Semi-limited market • Small business? Slow growth • Creative professionals? Ah-ha! Legal & Agencies Six years after starting the company, we find a reasonable product-market fit.
    • Important Lessons • Nobody cares how fancy the technology is. • Find people willing to pay to solve a problem. • Speak to their pain. Be a solution and not a tool.
    • “Hustle” Learn how to make a dollar from day one. Trust: a capitalist with a clear business model.
    • What is Success? • Investment? • Sale of the company? • Profitability? • IPO?
    • What is Success? • Investment? NO WAY. (Masters, pressure) • Sale of the company? DEATH OF YOUR BABY. • Profitability? GONNA STAY THAT WAY? • IPO? LIABILITY, FORMS, PRESS, STRESS!! There is no finish line. You must be happy with every stage.
    • Not You:
    • What is sustainable? • Making more money than you spend. • Have the luxury of picking who invests in you, if anyone. • You pick if or when you want to sell.
    • Profitability = you in the driver’s seat.
    • Don’t be a Twitter Birdbrain • Beware deferred business models. • HUGE uptick needed… • …and if anything goes wrong…
    • You Need To: • Stop playing at entrepreneurship and start some real companies. • Stop waiting for government grants. • Start selling to international market. • Start shooting for billion peso opportunities.
    • Mexico Needs… Successful & visible Internet entrepreneurs. Role models.
    • Mexico Needs… You.
    • Mexico Needs… You. to be rich, successful, visible, popular, supportive, and awesome.
    • So… Get started!
    • Thank You. David E. Weekly @dweekly david@weekly.org