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Foundation Day - dotForge - April 2013
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Foundation Day - dotForge - April 2013

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  • 1. F-Day!
  • 2. Do not open the kit until I say GO!Build the tallest freestanding structure.The entire marshmallow must be on the verytop.You’ll have 18 minutes.Use as much or as little of the kit contents asyou want, but nothing else!
  • 3. CoderDigital agency5 startupsLeancamp
  • 4. “I wish I knew that sooner.”
  • 5. LearningGoals
  • 6. Not livingyour dream?
  • 7. We will fail.
  • 8. Our job is to bringourselves the badnews sooner.
  • 9. BuildLearnMeasure
  • 10. Principles,not process.
  • 11. IterationDo LessImprove the big pictureLearn, then confirmTangible next stepsPrinciples
  • 12. Today10:30 Lean Flow11:30 Doing Less1:30 Lunch2:30 Prioritisation3:30 Stakeholder Analysis4:30 Learning Goals5:30 Pub
  • 13. Feedback!
  • 14. Do less.
  • 15. Don’t work hard tomask your inefficiency.
  • 16. Not enough time?Not enough money?
  • 17. Grow with efficiency.
  • 18. 3 ways toDo Less.Limiting work-in-progress.Letting go.Being picky about yourfirst customers.
  • 19. Limit yourwork in progress.
  • 20. Good for vision,inventing and improving.Bad for getting stuck onspecifics that don’t work.Tenacity
  • 21. WIP yourself.
  • 22. Early traction.
  • 23. EarlyvangelistsHave the problemKnow they have the problem!Have budget to solve it.Have looked for a solution.Have tried to build a solution.
  • 24. Is this conversation useful?
  • 25. Choose yourcustomer.
  • 26. Vague customer definitions.Multiple customerdefinitions.
  • 27. Lack of direction.
  • 28. Specific definitionsallow for validation or invalidation.And that speeds progress.
  • 29. Take a look at thecustomers’ worldLooking at different aspects oftheir lives, we’ll examine ourown beliefs about them, whothey are – and if they reallyexist, how to frame our value intheir context.
  • 30. Find early adopters.Find specific customers.Specific value propositions aremore compelling and help youget early traction.Specific customer definitionshelp find them quickly, andpoint out scalable channels toreach them.Zoom in!
  • 31. Product Market
  • 32. Action Customer
  • 33. How deep do you go?They are real people (not attributes!)It’s clear where to find them.You’ll walk away if they aren’t a good fit.
  • 34. Customer SlicingJobs Obstacles GainsCurrentSolution
  • 35. Balancing focus &opportunity
  • 36. What Ican doWhat I’vegotSmall partnerships.Affordable Loss.
  • 37. Are you a frog?Or a fish?
  • 38. Startups arelearningorganisations.
  • 39. 2 stages of learningDiscovery Validation
  • 40. A man wakes up,turns on the radio,goes upstairs, turnson the light, and killshimself.
  • 41. Image by wstryderImage by wstryder
  • 42. Image by wstryderImage by wstryder
  • 43. 2 stages of learningDiscovery Validation
  • 44. 2 stages of learningLearn Confirm
  • 45. 2 stages of learningAsk Sell
  • 46. 2 stages of learningObserve Experiment
  • 47. Does anyonecare at all?Do we understandthe industry?
  • 48. Does anyonecare at all?Do we understandthe industry?Will anypay for it?Are we buildingthe right product?
  • 49. Anyone will tell you that youridea is great if you annoythem long enough.
  • 50. Dear Mom,Don’t you thinkI’m great?Love,Your son
  • 51. Actually, not just your mom lies.Your customers are full of shit too.www.foundercentric.com
  • 52. Past, not futureFact, not opinionSpecifics, not general(Talk about their life, not your idea.)The Mom Test
  • 53. Good or bad questions?
  • 54. ❝❞Do you think it’sa good idea?
  • 55. ❝❞Do you think it’sa good idea?
  • 56. ❝❞Would you buy aproduct which solvedthis problem?
  • 57. ❝❞Would you buy aproduct which solvedthis problem?
  • 58. ❝❞How do you currentlydeal with this problem?
  • 59. ❝❞How do you currentlydeal with this problem?
  • 60. ❝❞How have you dealtwith this problem?
  • 61. ❝❞When does thisproblem pop up?
  • 62. ❝❞When does thisproblem pop up?
  • 63. ❝❞When’s the last timethat happened?
  • 64. ❝❞What makes this time-consuming or go off-track?
  • 65. ❝❞What makes this time-consuming or go off-track?
  • 66. ❝❞Has this ever been moretime-consuming thannormal or gone off-track?
  • 67. Their words - not yours!One phrase per card.Pair. One interviewer, one notetaker.Recording theright stuff.
  • 68. ❝❞Please show mehow you...
  • 69. ❝❞Please show mehow you...
  • 70. ❝❞Please tell me how...I’m trying to learn howyou...
  • 71. ❝❞Please tell me how...I’m trying to learn howyou...
  • 72. ❝❞Talk me through the lasttime you had thisproblem.
  • 73. ❝❞Talk me through the lasttime you had thisproblem.
  • 74. ❝❞What did you tryto do about it?
  • 75. ❝❞What did you tryto do about it?
  • 76. Person Job Problem Measure Solution Excited Guilty UpsetImportant signals
  • 77. ❝❞Please help meunderstand...
  • 78. ❝❞Please help meunderstand...
  • 79. ❝❞How much wouldyou pay for this?
  • 80. ❝❞How much wouldyou pay for this?
  • 81. ❝❞Can I ask why?
  • 82. ❝❞Can I ask why?
  • 83. ❝❞Talk me throughhow you decide.
  • 84. ❝❞Talk me throughhow you decide.
  • 85. ❝❞Talk me throughhow you decided.
  • 86. ❝❞How much money doesthis problem cost you?
  • 87. ❝❞How much money doesthis problem cost you?
  • 88. ❝❞How much money hasthis problem cost you?
  • 89. ❝❞How much shouldwe charge?
  • 90. ❝❞How much shouldwe charge?
  • 91. ❝❞What’s yourbudget?
  • 92. ❝❞What’s yourbudget?
  • 93. ❝❞How soon canyou start?
  • 94. ❝❞How soon canyou start?
  • 95. ❝❞What would need tohappen before you couldreally start using it?
  • 96. ❝❞What would need tohappen before you couldreally start using it?
  • 97. ❝❞Ever had any problems ordelays getting somethinglike this going/bought?
  • 98. ❝❞Who elseshould I talk to?
  • 99. ❝❞Who elseshould I talk to?
  • 100. Opinions are worthless.
  • 101. 2 stages of learningDiscovery Validation
  • 102. 2 stages of learningLearn Confirm
  • 103. So, we had a meeting!
  • 104. ❝❞ClaudiaSounds great. Ilove it!
  • 105. ❝❞ClaudiaSounds great. Ilove it!
  • 106. ❝❞JeremyBrilliant -- let me knowwhen it launches!
  • 107. ❝❞JeremyBrilliant -- let me knowwhen it launches!
  • 108. Compliment?Stalling tactic?They don’t care. :(
  • 109. ❝❞JeremyThere are a couplepeople I can intro youto, when you’re ready.
  • 110. ❝❞JeremyThere are a couplepeople I can intro youto, when you’re ready.
  • 111. Partial commitment?
  • 112. Validate by going forfull commitment.
  • 113. ❝❞ClaudiaI would definitelybuy that!
  • 114. ❝❞ClaudiaI would definitelybuy that!ANGER!
  • 115. Meetings succeed when theyadvance to the next step.
  • 116. Examples ofadvancement> Permission to contact again> Clear next meeting> Introduction to decision-maker> Commitment to run a trial> Pre-purchase
  • 117. Real learning comes fromFacts Commitment
  • 118. Always know yourbig 3 questions.
  • 119. Tweetable TextHow do authors pre-build their customer list?How do authors test copy and learn about their readers?How do authors prioritise their time when writing?
  • 120. LeancampWhat awareness channels can we partner with?What do people learn at Leancamp that they apply?What do famous thought-leaders get out of conferences?
  • 121. What are your Big 3 right now?Does it do what it says on the tin?Can we make it usable enough?Do people really, truly want it?Take 3 minutes to write them down.Are they to learn or confirm?
  • 122. BusinessModelDesign
  • 123. What’s the most preciousresource for a startup?
  • 124. You’ve got a ton of options
  • 125. Early stage strategy isfinding the few that matter.
  • 126. Where isthe love?
  • 127. We obsess overthe details.
  • 128. And miss the big picture.
  • 129. 4% conversion rate = win!
  • 130. 4% conversion rate = win?
  • 131. Marketing Success!
  • 132. Business fail.
  • 133. We had abig pictureproblem!
  • 134. Alex Osterwalder’sBusiness Model Canvasis the big picture.
  • 135. Your business model has holes
  • 136. We wanted more users, sowe marketed...
  • 137. ...which was renderedworthless by our retention.
  • 138. Stuff’s going wrong...Let’s embrace it!
  • 139. Test thescary bits first.(not the fun bits)
  • 140. Navigating through options, hypotheses& environmental changes.Understanding dynamics betweenparts & articulating a clear story.PartsWholeProgressChecklists & dashboards123
  • 141. Changing somethingchanges everything.
  • 142. A “simple”change.
  • 143. You can’t thinkabout any one partwithout thinkingabout the rest.
  • 144. Clothinglabels &distributorsFaster tomarketFaster productionProductionProduction fees
  • 145. DesignersConsumersFan BaseSelling ClothesFacebookFacebookYou design -we do the rest.Faster productionProductionPersonalsupportOnlinetoolsPool of talent
  • 146. Use the Canvas asX-Ray goggles.
  • 147. What on earth areyou on about?
  • 148. Pick my brain.
  • 149. Good for vision,inventing and improving.Bad for getting stuck onspecifics that don’t work.Tenacity
  • 150. Platform Platform
  • 151. Platform PlatformMass customisationValue-basedpricingApp sale +in-app purchaseSubscriptionTransactionalMulti-sidedmarketLicensingCrowdsourceAd-supportedEvent-supportedSaaSBundlingViralDirect-over-viralPurchase-timing
  • 152. Know your options.
  • 153. What’s thebig opportunity?
  • 154. Business model prototypingNo writing on the canvas - use post-itsUse the post-its as you discuss. Move them around.3 minutes max per model - quantity over quality
  • 155. Business model prototypingNo writing on the canvas - use post-itsUse the post-its as you discuss. Move them around.3 minutes max per model - quantity over qualityTip - aim for around 4-7 post-its per model
  • 156. Nail down your business model,one bit at a time.Option cards
  • 157. Mentor MentalFiltering
  • 158. Halo Effect
  • 159. One dynamic per card.1 -3 dots per card.How doauthorsprebuildcustomer lists?Sell to y2ksoftware housesthrough InitrodeEvan can introme to Joe atInitrode.Will ppl buy petfood onFacebook?
  • 160. Lock-inthrough re-installationcosts.Will this offerdifferentiateagainst GMail?Big funding,scale userbasethrough paidchannels.Greater cloudadoptionopening amarket?
  • 161. BusinessModelHacker!
  • 162. Understanding our options.
  • 163. Who will our first 10 customers be?Where are they looking? And for what?
  • 164. What needs do your customers have?How do they solve them now?
  • 165. After I have 100 customers, I will acquire the next1,000 through _____________ .
  • 166. I will make money by ___________ .
  • 167. How would our business change if we could onlycharge 5% of we’re planning to?
  • 168. How would our business change if we didn’t havea web site?
  • 169. When customers have this problem, or aretackling this task, where do they seek help andadvice?
  • 170. Which customers have different expectationsabout service levels or relationship?
  • 171. What are our possible revenue streams? Whatcustomers pay for that, in that way, and why?
  • 172. Are there customers at the low-end who wouldpay less for lower performance? What if theywere our ONLY customer?
  • 173. How could we increase switching costs?
  • 174. Who are the people in our network that can fast-track our business? How?
  • 175. Metrics
  • 176. StickyPaid AcquisitionViralUnderstanding growthGrowth Engines,from The Lean Startupby Eric Ries
  • 177. AcquisitionActivationRetentionReferralRevenuePirate Metrics, by Dave McClureWhich number matters most?B2C Free - retention, referral, activation, acquisition, revenueFreemium - retention, revenue, referal, activation, acquisitionEnterprise - revenue, referral, activation, acquisition, retention
  • 178. Acquisition cost, capacity, rateActivation cost, rate, %Retention rate, %Referral rate, k-factor, %Revenue per customer, per userYour naked numbers.
  • 179. Write down the big numbers andgrowth engines you’reconsidering, one per card.Option cards
  • 180. Cohort analysisSimple rates
  • 181. Cohorta group of people who share a commoncharacteristic within a defined period.
  • 182. 1.Pick a metric you want to improve.2.Group users into cohorts based on date,or experiment, or characteristic.3.Track, looking for improvement.In 3 steps.
  • 183. forentrepreneurs.com
  • 184. only tells you one thing.Split Testing
  • 185. works in low volume if you’re testingfor big enough changes.Split Testing
  • 186. Your DashboardDraw it on a page.Keep it simple.Keep it actionable.(What is your goal?)
  • 187. Grow like weeds!Spring up in unexpected places.Grow quickly, or die and move on.
  • 188. Being clear onyour next step.
  • 189. “I wish I knew that sooner.”
  • 190. Building witha heartbeat.
  • 191. BuildLearnMeasure
  • 192. Minimum ViableWhat is the minimum thing I need to buildto prove or disprove this?
  • 193. Pick alearning goalWhat big make-or-break risksor idea is the one you want tonail down this week?(Hint: use the Canvas ormetrics to make sure it’srelevant.)
  • 194. Have a conversationwith your idea.
  • 195. How can I isolate the part I want to test?
  • 196. Starting low fidelity.
  • 197. One pieceat a time.
  • 198. Signal.ly
  • 199. Understandinganalogs
  • 200. Making sureyou’re in theright place.
  • 201. 48-hourMarshmallow
  • 202. Start with yourlearning goal.Pick a learning goal.Pick a measurement.Draw your MVP on a blank sheet.BuildLearnMeasure
  • 203. Meeting every week with fellow founders to share ourweekly progress, and get advice to stay on track.Braintrust
  • 204. Braintrust3 minutes each to presentyour learning & goals. 5minutes each for feedback.Feedback is focused on risks,learning methods &environment - not your ideas!
  • 205. Take 3 minutes to prepare at:foundercentric.com/learningprogress
  • 206. What you learned.ProgressObstacles in reaching your learning goal.ProblemsWhat will you learn by next week?Learning Goal
  • 207. Investor relationsTransparency & clarity onwhere they can help.
  • 208. Make the accelerator accelerate you!Lead time
  • 209. IterationImprove the big pictureLearn, then confirmTangible next stepsDo LessPrinciples
  • 210. BuildLearnMeasure
  • 211. 2 stages of learningLearn Confirm
  • 212. Make it your own.
  • 213. Salim Virani@SaintSalsalim@saintsal.comwww.foundercentric.comThanks!

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