Hack Harvard talk (1/20/2014)
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Hack Harvard talk (1/20/2014)

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    Hack Harvard talk (1/20/2014) Hack Harvard talk (1/20/2014) Presentation Transcript

    • I’m @grinich
    • 1. My Background 2. How to Startup 3. Inbox Preview
    • 1. My Background 2. How to Startup 3. Inbox Preview
    • The least likely founder
    • Wasn’t the prodigy kid programmer....
 ... no Intel Science Fair, robotics club, programming classes, research labs, aced SATs, ivy league, etc. “MIT? That’s in Michigan right?”
    • +1000 people $15k from sponsors (VCs, law firm) 12 speakers from Boston & SF ... 3 full-time students.
    • Enough about me. ! Let’s talk about startups.
    • 1. My Background 2. How to Startup 3. Inbox Preview
    • • How to prepare while in school • How to think of a (good) idea • How to find your co-founders • What to build when prototyping • How to raise money (and the pitfalls) • How to hire people … my last 12 months.
    • • How to prepare while in school • How to think of a (good) idea • How to find your co-founders • What to build when prototyping • How to raise money (and the pitfalls) • How to hire people … my last 12 months.
    • 1. Learn to build stuff Startups need software engineers, not computer scientists. I shipped +20 projects before graduating. Many were either wellpaid internships or contract jobs with flexible hours. ... and I wrote my first line of code during freshman year. You don’t run a marathon without training first!
    • 2. Read everything • Business • Product design • Founder blogs • Hacker News • Design magazines • HBS Case Studies • Take classes in 
 other departments • NYT & NPR • Technical papers from
 industry companies
    • 3. Work your ass off 365 = 1.01 38.8 365 = 0.03 0.99 Nearly all meet-ups and networking events are a waste of time. ! Treat them as recreation, not work. ! The best connections are made through working on projects with people.
    • • How to prepare while in school • How to think of a (good) idea • How to find your co-founders • What to build when prototyping • How to raise money (and the pitfalls) • How to hire people
    • Have (lots of) ideas
    • Most of them will be lousy. You only need to be right once.
    • Ingredients for a startup: ☑ large market ☑ hard tech ☑ pain point ☑ crufty foe
    • • How to prepare while in school • How to think of a (good) idea • How to find your co-founders • What to build when prototyping • How to raise money (and the pitfalls) • How to hire people
    • If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
 – African proverb
    • People you’ve built fun projects with. People you like hanging out with. People who work hard. People you trust. Your friends.
    • Most important that you have shared values.
    • • How to prepare while in school • How to think of a (good) idea • How to find your co-founders • What to build when prototyping • How to raise money (and the pitfalls) • How to hire people
    • Realize that your idea is 5% formed. Build small things to test big ideas. Startups evolve as they grow. That’s the point.
    • The important thing is to strive towards 
 a goal which is not immediately visible. That goal is not the concern of the mind, 
 but of the spirit. – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    • • How to prepare while in school • How to think of a (good) idea • How to find your co-founders • What to build when prototyping • How to raise money (and the pitfalls) • How to hire people
    • (Wait as long as you possibly can.)
    • Who are you? Why are you building this? Who is it for? How do you know they need it?
    • Fundraising is performance art.
    • Cold-emailing doesn’t work— get intros. Best investors provide value beyond $$$. Don’t focus on the valuation. Startups are a binary outcome game. Get back to work.
    • • How to prepare while in school • How to think of a (good) idea • How to find your co-founders • What to build when prototyping • How to raise money (and the pitfalls) • How to hire people
    • Traditional interviews don’t work. Recruiters don’t make sense. You are HR.
    • People join startups because of the people.
    • Be generous with equity.
    • • How to prepare while in school • How to think of a (good) idea • How to find your co-founders • What to build when prototyping • How to raise money (and the pitfalls) • How to hire people
    • 1. My Background 2. HOW TO STARTUP 3. INBOX PREVIEW
    • 1. My Background 2. HOW TO STARTUP 3. Inbox Preview
    • questions ? mg@inboxapp.com preview.inboxapp.com
 ps: we’re hiring :)