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A smart start


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Eleven fundamental principles for successfully bootstrapping your startup based on my experience as an entrepreneur and a business angel. …

Eleven fundamental principles for successfully bootstrapping your startup based on my experience as an entrepreneur and a business angel.

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  • 1. Eleven fundamentalprinciples for successfullybootstrapping yourstartup.Gustaf
  • 2. The Times Theyare a-Changin‘Powered by disruptive technology
  • 3. Prelude from Cuba:1. Is it really your dreams you are following?2. At what price do you sell your integrity?El Medico – The Cubaton Story
  • 4. No. 1Get a mission.” Improve the word through social and commercial entrepreneurship.”
  • 5.
  • 6. No. 2Build a brand.Your brand is not about you.It’s about your customers’ selfperception. Niche thyself.
  • 7. No. 3Build a plan• Minimum Viable Product• Clear milestones• Keep it simple, lean and mean• Make it foolproof
  • 8. No. 4Be stubborn on vision.Be flexible on details. ”No plan of operations survies the first encounter with the enemy.” -- Helmuth von Moltke the Elder
  • 9. Example:The whole business plan of SvenskFordonsförmedling was founded ontwo main assumptions.Both were wrong.
  • 10. No. 5Start with the customer,work backwards from there.IKEA:• Children taken care of.• Expensive things first.• One extremely cheap item in each department.• A bag or carriage just when you need it.• A hot dog for SEK 5 when you leave.• Generous return policy.
  • 11. Think hard about all aspectsof the customer
  • 12. eavtal.seDigitally signed agreements• Dramatically shorter processes.• No snail-mails.• No paper originals to archive.• Less risk for fraud.
  • 13. No. 6Learn to sell a € 1 coinfor € 100 or more.Always price on value and competition,never on your own production cost.
  • 14. A better alternative for the customeris not necessarily a cheaper alternative. Instead, compete on: • Customer Service • Product / Service • Availability • User Experience • ... Green Cross Vending machines with age control for non-prescribed drugs that competes on availability.
  • 15. No. 7Make it fun.Gamify your business.
  • 16. No. 8Preserve yourresources.Be preparedfor a marathon.
  • 17. No. 9Hate to fail.But don’t fear it.
  • 18. No. 10 1. Only bet on the bestBootstrapping startups hands, when you are prepared to go all theis like Texas Hold’em way. 2. If you don’t know who the loser at the table is, then it’s you. 3. Save your chips 4. ... but sometimes you should go all in. 5. You can bluff sometimes 6. ... but if you do it often, people will learn and tell others 7. ... and it is expensive to have your bluff called.
  • 19. No. 11 Think
  • 20. Final words:Start young• No big fixed expenses.• No preconceptions of how things ”should” be.• Lots of time to fail forward.
  • 21. Thanks! Exchange ideas with me on Twitter: @gustafbrandberg Read and comment on my blog: More about my engagements: / My blog Public Domain images from Wikimedia Commons: