We’re developing a platform that brokers access to thousands of training providersOur vision is to make vocational education responsive to market demandIncorporated in May 2012, currently based at Edinburgh Napier
Dropped out in 2010Domain registered 21st March 2011Company incorporated 8th May 2012The year prior to incorporation I was an islandYou can’t build a business in isolationStartup Britain -> Michael Hayes -> SW -> ESpark -> EIE -> TechCube -> SD -> Napier -> SW~300 connections on LinkedIn! “I hardly knew anyone a year ago”650 connections on LinkedIn (vanity)
Why spend all this time on Startup Weekend?Because I’m a saint? Obviously!Credibility, connections, experience“Pay it forward”The best way to be effective at networking is to look for people you can connect etc.600 people looking out for me.
Dogma 1/3The Lean StartupI’m so sick of Eric RiesPeople like to think they can follow a process and be guaranteed success.Programmers and newbies are particularly vulnerable to this line of thinking“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” - Sun TzuLean startup won’t provide you with visionIt won’t write your operational plan“If I’d asked them what they wanted they’d have said faster horses” – FordYou’re are not a computer. You don’t have to evolve every idea.You were gifted with massively parallel brains, a subconscious and an imagination, use itI’ve had some of my best ideas on the toilet. What has that got to do with the lean startup? Nothing.At the root of all my my biggest mistakes have been an assumption. But assumptions have also helped me shortcut years of needless experiementation.
Dogma 2/3“It’s the team, not the idea”Harder still is how you get your idea into the hands of thousands of peopleIf your business plan includes the sentence “and then we’ll just let everyone know about it” you’re screwed.
- Dogma 3/3- “It’s a marathon, not a sprint”- Most overnight successes take several years.- Common for companies to massage their start date – was it when they first started thinking about the idea, when they registered the domain, formed the team, incorporated… first revenue… profitable?- Opportunity gets your attention. Heart keeps it. It’s hard to do anything over a 3-5 year timescale and not care about it. At best you’ll be pissed off and it won’t be your best work.
- No single path into business as there is to anything else- Think for yourself- Learn to interpret advice you get from people like us and apply it to your context.Successful people can be the most dangerous to listen to.The worst kind of successful people are ones that have yet to experience significant failure. They’re blind to their mistakes.People don’t always know why something has worked. They might be successful despite some terrible habits.
“It’s always motivating to be counted out.” - Sarah LacyPeople have counted us out, why have you not launched yet etc.Ignore the haters, do your thing. Be authentic, be true to yourself most people will cut you a lot of slack no matter how it turns out.MINASWAN