Ultrabootstrapping: Launching a Startup for Less Than $1000

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This is my presentation for the "Ultrabootstrapping: launching a startup for less than 1000$" talk at Cooley on 2/23/10.

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  • STOP FIGGING PUTTING ON AUTOPLAY ITS HIGHLY ANNOYING
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  • Thanks Jonathan, keep the good advice coming. As a physician and bootstrapper of a HSO that transitions doc's into high tech house call practice, I found out that an adapted presentation that is CME for our target audience physicians would enable us to present at events, AND I get paid to show up rather than the other way around... then after the CME on innovation in primary care we do a followup demo/sales event with docs.... Best, Natalie www.personalmedicine.com

    PS check out the site, would love your feedback, we are all patients, right??
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  • Flowtown!
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  • Thanks for the presentation Jonathan. I was just trying to remember the name of the site that takes email addresses and gives you gender breakdown, social network breakdown, etc. You demoed it during this presentation.
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  • Hey, I’m Jon Boutelle,, and I’m going to be continuing the discussion on ultrabootstrapping … doing a startup on less than a grand.Actually to be fair it should be under 980$ ((Since you've paid 20$ to come here). Don’t worry, I’ve included that in the plan I’ll present.A few words about me … I’m cofounder and CTO of slideshare, youtube of presentations. You can find the slides online at the following url.My twitter handle is jboutelle and we’re going to be using the hash tag #ultrabootstrapping to identify tweets about this talk. If we tweet hard enough we will probably get on the trending topics section of twitter, so use your cell phones for what god intended and tweet like crazy in the next 30 minutes!
  • Rennaisance
  • So when you say "doing a startup for 1k", what you probably mean is "failing to do a startup for 1k".This is completely depressingly normal. The startup would probably fail if 10k or 100k or 10M had been put into it. Your goal is to start testing hypothesis on users about the idea, and to prove some kind of traction (which means revenue or users, NOT simply product development).When you fail, hopefully you will have learned a LOT about your target market, what their needs are. At 1000$, you can afford to give it another shot. Being cheap is a way of getting more shots at the target. Iterating and learning until you get it right.
  • WHAT DOES TRACTION LOOK LIKE?"I got 1000 email addresses of people who said they want to know when the product launches and are interested in paying money for it""I have 50,000 unique visitors and traffic is growing 20% a month.""I have 1000 active users. 60% of people who joined a month ago are active once a week on the site. Users keep asking for features X Y and Z""I sold 10k worth of consulting that is based on the product""I got a million users (facebook app only)""I sold 100,000 copies of my software! " (iphone app only)
  • DE-RISK
  • You better have skills that are useful here or you are dead. Ability to write a comprehensive spec with detailed mockup of the user interaction. (Show slideshare v1 design here).If you are a extrovert software engineer you are home free. Noah Kagen "1000$ is way too much money." You need technical people on the team no matter what... someone needs to glue things together, understand the entire technical architecture, and be capable of rapidly making changes to it. There’s no getting around the need for a technical founder.Get good at cutting things out of products. It's easy to write impossible specs. It's harder to figure out ways to remove requirements and get down to something you can actually build. Goal is to start learning from customers as quickly as possible
  • Outsource to rentacoder/getafreelancer chunks that you can describe in detail and measure whether they've been built correctly. Interaction design mockup <=you have to do this, it's your visionGraphic design cleanup.HTML from graphic designImplementation from HTML.This is not a solution to ongoing product development. It's a way to get something built fast and cheap. Working with an outsourcing firm over the long-term won't work. Possible if you find someone good to essentially "hire" them ... I haven't done it but a friend of mine did this and it worked out well.rentacodergetafreelancerelance
  • Funnels and Events!
  • FINDING COFOUNDERSIdeallyppl you've worked with before (so you know how they perform in a work context). Ideally people who can do whatever oart if "making things and selling things" you can't do. People who are in the best 1% of what they do. If they're an engineer, can they completely own all the code? If they're a business person, can they sell things that don't exist?-More ppl in the mix, less stuff that the team needs to pay outsiders to do.
  • There’s a classic blunder for entrepreneurs …biggest is building something no one wants. Only slightly less well known is not thinking about distribution. What’s distribution? How ppl are going to find out about your product.
  • You NEED to have a plan. Because lots of ppl build really useful stuff that doesn’t ever find users. I can describe how it worked for slideshare. (slideshare spiel)You need to figure out where users will come from BEFORE you build the product. Ideally it will come from people using your product. Otherwise it will come from advertising that you can prove converts such that $1 of advertising > $1.0 of marginal profit. You need to prove that one of these two things is true.-search-viral (twitter / facebook / etc)-app store-advertising-email (lists, transactional)This is why so many technical entrepreneurs were so excited about facebook apps and the iphone app store. It was a new way to get customers for their software. Every time a new channel arrives there's a land grab, new opportunities to be the #1 player in the space.
  • Ultrabootstrapping: Launching a Startup for Less Than $1000

    1. 1. #ultrabootstrappingdoing a startup on 1000$ 980$<br />@jboutelle<br />slideshare.net/jboutelle<br />
    2. 2. How the *&^$ is this possible?<br />
    3. 3. Fine print<br />
    4. 4.
    5. 5.
    6. 6. Globalization<br />
    7. 7.
    8. 8.
    9. 9.
    10. 10. We understand how to build software*<br />*at least a little<br />
    11. 11. From 10 mil to 10 thou<br />
    12. 12. RT @Jboutelle A startup is something that will probably fail #ultrabootstrapping<br />
    13. 13. traction<br />
    14. 14. Free Stuff<br />
    15. 15. stylous.com<br />
    16. 16.
    17. 17. google.com<br />
    18. 18.
    19. 19.
    20. 20.
    21. 21. marketing<br />
    22. 22. RT @jboutelle No one wants to steal your shitty idea<br />
    23. 23. So what do you have to pay for?<br />
    24. 24. RT @larryellison There’s only 2 jobs here: making stuff and selling stuff #ultrabootstrapping<br />
    25. 25. a short interlude …<br />
    26. 26. RT @jboutelle Don’t build something and try to sell it. Try to sell it 2C if it’s wrth building. #ultrabootstrapping<br />
    27. 27.
    28. 28.
    29. 29.
    30. 30.
    31. 31. RT @jboutelle if people don’t want to be emailed when you’ll launch, it’s not worth building #ultrabootstrapping<br />
    32. 32. Product Development<br />
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    36. 36. next<br />prev<br />first<br />last<br />Slideshow details<br />Views: 65<br />This is a talk I gave about Ruby on Rails<br />Added on 4/7/06 by jboutelle (6 slideshows)<br />Tags: ruby, ror, rails<br />Slideshow Transcript:<br />1)Optimizing AJAX: by Jonathan Boutelle<br />2)How to make AJAX fast by<br />Executing faster code,<br />Running Code in advance,<br />Using new technologies<br />Note: this is just so we can use google<br />search in the beginning, instead of writing<br />Our own search.<br />
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    38. 38. next<br />prev<br />first<br />last<br />Slideshow details<br />Views: 65<br />This is a talk I gave about Ruby on Rails<br />Added on 4/7/06 by jboutelle (6 slideshows, 22 favorites)<br />Tags: ruby, ror, rails<br />Slideshow Transcript:<br />1)Optimizing AJAX: by Jonathan Boutelle<br />2)How to make AJAX fast by<br />Executing faster code,<br />Running Code in advance,<br />Using new technologies<br />
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    45. 45. Bare bones (1st) version has no<br />Audio<br />Comments<br />Integrated search (use googlesitesearch)<br />Favorites<br />People<br />Flagging<br />Rating<br />We will add these features slowly after we prove out the concept<br />
    46. 46. Outsourcing<br />
    47. 47. Analytics<br />
    48. 48. Use the buddy system<br />
    49. 49. "You fell victim to one of the classic blunders” <br />
    50. 50. RT @jboutelle If you build it they will come … NOT #ultrabootstrapping<br />
    51. 51. Budget for technical founder<br />$100 - attending startup events<br />$200 - google ads to test out landing page design<br />$100 - graphic design iteration on mock-up<br />$100 - "slicing" mockups into static html<br />$500 - technical outsourcing / beer <br />
    52. 52. Budget for a design founder<br />$100 -attending startup events<br />$200 - google ads to test out landing page design<br />$700 -technical outsourcing<br />
    53. 53. Budget for “business” founder<br /> $0 -attending startup events (you're connected enough to get in free, or smooth enough to talk your way in, right?) <br />$0 - google ads to test out landing page design (you'll spend much more time talking to potential customers face to face and participating in the online conversation in your space. So your landing page should get lots of relevant traffic already)<br />$100 - graphic design iteration on mock-ups<br />$100 - "slicing" mockups into static html<br />$700 -technical outsourcing<br />
    54. 54. Follow these people now!<br />@davemc500hats<br />@ericreis<br />@sgblank<br />

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