Stanford etl series (oct 2010)

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Presentation on lessons in starting a company

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Stanford etl series (oct 2010)

  1. Lessons on Starting a Company From Both Sides of the Table Mark Suster Stanford ETL, October 2010 @msuster
  2. Me <ul><li>Software development at Andersen Consulting </li></ul><ul><li>BuildOnline, CEO in London at 31 </li></ul><ul><li>(sold to SwordGroup) </li></ul><ul><li>Koral, CEO in Palo Alto </li></ul><ul><li>(sold to Salesforce.com) </li></ul><ul><li>VC in Los Angeles </li></ul>
  3. Getting Started
  4. Have an idea
  5. You don’t have to be a genius
  6. You just need to get started
  7. You need to be passionate about it
  8. And you need to do research
  9. Get a prototype built
  10. The Team
  11. Assemble a diverse team
  12. Biggest dilution comes before you start
  13. Huge premium for taking the first leap
  14. Co-founder myth reinforced by selective bias
  15. Make sure technology is part of your DNA
  16. Raising Capital
  17. Raise capital, but not too much
  18. Start Lean 1. without much flesh or fat; not plump or fat; thin 2. of edible meat containing little or no fat 3. lacking in richness, fullness, quantity, etc.; poor: a lean diet; lean years. 4. spare; economical
  19. You Can “Go Fat” Later in Life <ul><li>Once product / market fit are clear </li></ul><ul><li>Many markets are winner take most </li></ul><ul><li>Big tech firms compete much more quickly these days </li></ul><ul><li>Believe me – venture capital isn’t dead </li></ul>
  20. Why The ‘Fail Fast’ Mantra Must Fail <ul><li>to fall short of success or in something expected </li></ul><ul><li>to receive less than the passing grade or mark </li></ul><ul><li>to be or become deficient or lacking </li></ul><ul><li>to dwindle, pass, or die away </li></ul>
  21. A Lesson in Branding <ul><li>Name = URL </li></ul><ul><li>Name doesn’t box you in a corner </li></ul><ul><li>Be careful about words that mean something else </li></ul>
  22. If possible avoid the three F’s (Friends, family & fools)
  23. Angels vs. VCs? The people you work with matters more than the classification of investor
  24. How do you access investors? Intros: portfolio, entrepreneurs, lawyers, etc
  25. Getting their money is hard
  26. You need an anchor investor
  27. If you show proof the rest usually follows
  28. Critical Success Factors
  29. Skate Where the Puck is Going
  30. Ship Product The death of many companies is the inability to ship frequently enough
  31. Test monetization early
  32. The Sausage Factory is Never Pretty From the outside it looks pretty. From the inside? Not so much
  33. Have fun Startups are roller coasters, enjoy the ride!
  34. Q & A

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