So you want to do a startup
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So you want to do a startup

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So you want to do a startup So you want to do a startup Presentation Transcript

  • So you want to do a startup? Rashmi Sinha, SlideShare
  • Are you sure?
  • Who am I?
  • SlideShare...
    • best place in the world to share presentations
  • Taking over the world (one PowerPoint at a time!)
    • Start May 06 > Beta > Launch Oct 06 > Grow > Grow more > Angel funding Dec 07 > Series A Apr 08
    We are hiring!
  • 1. Make your app useful
  • Solve one problem really well
  • Make app social
    • SlideShare as non social app
      • PowerPoint plugin?
      • No virality
  • 2. Speed is imperative
  • Why startups need speed?
  • Small & fast
  • Set the tone for speed
    • In hiring, development, design, releases, biz dev
  • Be agile
    • (worry about scaling later)
  • The monster of expectations
  • 3. What to build
  • Why we built products we did
    • MindCanvas: Could sell into market
    • SlideShare: Understood market
  • 37signals: Build less
  • Build for right reasons
    • Start with less
      • Add complexity (when necessary)
      • Remove features
    • Get people used to change
  • To build a feature or not to
        • Listen to loudest?
        • Watch behavioral metrics?
        • Read blog posts?
  • Loudest users OR silent majority
    • slidecasting example
  • How to double traffic ?
  • Anatomy of a feature launch
    • Groups: V1, V2 & V3
  • 4. Ideas are dime a dozen
    • NO EXECUTION = $1
    • WEAK EXECUTION = $1000
    • SO-SO- EXECUTION = $10,000
    • GOOD EXECUTION = $100,000
    • GREAT EXECUTION = $1,000,000
    • BRILLIANT EXECUTION = $10,000,000
    AWFUL IDEA = -1 WEAK IDEA = 1 SO-SO IDEA = 5 GOOD IDEA = 10 GREAT IDEA = 15 BRILLIANT IDEA = 20 Ideas are just a multiplier X http://www.oreillynet.com/onlamp/blog/2005/08/ideas_are_just_a_multiplier_of.html
  • Execution is all that matters
  • Care about execution
    • Scrutinize ideas: “can we execute on this?”
      • How fast? When can we start work?
      • What will first version take?
      • Which team member will do it?
      • What metrics to track progress?
      • What will we push back to work on this?
  • 5. Understand market size (& revenue model)
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/docman/5053155/
  • Potential market size
    • No of PowerPoint presentations
    • Blogs & Video
  • Potential revenue streams
      • AdSense
      • Affiliate Networks
      • Sponsorships
      • Fremium
      • Licensing
      • White label version
      • Marketplace
      • Job board
      • Professional services
  • Good early legs
    • Adsense
    • Consulting revenue
  • Revenue stream impacts application
      • Advertising
      • Pro accounts & Fremium
      • White label solutions
    • -Revenue stream should not kill virality
    • -Don’t loose focus on majority
  • Problems with fremium
  • VC money?
    • Retain control till you can
    • Take money (if you absolutely need it)
      • From right partners
  • 6. Get advisors & angel investors
  • SlideShare advisors & angel investors
    • Dave McClure
    • Guy Kawasaki
    • Mark Cuban
    • Jonathan Abrams
    • Yee Lee
    • Hal Varian
    • Saul Klein
  • Who?
  • 7. Outsource what you can
  • Outsource complexity
    • Amazon S3, EC2
    • Dedicated servers instead of colocation
    • Google Ads
    • Google Search
    • Different widgets (Gigya, AddThis)
  • 8. Working with remote teams
  • Challenges
    • Getting to know each other
      • Hard to develop informal rapport
    • Need to look at same screen.
    • Body clock
    • Benefits: 24 hour cycle
  • Synchronous is must Skype GoToMeeting
  • SCRUM End of day reports
  • 9. How to Launch
  • The Alpha Feedback to the embed No publicity Browser compatibility issues
  • How developed should a Beta be?
      • SlideShare beta
      • Enough to get point across
      • Little of social layer
      • Not buggy
  • SlideShare launch
    • Invite only: Before or after launch?
    Alpha Stealth mode Open to all Launch Invite only
  • Initial Momentum
  • 10. Use metrics
  • What metrics?
    • Performance: page load times...
      • Errors: 404, 500s...
      • Traffic: Web logs
        • Database tracking: No. registrations, login, uploads, contacts
        • Customer feedback emails
  • Get yourself a shadow app
      • Metrics we care about
    • Simple console with daily, hourly
    • Simpler than web analytics
    • Whole team uses it
    • Measure project success, iterate
    • Proxy AB testing
  • Startup Metrics from Dave Mc Clure
    • Acquisition : users come to site from various channels
    • Activation : users enjoy 1 st visit: " happy ” experience
    • Retention : users come back , visit site multiple times
    • Referral : users like product enough to refer others
    • Revenue : users conduct some monetization behavior
  • Customer Lifecycle & Conversion Behavior 4. REFERRAL Emails & widgets Campaigns, Contests 5. Revenue $$$ Biz Dev Ads, Lead Gen, Subscriptions, etc 2. Activation Homepage / Landing Page Product Features 1. ACQUISITION SEO SEM Apps & Widgets Affiliates Email PR Biz Dev Campaigns, Contests Direct, Tel, TV Social Networks Blogs Domains
  • Example Conversion Metrics (note: *not* actuals… your mileage may vary.) Category Conversion Status Conv % Est. Value Acquisition Visit Site (or landing page, or external widget) 100% $.01 Acquisition Doesn't Abandon (views 2+ pages, stays 10+ sec, 2+ clicks) 70% $.05 Activation Happy 1 st Visit (views X pages, stays Y sec, Z clicks) 30% $.25 Activation Email/Blog/RSS/Widget/Acct Signup (anything that could lead to repeat visit) 5% $2 Retention Length of Session / # of Clicks (length/intensity of engaged visit, >180s) 10% $1 Retention Email Open/ RSS view -> Click/Repeat Visit (3+ visits in first 30 days) 3% $5 Referral Refer 1+ users who visit site 2% $1 Referral Refer 10+ users who activate 0.2% $10 Revenue User generates minimum revenue 2% $5 Revenue User generates break-even revenue 1% $25
  • Finally
    • slides at
    • http://www.slideshare.net/event/webvisions-2008/slideshows
    • find me at
    • www.slideshare.net/rashmi
    We are hiring!