Strategies for Startup Success by Simeon Simeonov

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Sim Simeonov gave this presentation at a Startup Bootcamp meeting.

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Strategies for Startup Success by Simeon Simeonov

  1. 1. Strategies for Startup Success<br />Simeon Simeonov (@simeons)<br />Founder & CEO, FastIgnite<br />http://sim.vc/about<br />
  2. 2. Founding. Funding. Growing. Startups.<br />
  3. 3. Why Me?<br />The wiser speakers refused to talk on this subject<br />
  4. 4. Strategy Paradox<br />The same strategies that have the highest probability of extreme success also have the highest probability of extreme failure--Guy Kawasaki<br />http://simeons.wordpress.com/2007/02/21/guy-kawasaki-why-good-strategies-fail/<br />
  5. 5. Case Study: PayPal<br />How much risk did PayPal take on?<br />Livingston, Jessica. Founders At Work. p6 (interview with Max Levchin)<br />
  6. 6. Flawed Thinking About Startups<br />Poor analysis of the wrong data in a mythological context<br />
  7. 7. Poor Analysis of Startup Success<br />Limited or inaccurate data<br />Correlation vs. causation<br />Omitted variable bias<br />Sensationalism<br />
  8. 8. Sample Bias<br />Most of the industry’s effort is spent analyzing successes<br />
  9. 9. Ego<br />Revisionist history due to egocentric ex postfacto analysis<br />
  10. 10. Case Study: YouTube<br />Why Did YouTube Succeed?<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nssfmTo7SZg (talk by YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim)<br />
  11. 11. Conclusion<br />Success is often the result ofavoiding failure by will or luck<br />
  12. 12. Therefore…<br />A better title for a talkabout startup success is…<br />
  13. 13. Why Do Startups Succeed and Fail?<br />Simeon Simeonov (@simeons)<br />Founder & CEO, FastIgnite<br />http://sim.vc/about<br />
  14. 14. Why Me?<br />The more thoughtful speakers refused to talk on this subject<br />
  15. 15. Semantics, Semantics<br />What do “success” and “failure” mean?<br />
  16. 16. Case Study: “A”<br />Company “A” raises $100+M of institutional capital and goes public at $2.4B valuation<br />
  17. 17. Case Study: “F”<br />Company “F” raises $2M and sells for $20M<br />
  18. 18. Case Study: “M”<br />Company “M” raises 500K and shuts down six months later<br />
  19. 19. Pop Quiz<br />Which of A, F & M succeededand which failed?<br />
  20. 20. The Right Measure of Success<br />Innovation?<br />Market share?<br />Revenues?<br />Impact?<br />
  21. 21. Success For Whom?<br />Employees?<br />Execs?<br />Founders?<br />Angel investors?<br />Institutional investors?<br />
  22. 22. The Score<br />Company A<br />Founders & execs did very well<br />Investors were under water after IPO lock-out<br />Company F<br />Lead founder made $8M<br />Investors got >=2x their money<br />Company M<br />Successful experiment inside a large VC firm<br />
  23. 23. Failure is Data<br />Efficient experimentation is critical to any evolutionary system<br />
  24. 24. Conclusion<br />Success and failure are notuseful analysis targets<br />
  25. 25. Therefore…<br />A better title for a talkabout startup success is…<br />
  26. 26. Succeed Your Own Way<br />Simeon Simeonov (@simeons)<br />Founder & CEO, FastIgnite<br />http://sim.vc/about<br />
  27. 27. Why Me?<br />I’ve succeeded and failed enough times to have pattern recognition<br />
  28. 28. One Thing to Remember<br />You need to understand what startup success means for you<br />
  29. 29. Corollary #1<br />You must understand what drives you<br />
  30. 30. Corollary #2<br />You must ignore ecosystem and societal definitions of success<br />
  31. 31. Corollary #3<br />You must not be afraid to fail in the eyes of others<br />
  32. 32. Failure is Data<br />At a minimum, you learn a lot about yourself<br />
  33. 33. How Much Wealth Do You Want?<br />For most people, the marginal utility of wealth diminishes rapidly<br />
  34. 34. Wealth vs. Risk<br />When you have nothing it may be easier to risk everything. However, a base level of wealth may allow for greater risk taking in the future<br />
  35. 35. Rich vs. King<br />You cannot grow beyond a certain point without ceding a lot of decision-making authority <br />
  36. 36. Success in Emerging Markets<br />The more turbulent the environment, the greater the benefit of ignoring established definitions of success<br />
  37. 37. Success & Happiness<br />It is much easier to be both happy & successful if you drive how success is measured<br />
  38. 38. Conclusion<br />As an entrepreneur, you have the right & responsibility to succeed your own way<br />

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