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Lies, Damned Lies and Startups - Tara Hunt


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  • 1. lies, damned lies and startups by: tara ‘missrogue’ hunt
  • 2. who am I and why I’mqualified to talk about this stuff:• co-founder + CEO• been raising $$ for >1yr• raised $200k F&F• believed the hype• lived in SF for 4yrs• made a crapload of mistakes already• serial entrepreneur (but first startup)
  • 3. lie #1 the cake is a lie.
  • 4. there is no cake, dude.
  • 5. startups are hard.
  • 6. startups are really hard.
  • 7. startups are really fucking hard.
  • 8. startups are heartbreaking.
  • 9. startups are soul crushing.
  • 10. startups are life shortening.
  • 11. why?• you will work longer hours• you will face rejection daily• you will be paid peanuts (if anything at all)• everyone will think you are crazy• there will be MANY days that you doubt yourself and everything you are doing.
  • 12. the entrepreneurial venn desire to delusional A change the status quo D C B audacity A. those that go postal B. dictators C. serial killers D. startup entrepreneurs
  • 13. lie #2 you are your own boss
  • 14. a week in the lifeof a startup founder
  • 15. monday
  • 16. tuesday
  • 17. wednesday
  • 18. thursday
  • 19. friday
  • 20. saturday
  • 21. sunday
  • 22. fact: you will wake up in a puddle of your own sweat several nights a weekbecause you realize you are completely fucked.
  • 23. how to deal:1. know that you will be rejected.2. understand that you will underestimate the number of times you will be rejected and how long it will take you to raise $$. (insert completely fucked night sweats here)3. ask rejectors for feedback (REAL feedback)4. ignore most of said feedback* but not all of it5. seek mentors and allies (note: this is the most important point I make this entire presentation) * knowing what to ignore is not easy
  • 24. you are not alone.
  • 25. it takes conviction
  • 26. three freakin hundred!!!!
  • 27. take note: all of this is BEFOREyou give away a portion of your company to investors...
  • 28. lie #3 raising money means success
  • 29. raising money =becoming someone else’s bitch $$ af ter all it IS their
  • 30. success= find your product/marketfit before you run out of money. T. IS. ALL. THA
  • 31. get creative with funding!
  • 32. it’s cute for kids, sad for grownups.
  • 33. “Paul Graham only invested in us, when he heard about the Obama Osstory. And he figured, well these guys are like really creative,smart entrepreneurs; theyll probably change their idea.”AirBnB Founder, Brian Chesky
  • 34. Question I ask myself every single day:what are my Obama O’s?
  • 35. alt. funding ideas• Friends & Family - your network is stronger than you know (we raised $192,000)• Go lean - how can you pare down your operations and personal lifestyle? Do it early. Lower the burn.• Hold a fundraiser - make it awesome. Indiegogo? Profounder? Kickstarter?• Sell your stuff on eBay - It’s a short term sacrifice.• Make $$ in your free time - Pixazza, TaskRabbit, TaskHire, AirBnB, Kindle, deliver pizza (Alfred from Zappos did this), etc. (make it simple, mindless tasks)• Take out a loan! Nobody will own you.
  • 36. earning the CEO badge: Your ONLY job is to keep the company going until you find product/market fit. ONLY job.* Your* Okay, that AND 10 gabillion other things. But this is the most important.
  • 37. tips on findingproduct/market fit...• solve the right problem ( you-are-solving-the-wrong-problem)• research and seek outside opinion (advisors are key)• eat your own dogfood...taste it! yeah, it sucks, right?• limit your market• get outside of your bubble• don’t commit suicide...hang in there!
  • 38. Are you ready tomake the ultimate sacrifice? nly one ther e is o a nswer
  • 39. lie #4 the startup world is a meritocracy
  • 40. it’s not just about working hard. (though there is hard work involved)
  • 41. there is nothing fair about this path.
  • 42. both brilliant + both contributed SO much to sciencetesla died broke edison died rich
  • 43. and what of those with better ideasbut without resources who weren’t heard at all?
  • 44. 1880s or 2010s, this hasn’t really changed.
  • 45. you can doEVERYTHING right and still die broke.
  • 46. I know. I’m a real downer.
  • 47. but true entrepreneursaren’t in it for the fame and fortune, are we? hope fo r both) (th ough we
  • 48. q: so why are wedoing this again?
  • 49. a: fuck if I know.
  • 50. but here I am.and I can’t imagine doing ANYTHING else. it’s an unhealthy, but beautifully necessary obsession.
  • 51. because without us crazy, delusional people who dothis the world would be a boring, stagnant place.
  • 52. thank you for being crazy, audacious dreamers. xo
  • 53. Tara(@missrogue) Huntceo/co-founder, Buyosphere 514-679-2951