FOUNDER THOUGHTS
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND: 16th NOV, 2013
“ADVICE IS A FORM OF NOSTALGIA.
Be careful with whose advice you buy,
but be patient with those who supply it.”
Mary Schmi...
1
2
3

OUTLINE
GENERAL STARTUP OBSERVATIONS
A BIT ABOUT MY STARTUP
SCOTTISH ECOSYSTEM BUILDING

4
ABOUT ME

BRIAN CORCORAN
36. Irish. Co-founder at Stipso. Chief Commercial Officer.
Stipso is my third startup, but first ...
ABOUT STIPSO
Stipso is a SaaS tool for visual content marketing.
STARTUP
OBSERVATIONS
WHAT IS A STARTUP?
“A temporary organisation designed to search for a
repeatable and scalable business model.”
STEVE BLANK
WHAT IS A STARTUP?
“A 'startup' is a company that is confused about:
what its product is
who its customers are
how to make...
STARTUPS AREN’T FOR
EVERYONE
Extremely uncertain
Demand very hard work
Usually low paid early on
Require a high degree of ...
FOUNDERS MATTER
THEY SET THE TONE FOR EVERYTHING
Culture, ambition, execution.

11
TEAMS MATTER
A good team with a bad idea is better
than a bad team with a good idea.
THE “IDEA” DOESN’T MATTER*
The company you end up with will probably
not look like the idea you started with.

*have confid...
ENERGY & MOMENTUM
MATTER

YOUNG TURKS
Revolutionaries who refused the old dogma
STIPSO

A SOFTWARE-AS-A-SERVICE TOOL FOR
VISUAL CONTENT MARKETING
Living Infographics for:
!
Visual storytelling
Audience ...
16
17
18
19
20
THE FOUNDERS
STEVEN DROST
CEO and product owner
BRIAN CORCORAN
CCO

21
LATE FOUNDERS
IAIN BROADFOOT
Lead Developer

IVANA McCONNELL
Lead Designer

22
GRADUATES
DONALD ANDERSON
Graduate Developer

MARCUS KERNOHAN
Content Marketer

23
TEAM-BUILDING
WE HIRE FOR VALUES, AND TRAIN FOR SKILLS

“Attitude is more important than aptitude.”
MARK SUSTER

24
TEAM-BUILDING
RULE #1: NO ASSHOLES

25
TEAM-BUILDING
SOME OF OUR VALUES
Only really smart people
Must be a team player
Thoughtful
Right motivations
Right passion...
OUR FUTURE ROLES: 2014
DEVELOPERS (SENIOR, JUNIOR, GRADUATE)
!
GROWTH HACKER
!
CONVERSION RATE OPTIMISER
!
OFFICE MANAGER
...
STARTUP HIRING
EARLY STAGE: 2-10 PEOPLE
Local talent, word of mouth, founders’ network
GROWTH STAGE: 11-20 PEOPLE
National...
ECOSYSTEM BUILDING

29
REQUIREMENTS
TALENT, CASH, DESIRABLE CITY

30
PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS
SCOTLAND SHOULD FOCUS ON:
Solving real-world business problems
SaaS
A quickly-discoverable business...
GOOD EXAMPLES

32
VIRTUOUS CYCLE
SMART YOUNG PEOPLE BECOME
EARLY HIRES AT GOOD STARTUPS

BECOME FOUNDERS
OR KEY HIRES AT
GOOD STARTUPS
NOW H...
SAY HELLO
BRIAN@STIPSO.COM
@brianc13
+44 788 991 7733
blog.stipso.com

34
Should you be working in a tech startup? - Brian Corcoran
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Should you be working in a tech startup? - Brian Corcoran

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Stipso co-founder and chief commercial officer Brian Corcoran on the challenges and joys of working for and recruiting to an early-stage technology startup. Adapted from a presentation given at RookieOven's The Galleries, 16 November 2013.

See http://blog.stipso.com/2013/12/05/startup-recruitment-slideshare for more information.

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Should you be working in a tech startup? - Brian Corcoran

  1. 1. FOUNDER THOUGHTS GLASGOW, SCOTLAND: 16th NOV, 2013
  2. 2. “ADVICE IS A FORM OF NOSTALGIA. Be careful with whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it.” Mary Schmich, Chicago Tribune
  3. 3. 1 2 3 OUTLINE GENERAL STARTUP OBSERVATIONS A BIT ABOUT MY STARTUP SCOTTISH ECOSYSTEM BUILDING 4
  4. 4. ABOUT ME BRIAN CORCORAN 36. Irish. Co-founder at Stipso. Chief Commercial Officer. Stipso is my third startup, but first in the tech/product world. 5
  5. 5. ABOUT STIPSO Stipso is a SaaS tool for visual content marketing.
  6. 6. STARTUP OBSERVATIONS
  7. 7. WHAT IS A STARTUP? “A temporary organisation designed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model.” STEVE BLANK
  8. 8. WHAT IS A STARTUP? “A 'startup' is a company that is confused about: what its product is who its customers are how to make money. ! As soon as it figures out all 3 things, it ceases to be a startup and then becomes a real business.” DAVE McCLURE
  9. 9. STARTUPS AREN’T FOR EVERYONE Extremely uncertain Demand very hard work Usually low paid early on Require a high degree of self-management Achieving work/life balance can be hard 10
  10. 10. FOUNDERS MATTER THEY SET THE TONE FOR EVERYTHING Culture, ambition, execution. 11
  11. 11. TEAMS MATTER A good team with a bad idea is better than a bad team with a good idea.
  12. 12. THE “IDEA” DOESN’T MATTER* The company you end up with will probably not look like the idea you started with. *have confidence in your thinking, rather than in one idea
  13. 13. ENERGY & MOMENTUM MATTER YOUNG TURKS Revolutionaries who refused the old dogma
  14. 14. STIPSO A SOFTWARE-AS-A-SERVICE TOOL FOR VISUAL CONTENT MARKETING Living Infographics for: ! Visual storytelling Audience engagement Inbound marketing Conversion
  15. 15. 16
  16. 16. 17
  17. 17. 18
  18. 18. 19
  19. 19. 20
  20. 20. THE FOUNDERS STEVEN DROST CEO and product owner BRIAN CORCORAN CCO 21
  21. 21. LATE FOUNDERS IAIN BROADFOOT Lead Developer IVANA McCONNELL Lead Designer 22
  22. 22. GRADUATES DONALD ANDERSON Graduate Developer MARCUS KERNOHAN Content Marketer 23
  23. 23. TEAM-BUILDING WE HIRE FOR VALUES, AND TRAIN FOR SKILLS “Attitude is more important than aptitude.” MARK SUSTER 24
  24. 24. TEAM-BUILDING RULE #1: NO ASSHOLES 25
  25. 25. TEAM-BUILDING SOME OF OUR VALUES Only really smart people Must be a team player Thoughtful Right motivations Right passions Desire to learn No startup junkies ! 26
  26. 26. OUR FUTURE ROLES: 2014 DEVELOPERS (SENIOR, JUNIOR, GRADUATE) ! GROWTH HACKER ! CONVERSION RATE OPTIMISER ! OFFICE MANAGER Do you fit? Get in touch! 27
  27. 27. STARTUP HIRING EARLY STAGE: 2-10 PEOPLE Local talent, word of mouth, founders’ network GROWTH STAGE: 11-20 PEOPLE National talent, word of mouth, team’s network WORLD DOMINATION STAGE: 20+ PEOPLE International talent, inbound applications, unknown people 28
  28. 28. ECOSYSTEM BUILDING 29
  29. 29. REQUIREMENTS TALENT, CASH, DESIRABLE CITY 30
  30. 30. PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS SCOTLAND SHOULD FOCUS ON: Solving real-world business problems SaaS A quickly-discoverable business model 31
  31. 31. GOOD EXAMPLES 32
  32. 32. VIRTUOUS CYCLE SMART YOUNG PEOPLE BECOME EARLY HIRES AT GOOD STARTUPS BECOME FOUNDERS OR KEY HIRES AT GOOD STARTUPS NOW HAVE EXPERIENCE & SOME WEALTH EXIT GET STOCK OPTIONS GROWTH: GOOD, SMALL GROWTH: GREAT, BIGGER 33
  33. 33. SAY HELLO BRIAN@STIPSO.COM @brianc13 +44 788 991 7733 blog.stipso.com 34
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