General Assembly - Intro to the Silicon Valley Startup Community
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General Assembly - Intro to the Silicon Valley Startup Community

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  • 1. INTRODUCTION TO GA & THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY PEK PONGPAET INSTRUCTOR AT GENERAL ASSEMBLY @PEKPONGPAET PEK@IMPEKABLE.COM
  • 2. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY HI. I’M PEK PONGPAET. • Owner at impekable, UI/UX design firm • 2 years in SV • Launched 10+ products • Designed / developed products for Tesla, Accenture, Aruba, iPass • Multiple hackathons (participant, winner, judge) • Created Pictacular - TIME Magazine Best 50 websites of 2013 • Founder, Marketer, Product Manager, Designer, Hacker, BizDev 2
  • 3. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY PICTACULAR 3
  • 4. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY WELCOME TO SILICON VALLEY. 4
  • 5. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY THE DREAM: Move West & Find Your Riches 5
  • 6. 6 INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY AND OTHER MYTHS FOUNDiNG A COMPANY iS THE BEST WAY TO GET iNVOlVED. TOO HARD TO GET “iN” OR SiliCON VAllY iS All THAT MATTERS! THE lOUDEST PEOPlE ARE THE SMARTEST! ENTREPRENEURSHiP iS TOO RiSKY OF A CAREER PATH. NDAs “PEOPlE Will STEAl MY iDEA” ONlY DEVElOPERS CAN GET A GOOD JOB AT STARTUPS. JUST NEED A CODER TO BUilD MY WRiTE A BUSiNESS PlAN = GET FUNDiNG
  • 7. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY SO, WHAT IS IT REALLY? 7
  • 8. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY A LOT OF HARD WORK 8
  • 9. 9 INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY THIS SIGN: THIS ENERGY DRINK: COCKTAIL-MAKING ROBOT: THIS BILLBOARD: THESE HIRING SIGNS: AND GETTING THERE LIKE THIS:
  • 10. 10 INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY A LITTLE PERSPECTIVE 0.5% CIRCA 2010 • VC funded Companies: ~2,750 • VC dollars: 22B • Total U.S. Companies formed: 600,000 99.5%
  • 11. 11 INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY A LITTLE PERSPECTIVE • 40% of VC backed companies fail • Another •< 0.5% 40% make moderate returns 20% produce high returns 99.5%
  • 12. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY WHAT CAN YOU DO? 12
  • 13. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY 13 Get out there, Get Involved, say Hello • Network • Join a meet up group (or 10) • Attend a hackathon • Eavesdrop at a coffee shop • Go to free workshops
  • 14. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY Help other people achieve their goals and aspirations. Generate karma. Bring people together. Give back. ! To a certain extent, we’re all in this together. 14
  • 15. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY 15 LEARN, PRACTICE, PARTICIPATE Roll up your sleeves and learn new skills. Try your hand at building something — anything — and share it with people. Think about how to best position your abilities & interests. ! Try to become a creator, not just a thinker.
  • 16. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY 16 WHAT DO YOU REALLY WANT? There’s no “one size fits all” experience in startup world. Think hard about what kinds of environments suit you. ! Vertical, company size, team culture, role, time commitment, and product are just some of the factors to consider when pursuing opportunities.
  • 17. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY 17 IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT THE SCENE. Don’t get into the startup world because it’s cool, or because it’s an easy way to make money. (Most of the time, it’s neither.) ! Instead, join a startup or start something new for reasons that resonate with you on a deeper level. What will keep you going when times get tough? (They will.)
  • 18. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY 18 IT’S A MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT You will fail. Probably multiple times. ! Don’t get discouraged though — this happens to everyone, and it’s what allows true innovation to happen. ! All successful entrepreneurs have been through tough times... but they kept building, kept learning, and eventually found success.
  • 19. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY MEETUPS, MENTORS, CO-WORKING, ANGELS, HACKATHONS, CLASSES, INCUBATORS, VCS 19
  • 20. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY MEETUPS 20
  • 21. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY MEETUPS Plus • Wide variety • Inexpensive • Mostly in the evenings • Great way to meet LOTS of people Minus • You will meet too many people • It is more social and not very action based 21
  • 22. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY HACKATHONS 22
  • 23. 23 INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY THE SV DIFFERENCE HACKATHON HACKATHON
  • 24. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY HACKATHONS Plus • Action based • Gain experience • Potentially find a cofounder • Prizes! Minus • MVP will likely be scrapped after weekend • Requires a whole weekend’s time 24
  • 25. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY MENTORS Experienced, successful, busy. ! Tips: • Target • Ask a few individuals short and specific questions • Show you’ve done your research • Don’t give up 25
  • 26. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY MENTORS Plus • Gives you an extraordinary leg-up • Access • Learn to people and potentially funding from others’ mistakes Minus • Wrong person takes you down wrong path or wastes your time 26
  • 27. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY INCUBATORS/ACCELERATORS 27
  • 28. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY INCUBATORS/ACCELERATORS Plus • Seed funding • Structure for your startup • Peer network Minus • Tough to get into • Too many incubators, which one to choose? • Take a big chunk of your company • Commit to a particular locale 28
  • 29. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY CLASSES/TALKS 29
  • 30. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY CLASSES Plus • Structured learning • Many times in the evening • Great networking Minus • Some can be pricey • Specific hours of access 30
  • 31. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY CO-WORKING 31
  • 32. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY CO-WORKING Plus • Work with other startups • Build Network • Attend classes and events Minus • Pricey – Average Desk is $500/mo • Some require seed funding • Can be noisy 32
  • 33. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY ANGELS 33
  • 34. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY ANGELS Plus • Many do convertible notes • Great advisors • Help with further rounds Minus • Smaller • If increments of funding you don’t get a seasoned investor, things could get ugly 34
  • 35. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY VCS 35
  • 36. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY VCS Plus • Funding! • Great Advice • Will help with further rounds Minus • You have funding, but now you have more accountability • Lose large ownership stake... and sometimes control of your company • The clock is ticking 36
  • 37. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY 37 TIPS FOR GETTING INVOLVED Find your people. Talk to people. Ask questions. Build your network. Find your community. Your personal brand is your net worth. Build a community. Do your research. Treat Silicon Valley as an ecosystem. Give as much as (or more than) you take. Everyone and everything is connected. Do your research. Learn as much as you can. Go to talks, go to classes, sign up for a course, read blogs online. Never stop researching. Keep on testing. Apply the scientific method to everything. Test your idea, test your interest, test your audience’s interest. It’s all about experimenting to see what works.
  • 38. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY IT SOUNDS LIKE A LOT, BUT WE’RE A SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY. 38
  • 39. 39 GENERAL ASSEMBLY EST. 2011
  • 40. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY OUR VISION We are creating a global community of individuals empowered to pursue work they love, by offering classes, workshops and full-time immersive programs on the most relevant skills of the 21st century, from web development, to design, to business fundamentals. 40
  • 41. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY THANK YOU PEK PONPAET Email: pek@impekable.com Twitter: @pekpongpaet Drop me a note if you have any questions about GA, startup life, etc. 41
  • 42. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY ONE MORE THING Prototyping Mobile Apps without Coding When: January 9, Saturday Where: TBD REGISTER TODAY www.generalassemb.ly/education 42
  • 43. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY COMMON ROLES • Front-End Developer (CSS, HTML) • Back-End Developer (Ruby, Python, Java) • UX/UI Designer (inDesign, Photoshop) • Product Manager (Light frontend dev, design) • Business Development (Sales, Partnerships) • Marketing/User Acquisition (Email marketing, social media, SEO, data analytics) • Data Scientist (Hadoop, Matlab, SQL) • Sales (willingness to find and follow leads) • Community Management (Social Media) • Operations (Customer service, Office management) • Other roles depending on vertical (education, fashion) 43
  • 44. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY APPENDIX: BLOGS TO READ • Chris Dixon — http://cdixon.org • Fred Wilson (A VC) — http://avc.com • BetaBeat — http://betabeat.com • SAI — http://businessinsider.com/sai • Paul Graham’s Essays — http://paulgraham.com • Hacker News — http://news.ycombinator.com • TechCrunch — http://techcrunch.com • General Assembly — http://generalassemb.ly/blog • Venture Hacks – http://venturehacks.com • VentureBeat - http://venturebeat.com 44
  • 45. INTRODUCTION TO THE SV STARTUP COMMUNITY APPENDIX: NEWSLETTERS • Startup Digest — http://startupdigest.com • General Assembly — http://generalassemb.ly 45