Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

10 core principles for starting up

16,243 views

Published on

Des Traynor speaking at Launch Incubator and on This Week in Startups. There is an infinite amount of advice for startups, but if I had to boil it down to just 10 essentials, these are the most crucial principles every founder needs to understand from an early stage.

Published in: Software

10 core principles for starting up

  1. 1. 10 CORE PRINCIPLES FOR STARTING UP @destraynor
  2. 2. You need a vision You need to run a good beta You need world class onboarding You need to know who your real competitors are You need to know understand the four forces You need to consider how your product will spread You need to understand marketplaces You need to focus your roadmap on impact You need to focus on new feature engagement You need to constantly revisit assumptions 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
  3. 3. You need a vision
  4. 4. Without a vision you’ll flip flop frequently because you’re not set on what the future looks like
  5. 5. An opinion about what the future looks like The technological trends you want to bet on + + What makes a vision… An idea of change you want to make in the world
  6. 6. Commerce
 Rise in “on demand” impulse purchases Real time wins everything 
 Same day local delivery next big thing Rise in subscription services for commerce Messaging
 SMS is dead Email is displaced by Slack New opportunities in public/private, text/video, permanent/ephemeral, 1:1/group, personal/group Customer expectations shifting as a result of above Marketing
 Shift towards personal & personalized
 
 Closed loop ROI now vital
 
 Metrics driven
 Advertise to start engagement, not to convert 
 Clicks & opens dying What does your future look like?
  7. 7. What technological trends should you bet on?
  8. 8. Apple Watch?
  9. 9. Smart homes?
  10. 10. Wearables?
  11. 11. Costs Time to compute to store to access The cost to compute, to store and to access data is dropping drastically
  12. 12. Messaging platforms
  13. 13. What change do you want to make?
  14. 14. Why do you exist other than to make money?
  15. 15. Missions have nothing to do with goals or targets
  16. 16. They’re not about being #1, top #10 or “leading provider.” They should be a change that you’re fighting for, such as…
  17. 17. to make internet business personal
  18. 18. to increase the GDP of the internet
  19. 19. to build the best way for people anywhere in the world to shop for groceries
  20. 20. You need a vision You need to run a good beta You need world class onboarding You need to know who your real competitors are You need to know understand the four forces You need to consider how your product will spread design viral You need to understand marketplaces You need to focus on new feature engagement You need to constantly revisit assumptions 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 You need to focus your roadmap on impact
  21. 21. You need to run a good private beta
  22. 22. these things are hard β
  23. 23. It’s easy to put a bad beta page live
  24. 24. A small list of “target users” beats a big list of non-customers
  25. 25. Be deliberate about how you grow sign-ups Give away a free Apple Watch and you’ll grow a sign-up list of people who want Apple Watches.
  26. 26. Photography. Reimagined. R2 you@address.com 📷 A vague pitch gets you a wide range of users…
  27. 27. …which gets you a wide range of feedback… I need to collaborate with my director I want to sell my photos in 1 click I’d love to export straight to Instagram Better filters pls!
  28. 28. Joe Soap PROMOTE COLLABORATE MESSAGE ECOMMERCE CALENDAR FILTERS PROFILES FAVES FAVES R2 Dashboard …which gets you a wide range of features…
  29. 29. 😞 Joe Soap PROMOTE COLLABORATE MESSAGE ECOMMERCE CALENDAR FILTERS PROFILES FAVES FAVES R2 Dashboard …which gets you a bloated mess.
  30. 30. ProductQuality Time “Good enough to use” Don’t rely on users to tell you when to launch
  31. 31. You’ll never feel “ready”
  32. 32. Here’s the new application. It’s got one window.You drag your video into the window.Then you click the button that says “burn.” That’s it. That’s what we’re gonna make.
  33. 33. Ready? The show doesn’t go on because it’s ready; it goes on because it’s 11:30 on a Saturday night.
  34. 34. Exit by feature set or by deadline, but above all, exit.
  35. 35. Beta periods are lossy
  36. 36. You’d never, ever, design a sign-up flow to work like this… …yet this is how your beta works.
  37. 37. Enthusiasm fades quickly no matter what
  38. 38. WTF is SnapCycle?
  39. 39. You’re best off keeping quiet while in beta
  40. 40. 1. First impressions count 2. The press only cover new material 3. The less you say, the more people listen Why?
  41. 41. Read more on the blog: How to run a successful beta in 7 steps
  42. 42. You need a vision You need to run a good beta You need world class onboarding You need to know who your real competitors are You need to know understand the four forces You need to consider how your product will spread You need to understand marketplaces You need to focus on new feature engagement You need to constantly revisit assumptions 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 You need to focus your roadmap on impact
  43. 43. You need world class onboarding
  44. 44. “We’re dogfooding”
  45. 45. Signing up for your app is the one thing every user is guaranteed to do.
  46. 46. Most product owners only sign up for their app once.
  47. 47. mysql> CREATE USER 'monty'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'some_pass'; mysql> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON *.* TO 'monty'@'localhost' -> WITH GRANT OPTION; mysql> CREATE USER 'monty'@'%' IDENTIFIED BY 'some_pass'; mysql> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON *.* TO 'monty'@'%' -> WITH GRANT OPTION; mysql> CREATE USER 'admin'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'admin_pass'; mysql> GRANT RELOAD,PROCESS ON *.* TO 'admin'@'localhost'; mysql> CREATE USER 'dummy'@'localhost'; And when they signed up, it probably looked like this
  48. 48. 1. Your tour is out of date 2. Your docs are out of date 3. Your welcome email is out of date 4. Your video is out of date The risks…
  49. 49. Real dogfooding means opening a new tin every day. Never stop signing up for your product.
  50. 50. You need a vision You need to run a good beta You need world class onboarding You need to know who your real competitors are You need to know understand the four forces You need to consider how your product will spread You need to focus on new feature engagement You need to constantly revisit assumptions 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 You need to understand marketplaces You need to focus your roadmap on impact
  51. 51. You need to know who your real competitors are
  52. 52. When do flowers compete with chocolates?
  53. 53. When does Twitter compete with games?
  54. 54. What really competes with TripAdvisor?
  55. 55. Email is a ferocious competitor
  56. 56. Understanding competitors lets you understand switching behaviour
  57. 57. Read more on the blog: Understanding direct and indirect competition
  58. 58. You need a vision You need to run a good beta You need world class onboarding You need to know who your real competitors are You need to know understand the four forces You need to consider how your product will spread You need to focus on new feature engagement You need to constantly revisit assumptions 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 You need to understand marketplaces You need to focus your roadmap on impact
  59. 59. You need to understand the four forces
  60. 60. existing solution new solution You want to maximize the top forces and minimize the bottom ones The 4 forces influencing a customer switch Reasons to switch Reasons to stay Problems with Current Product Attraction of New Product Existing Habits & Allegiances Anxiety & Uncertainty of Change
  61. 61. This campaign did just that
  62. 62. This is why switching is hard and your product needs to be ~10x better
  63. 63. You need a vision You need to run a good beta You need world class onboarding You need to know who your real competitors are You need to know understand the four forces You need to consider how your product will spread You need to focus on new feature engagement You need to constantly revisit assumptions 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 You need to understand marketplaces You need to focus your roadmap on impact
  64. 64. You need to consider how your product will spread
  65. 65. Model:“And then we’ll make it go viral, and stuff”
  66. 66. Note:Button does not exist in real life.
  67. 67. Virality must be built into your product, not bolted on.
  68. 68. A simple way to picture how your product can go viral Your app User arrives at site Logs in Uses product Does something worth sharing Shares Social network Appears in social network Seen by friends Friends click link
  69. 69. Measure your product’s k-factor (viral growth rate) k a b c d (k > 1 for viral) % of users who publish one share per visit share events per user per visit users referred from social networks for each share event % of “c” that are authenticated users = ✕ ✕ ✕
  70. 70. To improve your virality, focus on the 3 green ratios Publishing Daily Authenticated Users Daily Authenticated Users Monthly Authenticated Users Monthly Unique Users MUU to MAU MAU to DAU DAU to pDAU
  71. 71. This is all about sign-ins – these 3 techniques will help… MUU to MAU Improving MUU to MAU Let your users sign-in any way they want (Facebook,Twitter, etc) Keep your users signed in for as long as you think wise Promote social sign-in above your own login system, default to whatever network they arrived from
  72. 72. MAU to DAU Improving MAU to DAU This is all about giving your users reasons to return. The habit forming work we saw earlier helps here. Have lots of triggers (push notifications, emails, etc) to alert users who aren’t on site Solve the cost benefit analysis of actions (e.g. make it easy to do things that give reward) Make sure users’ actions can affect each other (to cause them to return)
  73. 73. Improving DAU to pDAU For every action a customer takes you should ask: “Is there a good story here, such that we can automatically share it on their behalf via a social network?” DAU to pDAU • Spotify:listens, faves, playlists • Pinterest:pins, likes • Nike:runs, starts, stops, cheers • Foursquare:check-ins, badges, comments, tips • TripAdvisor:reviews, likes, locations • Yelp:reviews, comments, check-ins This is all about lightweight shareable actions.
  74. 74. LinkedIn Recommendations are long, thoughtful pieces.You have to literally ask for them, as they’re not easy to do One click endorsements are framed perfectly. “Does Brian have these skills”,YES! Boom, 5 actions for one click. 
 That triggers an alert to Brian who logs in and is, himself, hit with a lot of questions about other people and their skills Improving DAU to pDAU This is all about lightweight shareable actions. DAU to pDAU
  75. 75. This is what virality is. Publishing Daily Authenticated Users Daily Authenticated Users Monthly Authenticated Users Monthly Unique Users MUU to MAU MAU to DAU DAU to pDAU
  76. 76. You need a vision You need to run a good beta You need world class onboarding You need to know who your real competitors are You need to know understand the four forces You need to consider how your product will spread You need to focus on new feature engagement You need to constantly revisit assumptions 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 You need to understand marketplaces You need to focus your roadmap on impact
  77. 77. You need to understand marketplaces
  78. 78. Product Large, subsidized userbase Smaller, profitable customer base
  79. 79. More users makes the product better, attracting more people Increased competition makes network less attractive to advertisers More advertisers repels more users More users attracts more advertisers CROSS-SIDE SAME-SIDE CROSS-SIDE SAME-SIDE Understand same-side and cross-side network effects
  80. 80. The role of price in a two-sided marketDemand Price Demand Price$0.01 penny gap In theory In practice
  81. 81. Identify and avoid winner-takes-all markets Is there a large cost to either side for using >1 product? Are there strong positive network effects? Is there room for differentiation by specific features? ! Market will evolve to winner-takes-all Yes Yes No
  82. 82. You need a vision You need to run a good beta You need world class onboarding You need to know who your real competitors are You need to know understand the four forces You need to consider how your product will spread You need to focus on new feature engagement You need to constantly revisit assumptions 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 You need to understand marketplaces You need to focus your roadmap on impact
  83. 83. You need to focus your roadmap on impact
  84. 84. ALL OF THE TIME MOST OF THE TIME SOME OF THE TIME VERY LITTLE OF THE TIME FEW OF THE PEOPLE SOME OF THE PEOPLE MOST OF THE PEOPLE ALL OF THE PEOPLE Track Time SMS Alert Enter Milestones Search for Files Search for People Use Calendar Import ICS Set up Time Tracker Post Message/Reply Create Project Add/Complete Tasks View Dash Schedule Meeting Add Team/Company Archive Project Change Permissions Account Settings Edit Project Merge Projects
  85. 85. ALL OF THE TIME MOST OF THE TIME SOME OF THE TIME VERY LITTLE OF THE TIME FEW OF THE PEOPLE SOME OF THE PEOPLE MOST OF THE PEOPLE ALL OF THE PEOPLE ! ! ! ! !
  86. 86. When a good org is mature, there’s not a lot of work here. This is the core of our strategy. It’s hard work. It’s meaningful work. It works. We need to stay way out of here.
  87. 87. 4 types of work in your roadmap Improving a feature:( customer satisfaction) Getting more people to use it:( % adoption) Getting people to use it more:( frequency) A new feature to support a new workflow:( customers/revenue)
  88. 88. Howoften How many use the feature Always Often Rarely Never None Few Most Increase frequency How can we trigger more usage? All
  89. 89. Howoften How many use the feature Always Often Rarely Never None Few Most All Increase adoption What’s stopping people from using us?
  90. 90. Read more on the blog: Where do product roadmaps come from?
  91. 91. You need a vision You need to run a good beta You need world class onboarding You need to know who your real competitors are You need to know understand the four forces You need to consider how your product will spread You need to focus on new feature engagement You need to constantly revisit assumptions 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 You need to understand marketplaces You need to focus your roadmap on impact
  92. 92. You need to focus on new feature engagement
  93. 93. New features usually flop
  94. 94. In a recent customer survey, we asked users what features they wanted from the new version of Microsoft Office. More than 90 percent asked for features that were already available in office… “ “
  95. 95. Sell what the feature let’s the user do, not what it is
  96. 96. Userinterest Message impact WHAT IT IS WHAT IT DOES WHAT you CAN DO now Capability beats ingredients
  97. 97. Announce it when and where they’re likely to use it
  98. 98. Have a plan for how next week’s customers hear about this week’s launch
  99. 99. Follow up with users and non-users to learn what worked/didn’t work
  100. 100. You need a vision You need to run a good beta You need world class onboarding You need to know who your real competitors are You need to know understand the four forces You need to consider how your product will spread You need to focus on new feature engagement You need to constantly revisit assumptions 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 You need to understand marketplaces You need to focus your roadmap on impact
  101. 101. You need to constantly revisit assumptions
  102. 102. Startups move ridiculously fast
  103. 103. Time
  104. 104. Time
  105. 105. Time
  106. 106. Time
  107. 107. 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30Roadmap To do feature File uploader Collaborative sharing Invoice tool Reports tool Live chat Time
  108. 108. Knowledge Time
  109. 109. When you get new information, you change your opinion. Always act on that change.
  110. 110. If you knew then what you know now, would you still have… built that feature? chosen that architecture? shipped that integration? designed that screen?
  111. 111. Sharing everything we know about growing a startup Available in hardcover and digital download Get your book now

×