Living Up The Startup Dilemma

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Startups are cool. They are Sexy. But why do people fail so often. This presentation talks about some insights on startup culture. Being a part of IT culture from quite some time I usually speak with startups and discuss their problems, viewpoints and solutions. It's an attempt to bring some key challenges and solutions to a common platform. Thoughts welcome.

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Living Up The Startup Dilemma

  1. 1. Living Up The Startup Dilemma
  2. 2. 6 Things You Need To Start 1 2 3 4 5 6 People Idea Plan $$$$ Turn Idea Into Product Managing Evolution
  3. 3. A Team You Need To Build Domain Expertise Team with smart skills Let meetings be there quite often Non business types are loved more Product development team delivers certainly better
  4. 4. Think Like An Investor What’s the problem? Define a solution Will customers really care? Yes they will. Design their solution Why win? Because you’re here to make a difference Gross characteristics of financial forecast Don’t focus on profits, make a good product, revenues will follow you
  5. 5. Think Like An Investor What’s the problem? Define a solution Will customers really care? Yes they will. Design their solution Why win? Because you’re here to make a difference Gross characteristics of financial forecast Don’t focus on profits, make a good product, revenues will follow you
  6. 6. There’s literally no original idea left to ‘build something new’
  7. 7. BUT
  8. 8. There’s must be a better way always and ‘there you make a difference’
  9. 9. Depth of Critical Thoughts
  10. 10. Depth of Critical Thoughts Should Revolve Around Your Business
  11. 11. MeasureTheDepthofBusinessSituation
  12. 12. Basic rules of business # of competitors Depth of value-add What are customer options? MeasureTheDepthofBusinessSituation
  13. 13. Basic rules of business # of competitors Depth of value-add What are customer options? Know relevant models What are competitive models? What are historical models? Why have predecessor technologies failed? MeasureTheDepthofBusinessSituation
  14. 14. Basic rules of business # of competitors Depth of value-add What are customer options? Know relevant models What are competitive models? What are historical models? Why have predecessor technologies failed? Know your own model What are you betting on? How soon does it have to work? What’s important to your success? MeasureTheDepthofBusinessSituation
  15. 15. Business Plan Remains A Catalyst To Test The People
  16. 16. Raising Money Angels, Friends, and Family Govt. grants of various kinds Venture Capital Many different flavors and tastes Tradeoff between dilution and time How much do you need to get to the next milestone? $$$
  17. 17. Getting Early Get revenue, ‚traction‛, start selling Customer satisfaction more important that product and technology Build customer relationships and customer feedback loop Make mistakes early and cheaply
  18. 18. Build Domain Expertise
  19. 19. Become A Domain Expert Focus on success of customer—every decision should be weighed against this Listen to customers—Fine line between vision and passion, and being stubborn All startups are in the service business More things liable to change than stay constant Everyone sells Be the voice of the customer
  20. 20. Sell The Vision, Plan To Struggle
  21. 21. Vision & Struggle 2X Rule: Everything takes twice as long and costs twice as much Sales learning curve Be realistic about valuation milestones Raise more money; relax about valuation
  22. 22. Reality Check
  23. 23. Too Scared To Get Failed But WHY? Good intentions…but it is a slippery slope It isn’t supposed to be comfortable What culture do you want to establish? It is okay to be small for awhile What do you really need? Minimum now vs. cash crunch Growth and progress are not linear
  24. 24. Few Good Things: The Real Menu
  25. 25. Few Good Things: The Real Menu Invest in Culture Early Invest in ‚team‛ values: balance, support, communication, shared values, collaborative, flexible job descriptions Promote Openness Consistent values + clear priorities simplifies management Managing The Cubicles Communicate goals and objectives, Share successes and failures, Enroll people; Encourage debate Knowing What You’re Good At Focus on your strengths, Complement yourself, Focus outward
  26. 26. A Great Product is Nothing It’s Pure Wine
  27. 27. It’s An Execution Play
  28. 28. Build Useful Products Build Great Companies
  29. 29. Share Your Thoughts On Startup Culture Drop a line: er.neerajdhull@gmail.com

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