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Everything Sucks


Published on

slides from my talk "Everything Sucks" @ Big Omaha (May 2013)

Published in: Technology, Business

Everything Sucks

  1. #EverythingSucksAnd Nobody Notices.(with apologies to @LouisCK)Dave McClure500 Startups#BigOmaha, May
  3. Dave McClureFounding Partner & Chief Troublemaker, 500 Startups00’s & 10’s:• VC: Founders Fund, Facebook fbFund, 500 Startups• Angel: Mashery,, SlideShare, Twilio, WildFire, SendGrid• Marketing: PayPal, Simply Hired,, oDesk, O’Reilly80’s & 90’s:• Entrepreneur: Aslan Computing (acq’d by Servinet/Panurgy)• Developer: Windows / SQL DB consultant (Intel, MSFT)• Engineer: Johns Hopkins‘88, BS Eng / Applied Math
  4. 500 StartupsGlobal Seed Fund & Startup Accelerator• What is 500?– $65M+ under management– 25 people / 12 investing partners– Locations: SV, NYC, MEX, BRZ, IND, CHN, SEasia– 1000+ Founders / 200+ Mentors– Insanity 24x7x365• 490+ Portfolio Co’s / 30+ Countries– Wildfire (acq GOOG, $350M)– Twilio– SendGrid– TaskRabbit– MakerBot– 9GAG– Viki– Gengo– AppStack– VivaReal– MindSnacks–
  5. 500 Startups: Global Seed FundOver 100+ startups outside US, in 35+ countries• Q4/12 added: Germany, Korea, Peru; + Russia, Israel, Turkey in Q1/13• Priorities in 2012: Brazil, Mexico, India• Priorities In 2013: China, SE Asia, MENA, Eastern Europe
  7. WARNING:this deck is guaranteed to offend, providetragically incorrect advice, and perhaps getyou arrested.fucking deal with it.
  8. This Talk... Sucks.(Mainly Bcz This is a New Talk)• I’m doing some new material.• This is my 2nd time trying this shit out.• (Sorry, you’re the guinea pigs.)• It will probably….• SUCK, because I don’t…• have all the….• ….timing down yet.• But you get to tell your grandkids you saw Dave McClure• Suck Live, and In Person• So There U Go.
  9. #EVERYTHINGSUCKS#NOBODYCARESEverything is Amazing And Nobody is Happy
  10. Everything Sucks.And Nobody Notices.• But, It’s Easy 2 Make Shit Better.– Especially Because of Technology.– And, Especially Because of a few Tony Stark geniuses.• These arrogant douchebags are insufferable, but…– …they make our lives FUCKING AMAZING.• They also make it easy for us to copy & use their shit• TIP: DO NOT TRY 2B ONE OF THESE GIANT BRAINIACS.• JUST COPY / USE THEIR SHIT. (and Make It Slightly Better)• 99% of the time -- Copy/Use Other People’s Amazing Shit.• 1% of the time -- Come Up With Your Own Innovative Shit.• Improve the Innovative Shit by 1% Every Month.• Rinse & Repeat.
  11. Most Things Suck.• Grade School.• Dating.• Waiting on Hold.• Returning Stuff.• TSA / Checking In / Airport Luggage.• Getting a Waiter’s Attention.• Learning How To Speak in Public. (PRACTICE)• Running a Startup.
  12. Most People Suck.• Your “Guidance” Counselor.• Your Cousin Who Likes To Cheat at Cards.• Most Politicians.• Most People in Authority.• Donald Fucking Trump.• Nuns With Rulers.• Priests With Altar Boys.• Bullies.
  13. Suck Isn’t New.• It’s Been Going on a Looooooooong Time.• Dinosaurs Sucked. (if ur a cavemen, not if ur 8 yrs old)• Not Having Fire Sucked.• Not Having a Car Sucked.• Being a Serf / Not Being The King Sucked.• Slavery Sucked BIGTIME.• Being a Teenager Sucks, and has always sucked.
  15. Over Time, Shit Sucks Less.• Fire• The Wheel• Farming• Pigs, Cows, Chickens• Iron, Steel• Ships• Printing Press• Textiles• Steam Engine• Electricity• Cars, Airplanes• Telephone• Radio, TV• Cable• The Internet• Social Networks• FB, Twitter, YouTube• Mobile Phones
  16. Why No Flying Cars Yet?(Teleportation? Sexy Robots?)• Because That Shit is Fucking Hard.• Not So Many Tony Starks / Elon Musks Around.• BTW, Those Guys NEVER Got Laid.• … until, They Got Filthy Stinking Rich.• You Ain’t All That Smart. Or That Rich.• But, You Might Get Laid.• And You Might Get To Use That Shit Some Day.
  17. #HALFMAN#GIANTGEEKGame of Thrones - Tyrion Lannister
  18. We Are Mental MidgetsWho Stand on Shoulders of Giant Geeks• Da Vinci• Sir Isaac Newton• James Watt• Nicola Tesla• Marie Curie• Gates• Jobs• Bezos• Larry & Sergei• Zuck
  20. You Don’t Have 2B Tony Stark• Just Copy/Use the Shit that Tony Stark Makes.– Pro Tip: Since Most People Suck, They Won’t Notice U Aren’t Tony Stark.• Copy/Use 99% All The Amazing Shit Out There.• Innovate on the other 1%.• Innovate 1% More Every Month.• Then Kick Back and Have a Beer.• … and Watch Some Awesome #GoT
  21. Most Businesses Suck @ Innovation.• They Don’t Know Technology.• They Don’t Know How to Code.• They Don’t Know SEO or SEM.• They Don’t Know Email Marketing.• They Don’t Know Social, Video, Local, Mobile.• They Don’t Know Good Design or UX.• They Don’t Know How to Cut & Paste.• They Don’t Know How to Use PayPal.
  22. Most Things Are Not Amazing.• But, We Can Easily Make Most Things Better.• Tech + Web = Reduced Overhead Costs.• Search + Social Platforms = Better Marketing.• Copy Existing Business Model = Reduced Risk.• FOCUS = Make ONEthing / SOMEthing Better.
  23. #EVILPLAN#MWAHAHAEveryone Needs An Evil Plan (Hugh MacLeod)
  24. Asteroids Happen, Bitches.You May Not Be Tony Stark, But You’re Smarter Than a Dinosaur• Big Dumb Dinosaurs Don’t Plan for Asteroids.• Small Smart Marsupials Can Survive Asteroids (sometimes).• Wait Around Long Enough, Asteroids Happen.• When Asteroids Happen, Dinosaurs Face Change.• Q: Guess Who Handles Change Better?• A: Fucking Marsupials, G.• Lesson: Be a Nimble Marsupial, Not a Lumbering Dinosaur.• “In The Land of the Blind, The One-Eyed Man is King”
  25. Formula 4 Awesome:Notice Things That Suck. Make Them Suck Less.• Most Brick & Mortar Businesses Are Inefficient.• Lots of Overhead, Shitty UX, Shitty Marketing.• Copy Their Business Model (It Already Works).• Reduce Overhead Cost (Go Online).• Increase Marketing Efficiency (Go Online).• Copy/Integrate 99% Awesome Shit (aka Tech)• Innovate on the Remaining 1%.• Keep Innovating 1%. Every Month.• Beat Them Like a Drum, Every Day & 2x on Sunday.
  26. Ok, Let’s Try It.• Find an existing, physical-world big dumb business thatmakes money, but kinda sucks.• Verify they have high overhead costs, inefficient [offline]marketing, shitty service.• Copy the business model, reduce overhead costs, improvemarketing.• Add some awesome technology, and then innovate onONE important thing.• Beat Complacent Incumbents / Big Dumb Dinosaurs IntoThe Ground with Fire, Spears, & The Wheel.
  27. Problem: Ordering Food Sucks.(see blog post “Why Menus Suck”)• Issues:– Waiters– Menus– Pictures– Sharing– Discounts– Customer Lists– Food Quality– Food Service– Reviews– Delivery Time– Payment• Solutions:– ElaCarte– KitchIt– FoodA– Chewse– CraftCoffee– LoveWithFood– GoldBely– TeaLet–– MileHighOrganics– WholeShare
  28. #BRANDING101#THINKDIFFERENTHere’s To The Crazy Ones. (Jobs)
  29. 3 Basic Types of Brands:Virgin, Southwest, [Niche]• Virgin = “Mass Luxury” (+ sexy)– High-End Look & Feel, priced just barely within reach of mostmiddle-class customers, who love the “red-carpet” treatment • Southwest = “Convenience & Value” (+ funny)– Shit that just works, not very expensive, great value foreverybody. (Who doesn’t like Southwest?)• [Niche] = “Just for You & Me”– Designed for well-defined customer segments / attributes.– Less competition, higher margins, better retention– Ex: Gay, Old, Black, Short, Female, Moms, Left-Handed, Etc
  30. Thanks. • Again, my apologies if this shit sucked.• If so, pls tweet @DaveMcClure: What Sucked?• With your feedback & my iteration, hopefully Iwill suck less over time.• Good Luck Not Sucking!