Bootstrapping A Product Company Version 2

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Bootstrapping A Product Company Version 2

  1. 1. Bootstrapping A Product Company Dorai Thodla iMorph, Inc. www.thodla.com/about
  2. 2. Current Startup: iMorph <ul><li>Why? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some one bought our previous company and I did not want to work there </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The startup Itch </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trying to find a cool way to spend my life </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lucky to have some seed money to start </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trying various experiments – a small team, outsourced development, living across two continents (again) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bootstrapped </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>InfoMinder – a tool for tracking information on the web </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>InfoFeeds – an enterprise RSS aggregator and Alert Engine </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information Portals (for NASA, Opencourse.org an NSF funded project) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Talks, Seminars, Workshops </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Product Strategy Consulting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning Wikis/Portals (Research) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some interesting tech explorations and pro bono work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>HyperScope with Doug Engelbart </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Innovation Center at NTTF </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Started several social networks on Ning </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Helping Entrepreneurs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Teaching </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Reflections <ul><li>This internet business is very different </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Different value propositions, different business models </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Scratching your own itch is good, but… </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of things to Learn </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Social Media Marketing, Subscription Models, Leveraging Trends, Staying Informed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The New Watering Holes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs, Participate in Social Networks, Twitter </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. More Reflections <ul><li>Role Models Shape Philosophy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People: Dan Bricklin, Mitch Kapor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Companies: Peter Norton Computing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Having fun is as important as making money </li></ul><ul><li>Small is Beautiful </li></ul><ul><li>Imagination is more important than knowledge (stole this from Einstein) </li></ul><ul><li>Being an Entrepreneur is a Life-style decision (not easy to go back) </li></ul><ul><li>Life is full of small pleasures </li></ul><ul><li>Entrepreneurship is a journey, not a destination </li></ul>
  5. 5. Lots of Opportunities <ul><li>Web 2.0, Web 3.0 … </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-core </li></ul><ul><li>Scalable Apps </li></ul><ul><li>Social Networking for Specific Domains </li></ul><ul><li>Data Integration, Pipelines </li></ul><ul><li>Information Visualization </li></ul><ul><li>Special Portals (Sharepoint, Drupal) </li></ul><ul><li>Social Applications? </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile Applications? </li></ul><ul><li>Education/Learning? </li></ul><ul><li>New problems </li></ul><ul><li>New opportunities? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Questions! Questions! <ul><li>Funded or Bootstrapped? </li></ul><ul><li>Local or Global? </li></ul><ul><li>Products or Services? </li></ul><ul><li>Give it Away or Charge for it? </li></ul><ul><li>Breadth or Depth? </li></ul><ul><li>Low-end or high-end? </li></ul><ul><li>Use a platform? Or Be a platform? </li></ul><ul><li>Tools or Applications? </li></ul><ul><li>Improve Existing Product or Build New Product? </li></ul><ul><li>Incremental Innovation or Radical Innovation? </li></ul><ul><li>Established categories or New Categories? </li></ul><ul><li>Do I scratch my own itch or find a few people with itches? </li></ul><ul><li>Small or Big? </li></ul><ul><li>Direct Sales or through internet? </li></ul><ul><li>Java or dotnet? </li></ul>
  7. 7. And More Questions <ul><li>What is the business model? </li></ul><ul><li>How does the world know we exist? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we keep up with information? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we validate an idea? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we know what it is worth? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we know that there is a market? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we get your first customer? </li></ul><ul><li>How can we be different? </li></ul><ul><li>What if I am a marketing guy? </li></ul><ul><li>What if I am a techie with no marketing expertise? </li></ul><ul><li>How can we ride a wave? How do I catch one? </li></ul>
  8. 8. Is A Startup On Your List? Are you a student? Currently employed? An Entrepreneur?
  9. 9. Questions? www.thodla.com/about [email_address] www.twitter.com/dorait www.delicious.com/dorait

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