VOKA BRYO Keynote Speech

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My keynote speech at the VOKA BRYO session in Brussels 2012.

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  • Don’t drop-out. There is a wrong image about successful enterpreneurs and how they almost need to be dropouts to be good. That’s a lie. Dropouts rarely succeed and the few exceptions only prove this.
  • The wrong things why to become a founder.
  • Don’t drop-out. There is a wrong image about successful enterpreneurs and how they almost need to be dropouts to be good. That’s a lie. Dropouts rarely succeed and the few exceptions only prove this.
  • ANECDOTE ABOUT ULF PRALLE. GERMAN FRIEND THAT IS OBSESSED ABOUT SEX BUT WANTED TO START A LOCAL SOCIAL NETWORK. JOYCLUB.DE FOUNDED & NOW WORKING ON MOBILE VERSION.
  • HOLY SHIT MY IDEA SUCKS. AN IDEA IS A RANDOM BRAINFART. DEVELOP THE IDEA. STUDY IT. CHECK IT WITH FRIENDS, PEER GROUPS, POTENTIAL CLIENTS, (NOT PARENTS ! :p). VALIDATE THE ASSUMPTIONS OF YOUR IDEA.A VERY IMPORTANT PHASE !!
  • Is it a problem you had to deal with yourself ? COOL (Twitspark example)Be cheaper = PLEASE DUDE. SERIOUSLY?Improve on existing technology, RED OCEAN = GOOD (BUT TOUGH)Innovate and be one of the first, BLUE OCEAN = BETTER (BUT RISKY)
  • DON’T ASSUME JUST BECAUSE YOU BUILD A GREAT PRODUCT, USERS WILL FLOCK. USE SIMPLE DISTRIBUTION TECHNIQUES (MAIL SIGNUP, FACEBOOK PROPAGATION, …)USE “VIRALITY” ONLY IF YOU ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT THE WORD MEANS (VIRAL PRODUCT FEATURES, LOCK-IN FEATURES).KEEP COST OF ACQUISITION LOW (OR PREDICTABLE) => FAB.COM EXAMPLE
  • I MADE THE MISTAKE OF WAITING A BIT TOO LONG JUST TO GET IT PERFECT. I WAS CONVINCED THE WORLD WAS UNFORGIVING FOR IMPERFECTION; WRONG !YOU NEED TO CONSTANTLY VALIDATE WHAT YOU ARE DOING ! VERY QUICKLY !
  • Petit Pays, Petit Esprit, Petit ZiziProblem with Belgians is we are equally afraid of failure as we are for success!
  • Chances of Failure are higher than TOTAL COMMITMENT: Sports
  • Chances of Failure are higher than
  • Chances of Failure are higher than
  • Chances of Failure are higher than
  • VOKA BRYO Keynote Speech

    1. 1. So. You want to start up ? some final words for starting entrepreneursFilip Maertens  www.filipmaertens.com  STARTING UP SERIES  Entrepreneurship in Europe  me@filipmaertens.com
    2. 2. • 1994: Selling “late night video bootlegs” at school • Parents cancelled Filmnet subscription • 1994: Selling “software CD’s” at school • Apparently, that was illegal. Parents shut me down • 1995: Had to set up Kreative VOF to sell hosting • Selling hardware and hosting. Friendly MBO in 2005. • 1998: Set up Securax bvba • Acquired by Ernst & Young / eSO in 2000 • 2005: Bought shares in Uniskill nv • Resold profitable in MBO Born 28/12/1978 University drop-out (sort of) • 2007: Bought shares in Attractel (+ VC funds) Two modest exits, one failure • Shut down due to trouble at the top Lived in U.S., & Middle East • 2009: VOIP Depot (angel investor) Passionate about technology! • 2006: Avydian Cyber Defense • Tradesell to Videre Technologies (Singapore) in 2011 • 2011: Argus Labs (ongoing…)Filip Maertens  www.filipmaertens.com  BRYO Brussels  me@filipmaertens.com
    3. 3.  Warning: Bad reasons to do a start-up. Money ? Get a real job. Power ? Join the army. Boredom ? Figure it out first. Flex time ? LOL.Filip Maertens  www.filipmaertens.com  BRYO Brussels  me@filipmaertens.com
    4. 4. Some words of advice ? 10 years in 10 topicsFilip Maertens  www.filipmaertens.com  BRYO Brussels  me@filipmaertens.com
    5. 5.  1 Your company must be your passion Passion is the only force that will keep you going when the going gets though.Filip Maertens  www.filipmaertens.com  BRYO Brussels  me@filipmaertens.com
    6. 6.  2 Nobody cares about your idea. Execution is the only key to success. Disciplined, brutal and never stopping execution.Filip Maertens  www.filipmaertens.com  BRYO Brussels  me@filipmaertens.com
    7. 7.  3 Find a real problem! And solve it! Many people are simply in love with their idea and are a solution waiting for a problemFilip Maertens  www.filipmaertens.com  BRYO Brussels  me@filipmaertens.com
    8. 8.  4 Product distribution and scalability ! Great products fail because founders have no idea how to distribute or scale.Filip Maertens  www.filipmaertens.com  BRYO Brussels  me@filipmaertens.com
    9. 9.  5 Be lean. Iterate fast ! Don’t wait for perfection. Break things and keep moving!Filip Maertens  www.filipmaertens.com  BRYO Brussels  me@filipmaertens.com
    10. 10.  6 Take on big problem, big market. Pick a big and growing industry!Filip Maertens  www.filipmaertens.com  BRYO Brussels  me@filipmaertens.com
    11. 11.  7 Failure can happen. Afraid ? Running a start-up requires total commitment. Be prepared to dine in hell.Filip Maertens  www.filipmaertens.com  BRYO Brussels  me@filipmaertens.com
    12. 12.  8 VC’s? Get revenue! Revenue is the cheapest money a company can buy Filip Maertens  www.filipmaertens.com  BRYO Brussels  me@filipmaertens.com
    13. 13.  9 Focus. Focus. Focus. Build one product really well and make money on one revenue stream onlyFilip Maertens  www.filipmaertens.com  BRYO Brussels  me@filipmaertens.com
    14. 14.  10 Be specific about what you do. No buzzword lingo. Please. Convey a clear message under one minute!Filip Maertens  www.filipmaertens.com  BRYO Brussels  me@filipmaertens.com
    15. 15. A guideline adlib My company, __(insert name of company)__, is developing __(a defined offering)__ to help __(a defined audience)__ __(solve a problem)__ with __(secret sauce)__.Filip Maertens  www.filipmaertens.com  BRYO Brussels  me@filipmaertens.com
    16. 16. My latest startup: Argus Labs ? Changing your smart-phone into a smart-agentFilip Maertens  www.filipmaertens.com  BRYO Brussels  me@filipmaertens.com

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