Oh Dear God Not Again! Gobi Capital @ Georgian College
Oh Dear God Not Again!
By Scotty Thom
Creation, Life, Death,
Who the hell are you?
Failure, Sinner, Smelly
Piss Poor Sorry Excuse For A Man
Tinkerer, Writer, Dreamer
14 years as an entrepreneur
3,250 entrepreneurs helped
I see dead people.
What gives you the right to talk to us?
• 6 companies Founded or Co-Founded
• Gobi Capital since 2009
– Hotels, resorts, tech, service, green tech
– Reviewed 500+ business plans and support docs
• Education: University of Guelph (BA Econ),
Helsinki Univeristy of Technology (IBLP)
• Habitatation: Helsink, Finland | Sendai, Japan
| Guelph, Waterloo, Toronto, Canada
Well maybe not dead people.
10,000 hours to master something (Malcolm G.!)
26,000 hours if I worked 9am-5pm M-F
52,000 hours approximately since 2000
Barrie & Toronto Open Coffee Club, 10
Startups.com, CoFounder’s Lab (Canada)
This is all I do:
Startups & Growth
More like dead things.
If you’re such a big sh*t, why are you
When I was 18 and getting started, someone
I’m here for the one person in this room who
gives a f*ck and wants to change the world.
Now onto the good stuff
• The Start
– An idea; preferably a good one
– What makes a good idea?
• Meet Philo. We’re going to wax with her.
I see gothpreneurs.
If We Have Time
• The Middle
– Creating A Cycle
• The Finish
– Exit stage left
So I guess you could say I see dead things and gothpreneurs.
It had better be good
So what makes a good idea?
Box Of Possibilities
Current Psychology, Thinking, Rationale
An Ability To See Opportunity
And I want to see more!
This is where you will
operate your business
Box Of Possibilities
Your competitors have a
This box represents you and
all of your competitors competing
for the same clients, market segment
Box Of Possibilities
One Market Segment
The Sack Of Many Segments
Range Of Potential Client Types
Luck + Time + Focus = Timing (T)
Worst case scenario is worse than expected?
Your possible acquirer decides to become a competitor?
Co-founder going through a divorce?
Startups become unsexy?
Assumptions were wrong?
Massive systemic power failure?
No organic growth?
Everyone says no?
Buying behaviour changes?
(then you have a sad sack of sorries)
What are the behaviours of potential clients?
What are the trends in the market segment?
Why does your client exist?
For any factoid on your client, ask yourself –
“What does this mean?”
• Continue to ask the question – “What is
Today is day 942.
Ability To Focus
• Ability to say no
– Terrible Two’s
– “You’re doing some cool sh*t, but that’s not for
me right now.”
• Knowing your end game
• Grounded values / Having a yard stick
• FTW! Success!
941 days to go…
How Do You See Opportunity?
• Determined by experience
– Series of assumptions to guide you
• External Reinforcement
– Positive is good
– Negative tends to be more effective when younger
• Write It Out!
– Does it make sense?
– Can you easily explain all of it to your Mother?
• Do the work. Stop planning, start doing.
– Try existing solutions
– Talk to potential clients (Alpha clients)
• Paper It Up!
– Wireframe, develop it, code it
– Build the tech / service offering / etc
Addendum on Prototypes
• Build – Test
– Paper / code is good to start
– Then test it!
– Repeat process – Build – Test –Build – Test
• Test with who?
• 10 Alpha clients
• 40 Beta clients
• Methodology – small failures, quick failures
Take A Step Back
• Hit on the following points
– Your plan has probably changed
– The market has probably changed
– Consumer / business sentiment has prob changed
– Everything may have changed
• Go back to the drawing board and ensure your
assumptions and hypothesis are still correct
• You now have a product or service. Congrats!
• You will have alpha and beta clients.
• How do you leverage everything you have to
get traction in the marketplace?
Traction = Sales
Nothing happens until somebody sells something.
That somebody is you and everyone in your org.
• Pre-sales process
• Sales Process
• Post-sales process
A few authors for you to tap into:
• Jeffrey Fox
• Zig Ziglar
• Tom Hopkins
• Timothy Ferriss
• Seth Godin
• “Strategic Selling”
• “SPIN Selling”
But I’ve never had to sell anything…