Iterate Or Die: Life In A Startup

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Iterate Or Die: Life In A Startup

  1. 1. Iterate or Die: Life in a Startup David Cummings davidcummings.org
  2. 2. Iterating is a key for startup success.   |0|
  3. 3. But how do you measure success?   |0|
  4. 4. Being a little crazy helps.   |0|
  5. 5. A good market and agile people are needed.   |0|
  6. 6. Iterating is natural and healthy.    |0|
  7. 7. Learning what doesn't work is critical.   |0|
  8. 8. Hannon Hill was started in late 2000.   |1|
  9. 9. SaaS is a great business model.   |1|
  10. 10. The only problem? We were a failure.   |1|
  11. 11. The market wasn't accepting of SaaS.   |1|
  12. 12. $30/month was expensive to prospects.   |1|
  13. 13. Customers needed significant help.   |1|
  14. 14. We had to change our business model.   |1|
  15. 15. Installed software seemed right.   |2|
  16. 16. Low sales weren't sustainable.   |2|
  17. 17. We finally got our big break in 2001.   |2|
  18. 18. It was time to build something new.   |2|
  19. 19. Changing directions was easy.   |2|
  20. 20. The next product was a fancy CMS.   |2|
  21. 21. We had no idea if we'd be successful.   |3|
  22. 22. There was no clear market leader.   |3|
  23. 23. Customer-driven development is best.   |3|
  24. 24. Eating your own dog food helps.   |3|
  25. 25. We launched and won an award.   |3|
  26. 26. A good product doesn't equal sales.   |3|
  27. 27. We only sold one license in 2003.   |3|
  28. 28. Learning to sell was our next step.   |3|
  29. 29. Cold calling seemed the most logical.   |4|
  30. 30. 1,000 calls only resulted in four demos.   |4|
  31. 31. We needed a solid value proposition.   |4|
  32. 32. We needed reference customers.   |4|
  33. 33. We need name recognition.   |4|
  34. 34. Agencies seemed obvious.   |4|
  35. 35. Agencies didn't work.   |4|
  36. 36. Agencies make money off their time.   |4|
  37. 37. PPC ads proved to be our next break.   |4|
  38. 38. Sales in 2004 pointed to higher ed.   |5|
  39. 39. Higher ed. needed our product.   |5|
  40. 40. We could manage multiple sites.   |5|
  41. 41. Our simple pricing was attractive.   |5|
  42. 42. Naturally we didn't plan it that way.   |5|
  43. 43. We were getting close to success.   |5|
  44. 44. In 2005, we went back to cold calling.   |5|
  45. 45. I was the sales engineer and manager.   |5|
  46. 46. Sales tripled and then doubled.   |5|
  47. 47. We're now one of the top vendors.   |5|
  48. 48. Success came down to a few things.   |5|
  49. 49. We never thought of giving up.   |5|
  50. 50. We made decisions quickly.   |5|
  51. 51. We loved our product and customers.   |5|
  52. 52. Iterating is critical for success.   |5|
  53. 53. Thank You  Questions? [email_address] Blog: davidcummings.org

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