A SHORT AND CONCISE GUIDE OF WHAT NOT TO DO IF YOU INTEND TO STAY ALIVE IN THE OVERLY COMPETITIVE WORLD OF STARTUPS (PART 1 OF MANY) by @herval
KNOWING WHAT TO DO IS EASY work a little bithave an idea proﬁt!
MISTAKES SLOW YOU DOWN “I’ll fail until I succeed” (I just hope I’m not 90 years old when I do)Success = making less mistakes (and learning from the ones you make)Learning from others’ is a shortcut
HERVAL FREIRE Starting up since 2002 Founder of 4 companies, a dozen projects Helped founding a gazillion other companies (mostly as a hacker)
THIS PRESENTATION SPONSORED BY... & (we’re hiring!)
DON’T OVERENGINEERBuild as few things as possible Solve speciﬁc problems, don’tgeneralize too soon Be quick - that’s youronly weapon as a startup
DON’T HIRE INTERNS FREELANCERS NOOBS A strong foundation requires a brilliant team No time for unexperienced people or mistakes The ﬁrst 10 employees will determine your company’s DNA. Make the best of it.
DON’T UNDERESTIMATE COSTS Starting with empty pockets willonly bring you frustration Hidden costs, taxes andaccidents Having money to eat ispeace of mind
DON’T EXPECT ANYONE TO SUPPORT YOUYour friends will think you’re crazy (unlessyou’re in the Valley, in which case they’re probably crazy too)Your family will ask you to get a jobUsers won’t ﬂock at your doorIgnore the naysayers and doyour stuff
DON’T ASK CUSTOMERS WHAT THEY WANT “If I’d asked my customers what they wanted, they’d have said a faster horse” - Henry Ford (that dude that went broke 5 times before Ford Motors) Measure everything! DATA is King
DON’T PANIC Nothing is as easy as it looks Anything that can go wrong will go wrong Everything will take longer than expected to get done (rule of thumb: 3 times longer) Expect the best, plan for the worst
DON’T BLAME OTHERS The economy downturn Those pesky developers My disappointing sales team The weather Blame yourself and yourselfalone
DON’T PIVOT TOO MUCH...“so many opportunities out there! Gottacatch them all”- Pokemón entrepreneur“It didn’t work at ﬁrst try, so it sucks, let’sdo something completely different”- Glass-half-empty entrepreneur“revenue is so 90‘s! We should gamifythose micropayments. Everyone is doing it!”- The trend-follower
...BUT PLEASE DON’T BE STUBBORN “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” - Albert Einstein (that kid who didn’t speak until he was 4!)(SMS group messaging) (Bourbn - another Foursquare) (that MMORPG)
DON’T DIE “I have not failed. Ive just found 10,000 ways that wont work. “ - Thomas Edisson, that dude that invented the lamp (and a thousand other things) Rovio: 52 games, 8 years, almost zero revenue before Angry BirdsPaul Graham’s “How not to die” - http://bit.ly/nYDNaT