Startupdna 130210154020-phpapp02

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Startupdna 130210154020-phpapp02

  1. 1. Startup DNA The formula behind successful startups in Silicon Valley
  2. 2. Startup DNA The formula behind successful startups in Silicon Valley
  3. 3. About me
  4. 4. Who I'm not... ● I'm not Paul Graham, Reid Hoffman, Dave McClure, Marc Andreessen (sorry) ● I don't own a company ● I'm a "rank amateur"
  5. 5. What I offer is a different perspective: "from the trenches"
  6. 6. Who I am ● Had front row seats at very successful startups: LinkedIn, TripAdvisor ● Wrote a lot of code: Monetization, Platform, Infrastructure, Apps ● Created a few programs: Hackdays, [in]cubator, engineering blog, open source
  7. 7. These are my personal observations on a few traits that make startups successful.
  8. 8. Outline 1. Make excellent mistakes 2. Speed wins 3. Boyd's law 4. If you can't measure it, you can't fix it 5. Distribution 6. Sharing
  9. 9. Outline 1. Make excellent mistakes 2. Speed wins 3. Boyd's law 4. If you can't measure it, you can't fix it 5. Distribution 6. Sharing
  10. 10. "Make excellent mistakes" Dan Pink [1]
  11. 11. The road to startup success is paved with failure
  12. 12. Failed projects
  13. 13. ● Answers ● Events ● Tweets ● Github ● Countless other experiments that never made it past a "dark launch"
  14. 14. ● Wave ● Buzz ● Labs ● Health ● Knol ● Catalog ● Video ● Answers
  15. 15. The Pivot
  16. 16. ● Started as a way to share images in Game Neverending, a massively multiplayer online game. ● Rewritten to focus on photo sharing ● Acquired by Yahoo for $35m in 2005
  17. 17. ● Started out as burbn, an HTML5 mobile app for location-based social networking with photo sharing as one of many features ● Completely rewritten as a photo sharing focused native app ● Sold to facebook for $1bn in 2012
  18. 18. Twitter ● Started out as odeo, a site to create and share podcasts ● Struggling to stay alive, they held a hackathon. Jack Dorsey proposed the microblogging concept (originally, text message only). ● 500m users and $10b valuation in 2012
  19. 19. "Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success." Biz Stone [2]
  20. 20. The Failure
  21. 21. Richard Branson ● Virgin Clothes failed ● Virgin Cola failed ● Virgin Vision failed ● Virgin Vodka failed ● Virgin Wine failed ● Virgin Jeans failed ● Virgin Cars failed ● ... and many others failed ● ... but several hundred others succeeded
  22. 22. "I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work." Thomas Edison
  23. 23. "Screw it! Just do it!" Richard Branson
  24. 24. Reid Hoffman ● His first startup was Socialnet.com: a social network for dating. ● Never heard of it? Exactly. ● Went on to become COO of Paypal, co- founder of LinkedIn, and one of the most successful angel investors of the last decade.
  25. 25. "If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative." Woody Allen
  26. 26. Outline 1. Make excellent mistakes 2. Speed wins 3. Boyd's law 4. If you can't measure it, you can't fix it 5. Distribution 6. Sharing
  27. 27. "Speed wins" Stephen Kaufer
  28. 28. You will not get it right the first time. Or the 10th.
  29. 29. Time Maturity Mature, stable Proof of concept Product development (assumption) Idea
  30. 30. Time Maturity Mature, stable Proof of concept Product development (reality) Idea
  31. 31. Time Maturity Mature, stable Proof of concept Product development (reality) Idea A very large portion of development time is trial and error
  32. 32. In a trial and error world, getting to errors faster is the key to success.
  33. 33. Time Maturity Mature, stable Proof of concept Product development (technology comparison) Dynamic/interpreted languages Static languages Idea
  34. 34. Time Maturity Mature, stable Proof of concept Dynamic/interpreted languages Static languages Innovation Advantage Product development (technology comparison) Idea
  35. 35. Time Maturity Mature, stable Proof of concept RoR, Play Servlets, Spring Innovation Advantage Product development (framework comparison) Idea
  36. 36. Time Maturity Mature, stable Proof of concept Agile, Scrum Waterfall Innovation Advantage Product development (development method comparison) Idea
  37. 37. "If you're not embarrassed by your first release, you've launched too late." Reid Hoffman
  38. 38. Outline 1. Make excellent mistakes 2. Speed wins 3. Boyd's law 4. If you can't measure it, you can't fix it 5. Distribution 6. Sharing
  39. 39. Boyd's Law of Iteration: "Speed of iteration beats quality of iteration." Jeff Atwood [3]
  40. 40. Brikman corollary: "Speed of iteration improves quality of iteration."
  41. 41. Change the code See the result Should be as close to 0 as possible Rapid Prototyping
  42. 42. Demo ● jsfiddle ● Firebug ● Developer tools ● apigee ● JavaScript API Console ● CodeKit
  43. 43. "A canvas or sketchbook serves as an external imagination." Bret Victor [4]
  44. 44. "A programming language is for thinking of programs, not for expressing programs you've already thought of." Paul Graham [5]
  45. 45. Leverage ● Always, always, always google first ● "There's an open source library for that" ● Many minds are better than one ● Bonus: learn from the code
  46. 46. Demo ● node.js modules ● ruby toolbox ● github ● google fonts ● lorem ipsum ● placekitten
  47. 47. "You'll be lucky if you have a single original idea your entire life." Mr. Patch [6]
  48. 48. Outline 1. Make excellent mistakes 2. Speed wins 3. Boyd's law 4. If you can't measure it, you can't fix it 5. Distribution 6. Sharing
  49. 49. "If you can't measure it, you can't fix it." DJ Patil
  50. 50. You will not get it right the first time. Or the 10th. Or ever, if you don't know what is right and what is wrong.
  51. 51. inGraphs Server metrics
  52. 52. inGraphs Database metrics
  53. 53. inGraphs Client-side metrics
  54. 54. Profile metrics
  55. 55. Activity metrics
  56. 56. Bug metrics
  57. 57. Build metrics
  58. 58. Test metrics
  59. 59. Measure everything.
  60. 60. LiX LinkedIn Experimentation Platform
  61. 61. LiX ● Group members into buckets ● Control feature visibility by bucket ● A/B testing ● Feature ramps: dark launch, 1%, 10%, 100%
  62. 62. Subscriptions Bucket A
  63. 63. Subscriptions Bucket B
  64. 64. Subscriptions Bucket C
  65. 65. Subscriptions Bucket D
  66. 66. Picking the right image for a given user significantly increased CTR
  67. 67. "Web 3.0 will be about data." Reid Hoffman
  68. 68. Outline 1. Make excellent mistakes 2. Speed wins 3. Boyd's law 4. If you can't measure it, you can't fix it 5. Distribution 6. Sharing
  69. 69. Products do NOT sell themselves.
  70. 70. "Poor distribution - not product - is the number one cause of failure." Peter Thiel [7]
  71. 71. All credit goes to Peter Thiel [7] and Adam Nash [8] Common distribution channels
  72. 72. Sales ● Dedicated sales team: LinkedIn ● Employees as sales team: Square ● CEO as sales team: Palantir [7] ● Competitions, grants: SpaceX [7]
  73. 73. Email ● No one likes spam, but email can work: personalized, universal, measurable. ● Direct marketing emails: very low CTR ● Product emails: built into to product interactions. Far better CTRs.
  74. 74. Year in Review Email CTRs so high, it was "clicks-per-email"! [8]
  75. 75. Facebook photo tagging email My personal CTR on these is 100%.
  76. 76. SEO ● Free, measurable, effective ● LinkedIn: public profiles, public groups, LinkedIn Today, LinkedIn influencers ● TripAdvisor: the vast majority of TripAdvisor traffic comes from Google
  77. 77. TripAdvisor SEO One of the top search results for almost any hotel
  78. 78. LinkedIn SEO "Professional profile of record"
  79. 79. Social ● Put it in the stream ● Social gestures: comments, likes, votes ● Just like email spam, the feed is becoming flooded
  80. 80. Media ● Blogs, news sites: techcrunch, mashable, huffpost, wired, and many others ● Newspapers, magazines, TV ● Huge reach and a great way to bring in many users in a short time
  81. 81. Build relationships with the media
  82. 82. Marketing ● Traditional ads: TV, print ads, billboards. Expensive, hard to measure, and rarely used by startups. ● Online ads: CTR, CPM, SEM. Measure everything!
  83. 83. Viral Marketing ● Your users attract more users ● Game theory, psychology, sociology ● Free, often measurable (tracking codes)
  84. 84. Viral loops must be built into the product.
  85. 85. Key Viral Marketing Concepts ● Viral loops: in my product, where do users interact with non-users? ● Viral factor: how many non-users do they reach per viral interaction? ● Cycle time: how often do these viral interactions occur?
  86. 86. People You May Know (PYMK) Invite notification shows up via email, web UI, and mobile. When the other member accepts the invite, we show them PYMK too!
  87. 87. Twitter @mentions Notification shows up via email, web UI, and mobile
  88. 88. Google Analytics & Webmaster Tools Essential tools for measuring the performance of your distribution channels (measure everything!)
  89. 89. The best product doesn't always win.
  90. 90. The best distribution wins ● Betamax vs. VHS [11] ● Apple vs. Microsoft (early 90's) [12] ● TiVo vs. DVR [13] ● Netscape vs. IE [22]
  91. 91. Outline 1. Make excellent mistakes 2. Speed wins 3. Boyd's law 4. If you can't measure it, you can't fix it 5. Distribution 6. Sharing
  92. 92. Silicon Valley companies share (almost) everything.
  93. 93. Share Everything ● Papers: MapReduce [15], Dynamo [16] ● Open Source: Hadoop [17], Voldemort [18] ● Hardware: OpenCompute [19] ● Companies: Red Hat [20], Mozilla [21]
  94. 94. Open Source SpeakingWriting
  95. 95. Why?
  96. 96. Mastery: the best way to learn, is to teach.
  97. 97. Better code & products: the house is cleanest just before guests arrive
  98. 98. Free labor: free QA, free documentation, free bug fixes, ...
  99. 99. Publicity: recognition for the company and its employees
  100. 100. Happier employees: something they keep forever
  101. 101. "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." Isaac Newton
  102. 102. This is why I'm here today. Please share your feedback and experiences with me!
  103. 103. Recap 1. Make excellent mistakes 2. Speed wins 3. Boyd's law 4. If you can't measure it, you can't fix it 5. Distribution 6. Sharing
  104. 104. Questions?
  105. 105. References 1. http://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Johnny-Bunko-Career-Guide/dp/1594482918?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1206925356&sr=8-1 2. http://www.bizstone.com/2010/09/timing-lessons.html 3. http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2007/02/boyds-law-of-iteration.html 4. http://worrydream.com/LearnableProgramming/ 5. http://www.paulgraham.com/hp.html 6. Mr. Patch was my 11th grade physics teacher 7. http://blakemasters.com/post/22405055017/peter-thiels-cs183-startup-class-9-notes-essay 8. http://blog.adamnash.com/2012/03/28/user-acquisition-five-sources-of-traffic/ 9. http://blog.adamnash.com/2012/04/04/user-acquisition-viral-factor-basics/ 10. http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20121002124206-18876785-how-to-model-viral-growth-the-hybrid-model 11. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Videotape_format_war 12. http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/Q4.06/9FD12E37-8DC7-4AD1-872F-2021BEDE6D96.html 13. http://www.quora.com/TiVo/Why-did-TiVo-fail 14. http://www.paulgraham.com/growth.html 15. http://research.google.com/archive/mapreduce.html 16. http://www.read.seas.harvard.edu/~kohler/class/cs239-w08/decandia07dynamo.pdf 17. http://hadoop.apache.org/ 18. http://www.project-voldemort.com/voldemort/ 19. http://www.opencompute.org/ 20. http://www.redhat.com/ 21. http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/ 22. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Browser_wars

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