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Startup	  Piroue(es	  For	  Lean	  People	                  @benjaminjoffe	  
Startups	  start	  from	  ideas…	  
…make	  pivots…	  
…to	  reach	  this	  stage.	  
Pivots?	  “Go	  that	  way,	  really	  fast.	  If	  something	  get	  in	  your	  way,	  turn”	                    (from	 ...
ASSISTED	  BLIND	  PIVOT:	  I	  CAN’T	  REALLY	  HELP	  YOU	  WITH	  YOUR	  PIVOTS	                                       ...
Hats	  •  Digital	  Naturalist	      –  Founder	  of	  +8*	  |	  Plus	  Eight	  Star	      –  12	  years	  across	  Asia	 ...
PLAN	  1.  Some	  ideas	  2.  Startup	  1	  3.  Startup	  2	  4.  Conclusion	  
Some	  ideas	  
Two	  Contrarian	  Views	  •  James	  Altucher	  •  Nick	  Yang	  
James	  Altucher	      •  Write	  10	  ideas	  a	  day	      •  Throw	  them	  away	                            I	  highly...
Nick	  Yang	      •  Ideas	      •  Passion	      •  Skills	  Nick	  Yang	  is	  a	  serial	  entrepreneur	  in	  China.	 ...
Ideas?	  His	  view	  is	  that	  ideas	  are	  not	  so	  special	  
Thomas	  Edison	       •  Not	  the	  first	  light	  bulb	       •  Not	  the	  only	  light	  bulb	       •  First	  larg...
Passion?	  When	  I	  hear	  “passion”	  I	  think	  of	  this.	  While	  it	  shows	      commitment,	  does	  it	  have	...
Passion	  Can	  Grow	  •  2	  types	  of	  entrepreneurs	  •  Passionate	  about	  business	  •  Ideas	  change	  anyway	 ...
Skills	     •  Re-­‐usable	     •  Keep	  improving	     •  Market	  value	  To	  Nick	  Yang,	  skills	  are	  key.	  Ide...
Cmune	              First	  investment	  /	  Co-­‐founding	  Quick	  story	  about	  a	  company	  I	  am	  involved	  in....
Pivots	  •  Pivots	      –  2007 	      	  “3D	  collaboraon”	      –  2008 	      	  5	  prototypes	      –  2009 	      ...
Today:	  #1	  shooter	  on	  Facebook,	  1M	  Likes!	  
DayDeed	        My	  first	  project!	  My	  very	  own	  first	  project	  
Idea	  •  Helping	  people	  help	  others	  •  “Social	  Craigslist”	  •  No	  noise,	  all	  signal	                    ...
Service	  screenshot	  
First	  Lessons	     •    Early	  adopters?	     •    No	  clear	  problem	     •    Exisng	  competors	     •    Deadpool...
Product	  Lessons:	  5	  seconds	  rule	   1.  What	  you	  do	   2.  What	  I	  can	  do	   3.  Why	  it’s	  for	  me	  3...
Summary	  •  “Don’t	  make	  me	  think”	  •  “Charming	  content”	                       Self-­‐explanatory	  is	  best	 ...
Build	  Minimal,	  Measure,	  Iterate	  Fast	       •  Minimal	  funcons	       •  Find	  pa=erns	       •  Design	  debt	...
Parng	  words	  
An	  interesng	  post	  I	  read	  recently	  
“To	  build	  a	  successful	  business	  you	  need	  a	  great	  team,	  a	  good	  idea	  and	    a	  lot	  of	  hard	 ...
Typical	  startup	      •  #FAIL	      •  2	  years	  to	  know	  if	  you	  are	  onto	  something	      •  4	  years	  t...
The	  Friends	  and	  Family	  Pivot	  Most	  startups	  end	  up	  with	  a	  “F	  &	  F	  Pivot”	  
“Create	  real	  products	  or	  solve	  real	  problems	  instead!	  It’s	  not	  harder,	  it’s	  just	   different.	  Pl...
Thanks!	              A	  successful	  pivot:	  |	  @benjaminjoffe	  
Startup Pirouettes For Lean People
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Startup Pirouettes For Lean People


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Startups are lots of work, and that is if they work out. Talk given at the Lean Startup Machine workshop in Singapore in September 2012

Published in: Business, Technology
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Startup Pirouettes For Lean People

  1. 1. Startup  Piroue(es  For  Lean  People   @benjaminjoffe  
  2. 2. Startups  start  from  ideas…  
  3. 3. …make  pivots…  
  4. 4. …to  reach  this  stage.  
  5. 5. Pivots?  “Go  that  way,  really  fast.  If  something  get  in  your  way,  turn”   (from  the  movie  “Alive  Not  Dead”)  
  6. 6. ASSISTED  BLIND  PIVOT:  I  CAN’T  REALLY  HELP  YOU  WITH  YOUR  PIVOTS   “Change  based  on  the  advice  of  investors,   mentors,  “lean  startup  experts“,  etc.   who  also  haven’t  go.en  out  of  the  building   and  talked  to  the  humans.”   Check  Tristan  Kromer’s  excellent  “Taxonomy  of  the  Startup  Pivot”   h(p://­‐of-­‐the-­‐lean-­‐startup-­‐an-­‐pivot/    
  7. 7. Hats  •  Digital  Naturalist   –  Founder  of  +8*  |  Plus  Eight  Star   –  12  years  across  Asia  •  Startup  Therapist   –  Angel  investor  in  8  startups   –  Advisor  to  5  Accelerators  •  Speaker   –  150+  talks  in  21  countries  (TEDx,  SxSW,  LeWeb…)   –  250,000  views  on  Slideshare  
  8. 8. PLAN  1.  Some  ideas  2.  Startup  1  3.  Startup  2  4.  Conclusion  
  9. 9. Some  ideas  
  10. 10. Two  Contrarian  Views  •  James  Altucher  •  Nick  Yang  
  11. 11. James  Altucher   •  Write  10  ideas  a  day   •  Throw  them  away   I  highly  recommend  his  columns!  Wring  10  ideas  a  day  will  make  you  realize  that  ideas  are  common.  Good  ideas  are  rare,  but  your  chances  get  higher  with  MORE  IDEAS.  
  12. 12. Nick  Yang   •  Ideas   •  Passion   •  Skills  Nick  Yang  is  a  serial  entrepreneur  in  China.  He  built  (among  other  things)  the   largest  mobile  content  provider  (KongZhong)  and  took  it  to  IPO.  
  13. 13. Ideas?  His  view  is  that  ideas  are  not  so  special  
  14. 14. Thomas  Edison   •  Not  the  first  light  bulb   •  Not  the  only  light  bulb   •  First  large-­‐scale  business   A  light  bulb  represents  ideas  “thanks”  to  Thomas  Edison.   He  “owns”  the  symbol,  but  his  contribuon  was  not  what  people  think.  To  me,  the  light  bulb  is  a  terrible  symbol  for  ideas.    
  15. 15. Passion?  When  I  hear  “passion”  I  think  of  this.  While  it  shows   commitment,  does  it  have  to  be  painful?  
  16. 16. Passion  Can  Grow  •  2  types  of  entrepreneurs  •  Passionate  about  business  •  Ideas  change  anyway  •  Passion  grows  with  work  &  improvement  Broadly  speaking,  entrepreneurs  are  “arsts”  or  “business   people”.  Passion  about  business  looks  more  “viable”.  
  17. 17. Skills   •  Re-­‐usable   •  Keep  improving   •  Market  value  To  Nick  Yang,  skills  are  key.  Ideas  are  everywhere,  passion  can   grow  once  results  come.  But  nothing  comes  without  skills.  
  18. 18. Cmune   First  investment  /  Co-­‐founding  Quick  story  about  a  company  I  am  involved  in.  
  19. 19. Pivots  •  Pivots   –  2007    “3D  collaboraon”   –  2008    5  prototypes   –  2009    1  game  •  Business   –  2010    Clean  up  everything   –  2011    Raise  money  from  Skype  Founder   –  2012    1M  Likes   Quite  a  few  pivots  on  the  business  side…  
  20. 20. Today:  #1  shooter  on  Facebook,  1M  Likes!  
  21. 21. DayDeed   My  first  project!  My  very  own  first  project  
  22. 22. Idea  •  Helping  people  help  others  •  “Social  Craigslist”  •  No  noise,  all  signal   Brilliant  concept!  
  23. 23. Service  screenshot  
  24. 24. First  Lessons   •  Early  adopters?   •  No  clear  problem   •  Exisng  competors   •  Deadpool  of  others   But  not  enough  research:  what’s  the  problem?  who  is  it  for?  Also  found  similar  live  and  dead  services,  none  growing  much.  
  25. 25. Product  Lessons:  5  seconds  rule   1.  What  you  do   2.  What  I  can  do   3.  Why  it’s  for  me  3  things  visitors  have  to  figure  out  in  a  few  seconds  
  26. 26. Summary  •  “Don’t  make  me  think”  •  “Charming  content”   Self-­‐explanatory  is  best   +  Show  me  something  I  care  about!  
  27. 27. Build  Minimal,  Measure,  Iterate  Fast   •  Minimal  funcons   •  Find  pa=erns   •  Design  debt  Keep  funcons  and  design  as  simple  as  possible  (but  not  simplisc)  or   risk  building  waste  and  incur  design/technical  debt  (changes  take   more  and  more  me)  
  28. 28. Parng  words  
  29. 29. An  interesng  post  I  read  recently  
  30. 30. “To  build  a  successful  business  you  need  a  great  team,  a  good  idea  and   a  lot  of  hard  [and  smart]  work.”   Startups  are  LOTS  OF  WORK  
  31. 31. Typical  startup   •  #FAIL   •  2  years  to  know  if  you  are  onto  something   •  4  years  to  get  somewhere   •  Lots  of  hard  work  and  stress   •  Freedom?  (vs.  job  or  small  business)   And  typically  take  4  YEARS  when  they  succeed!  You  will  have  less  me  and  likely  much  less  money.  Be  aware  of  that   (though  ignorance  might  also  help  you  get  started)  
  32. 32. The  Friends  and  Family  Pivot  Most  startups  end  up  with  a  “F  &  F  Pivot”  
  33. 33. “Create  real  products  or  solve  real  problems  instead!  It’s  not  harder,  it’s  just   different.  Plus  you  can  actually  make  a   difference  in  someone’s  life!”   4  years  of  your  life  with  lots  of  work  &  no  money  has   be(er  be  for  something  you  care  about  
  34. 34. Thanks!   A  successful  pivot:  |  @benjaminjoffe