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110727 Unconventional Advice for Startups


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Small talk for Start

Published in: Business, Technology

110727 Unconventional Advice for Startups

  1. 1. Presentation delivered at Startup Bootcamp Madrid, July 2011 (actingas a mentor) 1
  2. 2. Hello Everyone! 2
  3. 3. I have a lot of things to say and so little time to do it, so this is gonna bereal fast. Keep up! 3
  4. 4. My name is Angel Medinilla, and I’ve been on the ICT market for morethan 14 years. I ran into Agile six years ago and I’ve been an Agileconsultant for the last four years, helping companies like Vodafone,Ericsson, Electronic Arts or Infojobs on their Agile adoption path. 4
  5. 5. But let’s go back to the nineties so I can tell you my whole story as anEntrepreneur 5
  6. 6. Back in the nineties I was like studying a lot 6
  7. 7. I used an approach to studying that, later on, I discovered to be LeanProcrastination: waiting until the last responsible moment and thendrinking coffee like mad while squeezing my brain 7
  8. 8. This of course had the side effect of leaving a lot of free time during theyear so I could party… 8
  9. 9. But I also had time to engage on my first entrepreneurial projects, likebootstrapping the Junior Enterprise at the Engineering College orworking as an intern for Sun Microsystems opening new markets in theUniversity. 9
  10. 10. When I finished my studies, circa 1998, I joined a Startup. I entered asemployee number 46 and we ended up with, like, 1500 people in threeor four years. 10
  11. 11. This was an amazing experience, as I got to work with a level 5 team,capable of absolutely everything and thinking that impossible is nothing.We had a huge success as a team and we were promoted to managefive other startups. 11
  12. 12. Unfortunately the meltdown hit us hard, but having had such asuccess inside a company we decided to go out and start our ownStartup. Funky Business was our bible, and we were ready to rock theworld…This was 2003 12
  13. 13. A year later we were broke. We made all the mistakes by the book (thisone is in Spanish, but it is very good, it lists a lot of pitfalls ofentrepreneurs) 13
  14. 14. Some of the mistakes we made… 14
  15. 15. So I had to go back to the mine and work for in a corporateenvironment for four years… 15
  16. 16. Around 2006 I was feeling the entreprenurial call again, and I startingwriting a blog about Internet, startups, business, project management… 16
  17. 17. Finally in 2007 I started my own company, providing ProjectManagement services in the beginning and later on pivoting to Agileconsulting, training and coaching service 17
  18. 18. Here you can see some trading cards of the companies I’ve beenworking for since then 18
  19. 19. Now I’m going international, so I started a blog in english… 19
  20. 20. And my world domination plan is doing just fine! 20
  21. 21. Nice to meet you! 21
  22. 22. Here you can find some of the boring same-stuff like advice that youcan find on every Start-up book. While they are very true, these arepretty conventional… 22
  23. 23. So I would give you some unconventional advice you’d probably findharder to find out there 23
  25. 25. Fortunately there are low costs flight to virtually everywhere. Starttraveling, and start now! 25
  26. 26. Don’t be too eager to take the money. Stay away from politicians,bankers and, in general, from the establishment: they will crush yoursouls 26
  27. 27. There is no secret ingredient in the secret ingredient soup. Just theright ingredients, prepared in the right way by people that have beencooking for years and now how to do their stuff. So perserver and workhard. Do deliverate pratice. 27
  28. 28. Pivot. Maneuver. Change your track in search of your goals. This is notabout following a plan, but about tracking daily your progress againstmeasurable goals. 28
  29. 29. It’s all about people: understand brain and emotions. There areexcellent books and seminars about this: engage them! 29
  30. 30. Create a corporate culture. Understand both the values of youremployees and your community of users. Honor that values! Live bythem! 30
  31. 31. Don’t do Cargo Cult! Copying great companies practices won’t makeyou a make you great… 31
  32. 32. …it will make you stay insane hours eating pizza and, in the end, ship acrappy product nobody wants. 32
  33. 33. Form a comunity of people that are like you. Everyone else will tell youthat you are crazy and press you to abandon. Eventually you will,unless you see that you are not alone. This will also help yoi findtalented employees and cofounders. Go network! 33
  34. 34. Learn Story Telling: • Do dramatic story-worthy things that represent theculture we want to create. Then let other people tell stories about it.• Find other people who do story-worthy things that represent theculture we want to create. Then tell stories about them. 34
  35. 35. If you suck at presenting (and you probably do), go join a stand-upcomedy group, or a theater class, or a story telling class. There areawesome and will make you the star in family meetings, but also helpyou pitch investors. 35
  36. 36. “Masakatsu Agatsu” – O sensei – True victory is victory over oneself.Understand that this is not about you against your competition, but youagainst your self. On the long distance. 36
  37. 37. Self develop! Care your health, do sports, burn stress, learn how tobreath, meditate. You are supposed to be the eye of the hurricanearound you! 37
  38. 38. Eventually you will be tempted by the dark side. Avoid the temptation.When you get power, don’t go and do to people the same things thatcorporate stupids did to you, things that force you to quit and start yourcompany… 38
  39. 39. So don’t be evil! Let people start-up inside your start-up! 39
  40. 40. I would like to finish with this words by Konosuke Matsushita… 40
  41. 41. And be sure that these are advice I’m applying to myself. I eat my owndog food! 41
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