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How to run a scrappy startup

  1. 1. Rashmi Sinha, CEO & Cofounder, SlideShare How to run a scrappy startup
  2. 2. Who am I?
  3. 3. SlideShare... <ul><li>best place in the world to share presentations </li></ul>
  4. 4. Taking over the world (one PowerPoint at a time!) <ul><li>Start: May 06 > Beta > Launch Oct 06 > Grow > Grow more > Angel funding Dec 07 > Series A Apr 08 </li></ul>
  5. 6. How to run a scrappy startup <ul><li>OR how to make the most of the money you have </li></ul><ul><li>OR How to build the best product with little money </li></ul>
  6. 7. 1. Keep your day job till your idea has legs <ul><li>MindCanvas to SlideShare </li></ul>
  7. 8. Start from top in being scrappy
  8. 9. The lower the CEO salary, the more likely it is to succeed …it goes to whether the mission of the company is to build something new or just collect paychecks. Peter Thiel, Founders Fund
  9. 10. Cash is important <ul><li>Know your burn rate & fume date (when you will run out of money) at any moment </li></ul>
  10. 11. 2. Have a remote team <ul><li>Offshore not outsource </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone should feel ownership (& have stock options) </li></ul><ul><li>Hire smart people, give them ownership </li></ul>
  11. 12. Challenges <ul><li>Getting to know each other (developing informal rapport) </li></ul><ul><li>Body clock </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits: 24 hour cycle </li></ul>
  12. 13. Synchronous is must Need to look at same screen Skype GoToMeeting
  13. 14. SCRUM End of day reports
  14. 15. 3. Bring expertise into company without hiring <ul><li>Advisory roles – SEO, Sales, Metrics, Marketing </li></ul>
  15. 16. How to structure advisory relationships <ul><li>How much stock? </li></ul><ul><li>Setup monthly meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Create action items at each meeting, complete them, report back </li></ul>
  16. 17. Accountants & HR <ul><li>Rent a CFO </li></ul>
  17. 18. Recruiting is hard <ul><li>Recruiters or not? </li></ul>
  18. 19. 4. Get a good lawyer
  19. 20. 5. Outsource what you can Amazon S3, EC2 Dedicated servers instead of colocation Google Ads, custom search Different widgets (Gigya, AddThis)
  20. 21. 6. Don’t let biz-dev get ahead of product
  21. 22. Deals with big companies can be a mirage
  22. 23. 7. Marketing: Do you really need that schwag?
  23. 24. User acquisition is a science <ul><li>Be metrics based </li></ul>
  24. 25. SEO not SEM <ul><li>Have an organic SEO story </li></ul><ul><li>How to incorporate seo from ground up </li></ul>
  25. 26. 8. Don’t skimp on team <ul><li>Hire the best designers & developers you can </li></ul>
  26. 27. Create fun work culture <ul><li>celebrate every victory, have meals together </li></ul>
  27. 28. Have food around office (even if not Google gourmet)
  28. 29. 9. Speed is imperative
  29. 30. Small & agile
  30. 31. Set the tone for speed <ul><li>In hiring, development, design, releases, biz dev </li></ul>
  31. 32. Be agile <ul><li>(worry about scaling later) </li></ul>
  32. 33. 10. Build a great product
  33. 34. a. Solve one problem really well
  34. 35. b. Make app social <ul><li>SlideShare as non social app </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PowerPoint plugin? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No virality </li></ul></ul>
  35. 36. c. Social networks or open web?
  36. 37. d. Understand markets you build for <ul><li>MindCanvas: Could sell into market </li></ul><ul><li>SlideShare: Understood market </li></ul>
  37. 38. e. To build a feature or not to <ul><ul><ul><li>Listen to loudest? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Watch behavioral metrics? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Read blog posts? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  38. 39. Always think: How should we double traffic ?
  39. 40. f. Everyone on team should use product <ul><li>Let engineers directly get customer feedback </li></ul>
  40. 41. 11. How to Launch
  41. 42. The Alpha Feedback to the embed No publicity Browser compatibility issues
  42. 43. How developed should a Beta be? <ul><ul><li>SlideShare beta </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enough to get point across </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Little of social layer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not buggy </li></ul></ul>
  43. 44. SlideShare launch <ul><li>Invite only: Before or after launch? </li></ul>Alpha Stealth mode Open to all Launch Invite only
  44. 45. Initial Momentum
  45. 46. Finally <ul><li>find me at </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>

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