First Principles
!
Sean Ammirati 

Partner, BirchmereVentures	

Adjunct Professor, Carnegie Mellon University
#CMULean
Most Startups FAIL
The Reason
#CMULean
NO ONE WANTS
what they’ve built.
IS BECAUSE...
#CMULean
Why is this important?
#CMULean
Dec
2006
Conviction to build
FeedHub
Aug
2007
Private Beta of 

FeedHub
Sept
2007
Launch FeedHub 

@ Demo 2007
10 months o...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuckincustoms/5881027457/
#CMULean
http://www.flickr.com/photos/data70/4748860721/sizes/o/in/photostream/
Dec
2006
Conviction to build
FeedHub
Aug
2007
Private Beta of 

FeedHub
Sept
2007
Launch FeedHub 

@ Demo 2007
10 months o...
About me...
• Research Fellow, CMU Software Industry
Center	

• Director Business Development, Peak
Strategy (sold to Morg...
“Launch early enough to
be embarrassed by your
product’s first version”	

!
Reid Hoffman,
Co-Founder & Chairman 

LinkedIn
...
I should let you know,
we're not done. It's early
days and some things
could change to the API
before we release it.
!
Tim...
#ifihadglass
Known	

Problem
Unknown	

Problem
Unknown	

Solution
Known	

Solution
Lean 

Startup
Agile

Development
Waterfall 

Develo...
Customer

Discovery
Customer

Validation
Customer

Creation
Company

Building
A product solves 	

a problem for an	

ident...
#CMULean
Source: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Customer Development
#CMULean
~ $35k
~ $100k
~ $200k
concepts
scale


spin out




~$100k - $150k target first investment!
!
~ $275k average total invest...
Innovation Happens
“Non Software”
Example...
#CMULean
Goals for
Innovation Happens
• Provide networking event connecting
entrepreneurs & large corporations 	

• Encourage entre...
#CMULean
#CMULean
Questions?
#CMULean
seanammirati.com	

!
@SeanAmmirati
#CMULean
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First Principles - Lean Entrepreneurship Course at Carnegie Mellon

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The introductory lecture to my Lean Entrepreneurship course at CMU.

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First Principles - Lean Entrepreneurship Course at Carnegie Mellon

  1. 1. First Principles ! Sean Ammirati 
 Partner, BirchmereVentures Adjunct Professor, Carnegie Mellon University #CMULean
  2. 2. Most Startups FAIL The Reason #CMULean
  3. 3. NO ONE WANTS what they’ve built. IS BECAUSE... #CMULean
  4. 4. Why is this important? #CMULean
  5. 5. Dec 2006 Conviction to build FeedHub Aug 2007 Private Beta of 
 FeedHub Sept 2007 Launch FeedHub 
 @ Demo 2007 10 months of 
 “Stealth Mode” #CMULean
  6. 6. http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuckincustoms/5881027457/
  7. 7. #CMULean
  8. 8. http://www.flickr.com/photos/data70/4748860721/sizes/o/in/photostream/
  9. 9. Dec 2006 Conviction to build FeedHub Aug 2007 Private Beta of 
 FeedHub Sept 2007 Launch FeedHub 
 @ Demo 2007 10 months of 
 “Stealth Mode” Wasted Time #CMULean
  10. 10. About me... • Research Fellow, CMU Software Industry Center • Director Business Development, Peak Strategy (sold to Morgan Stanley) • CEO & Co-Founder, mSpoke (sold to LinkedIn) • COO, ReadWriteWeb (sold to SAY Media) • Partner, BirchmereVentures #CMULean
  11. 11. “Launch early enough to be embarrassed by your product’s first version” ! Reid Hoffman, Co-Founder & Chairman 
 LinkedIn Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/joi/1431818434/sizes/l/in/photostream/
  12. 12. I should let you know, we're not done. It's early days and some things could change to the API before we release it. ! Timothy Jordan, Google http://www.engadget.com/2013/04/04/google-glass-developer-presentation-from-sxsw-finally-available/
  13. 13. #ifihadglass
  14. 14. Known Problem Unknown Problem Unknown Solution Known Solution Lean 
 Startup Agile
 Development Waterfall 
 Development Kanban #CMULean
  15. 15. Customer
 Discovery Customer
 Validation Customer
 Creation Company
 Building A product solves a problem for an identifiable group of users The market is saleable and 
 large enough that a viable business might be built The business is scalable through a repeatable sales and marketing roadmap Company departments and operational processes are created to support scale The Customer Development Model #CMULean
  16. 16. #CMULean
  17. 17. Source: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Customer Development #CMULean
  18. 18. ~ $35k ~ $100k ~ $200k concepts scale 
 spin out 
 
 ~$100k - $150k target first investment! ! ~ $275k average total investment
 All Community Driven Commerce Focused
 & Shared Overhead STUDIO SEED + concepts ~ $1k #CMULean
  19. 19. Innovation Happens “Non Software” Example... #CMULean
  20. 20. Goals for Innovation Happens • Provide networking event connecting entrepreneurs & large corporations • Encourage entrepreneurs to focus more on getting customers • Create a culture of “buying local” in Pittsburgh #CMULean
  21. 21. #CMULean
  22. 22. #CMULean
  23. 23. Questions? #CMULean
  24. 24. seanammirati.com ! @SeanAmmirati #CMULean

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