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Sh*t
   I wish
I’d known
  before.
    Startup
Lessons Learned.




                   #swsofia – @andreasklinger
Andreas Klinger
CWTFO of LOOKK.com

@andreasklinger
#swsofia

Slides: http://slideshare.net/andreasklinger
I am one of the Co-Founders
of a Fashion Startup called
LOOKK.com
Doing Startups since 2008
Previously Garmz.com

Mentor @ Seedcamp.
LeanCamp Evangelist.
LOOKK = Network to help
emerging fashion designers to
get to market.

* reach a larger audience
* build relationships
* monetize

(Think community + shop)
INVESTORS
Carmen Busquets
 Dave McClure
 Eden Ventures
 Sherry Coutu
  Tom Hulme
   Seedcamp
  500 Startups

TEAM (11 fulltime)
  Tamas Locher
 Andreas Klinger
 Gilbert Wedam       >
  Simone Ospelt
 Katy Richardson
Tammy Ksseibiova
   Stefan Kanev
Radoslav Stankov
 Veselin Todorov
 Anguel Lazarov
  Plamen Stoev
INVESTORS
Carmen Busquets
 Dave McClure
 Eden Ventures
 Sherry Coutu
  Tom Hulme
   Seedcamp
  500 Startups

TEAM (11 fulltime)
  Tamas Locher
 Andreas Klinger
 Gilbert Wedam       >
  Simone Ospelt
 Katy Richardson
Tammy Ksseibiova
   Stefan Kanev
 Veselin Todorov
Radoslav Stankov
 Anguel Lazarov
   Plamen Stoev
Half the team in Sofia.

   Stefan Kanev
 Veselin Todorov         >
 Radoslav Stankov
  Anguel Lazarov
   Plamen Stoev



    Hackerspace
    INITLAB.org
Sh*t
   I wish
I’d known
  before.
    Startup
Lessons Learned.




                   #swsofia – @andreasklinger
Who wants
  to start
 a startup?
(or is currently in his first)
Who wants
  to start
 a startup?
(or is currently in his first)




            yay!
Lessons
Learned

Europe




          #swsofia – @andreasklinger
What do you see here?
What do you see here?
   EUROPE.
What do you see here?
What do you see here?
EUROPE + useless rectangle.
Avoid the typical mistake:
Don’t be “local”

Lesson: Don’t restrict yourself
to useless rectangles called borders.

Go London
Go New York
Go Silicon Valley

Most important: Go Online
(Blog, OpenSource, Twitter)

Lesson: Build international network and
reputation.




                                          Being “local” in Austria
Avoid the typical mistake:
Don’t be “local”

Lesson: Don’t restrict yourself
to useless rectangles called borders.

Go London
Go New York
Go Silicon Valley

Most important: Go Online
(Blog, OpenSource, Twitter)

Lesson: Build international network and
reputation.

Best example - this location…

           Adel Zakout
           www.openbuildings.com          Being “local” in Austria
Avoid the typical mistake:
Don’t be “local”

No local legal entities.
GmbH, SARL, OOD, DOO, LTDa, A, BVO,
Sp. Zoo, SRO, TAA or OOO

Otherwise: Extra legal costs, worse Investor
interest, Suboptimal exits.
Mark my words: You will flip the company
and it will cost you loads of money.

Lesson: Incorporate UK LTD or US INC right
from the start.



No local state funds.
State funds are usually made for SMEs.
You will try to compromise all the time that
will slow you down.

Lesson: Read above.                            Being “local” in Austria
Lessons
Learned

Stages of
Startups




            #swsofia – @andreasklinger
Startups have different stages.

In which different actions are needed.

Read: The Startup Owners Manual - Steve Blank
Or: Custdev.com by Patrick Vlaskovits and Brant Cooper
                                                         Source: Custdev.com
Startups have different stages.

Each stage: Different challenges.

Read: Startup Genome Report by Bjoern Herrmann and Max Marmer
                                                                Source: Startup Genome Project Report
Startups have different stages.

#1 Mistake by all (70%) founders:
Following the patterns of startups in later stages.

Read: http://prezi.com/nfvyxijdmj7v/startup-lifecycle-by-fred-destin/ (!!!)
                                                                              Source: Startup Genome Project Report
Usually the main challenge:

“the hard part is finding the right problem
to solve.” - Kevin Systrom, Instagram
(Which includes finding the customer)

Lesson: Focus on Customer->Problem->Solution

Watch: http://ecorner.stanford.edu/authorMaterialInfo.html?mid=2738
Read: http://www.slideshare.net/saintsal/000-custdev-robfitz




                                                                      Source: Startup Genome Project Report
Lessons
Learned

Investors




            #swsofia – @andreasklinger
Don’t worry about Investment
until traction.

The job of low-level employees at VCs is it to keep
contact with you (email, call, interest, meet).
They are their radar. “Talking” ain’t “talking”.


Lesson: Have a “we don’t fundraise” attitude until you
have validated your customer demand with actual
traction.
Don’t worry about Investment
until traction.

The job of low-level employees at VCs is it to keep
contact with you (email, call, interest, meet).
They are their radar. “Talking” ain’t “talking”.


Lesson: Have a “we don’t fundraise” attitude until you
have validated your customer demand with actual
traction.


Exception: Look for domain expert advisors                       est
                                                               eb
                                                                h
that can become angels.                                       ot
                                                        p ly t rs
                                                     ap bato
                                                            u
Exception: If you are first time entrepreneur           i nc
get experience in via incubators and accelerators.


Read: http://andrewchenblog.com/2011/06/21/video-                                    Whitebear
the-anatomy-of-a-fundable-startup-by-naval-
ravikant-of-angellist/
                                                                                     Yard.
                                                                       Source: Startup Genome Project Report
Seed investors,
You,         Incubators,
                                        Angels
FFF            Angels                                           VC Investors




       Focus on raising when you have traction in your stage.
       Not earlier.

       In general: Try not to raise if you don’t need to. (Builds up interest)
                                                                               Source: Custdev.com
Don’t try to “poker” too much - play along these values - or you will waste time:
                                                                               <- After Problem/Solution Fit




Expect 5-15% equity for the incubator round
And 20-25% for Seed and VC rounds.



Remember: It’s more about the people you can get into your
team (angels) and time you don’t waste on fundraising. Than
optimizing your funding.

Read: http://www.slideshare.net/dmc500hats/silicon-valley-20-lean-startup-lean-vc-12956096



                                                                                             Source: Custdev.com
Lesson
 Learned

Your Team




            #swsofia – @andreasklinger
Teams

                                                 Single Founders
                                                 can do discovery and validation stage
                                                 alone. Mid/Long term they will be too
                                                 slow.

                                                 Vesting
                                                 should always be used.
One founder alone is too slow…                   Vesting = you get your shares over time not
                                                 all when you join. Thus when you leave
                                                 you don’t take 25% of your company with
                                                 you.

                                                 Read: http://blog.simeonov.com/2010/04/25/
                                                 founder-agreements-vesting/

                                                 Balanced Teams
                                                 “Balanced (Tech/Biz) Founding Teams
                                                 have had more user growth[…]” - Startup



…but more founders => more insecure decisions.
                                                                    Source: Startup Genome Project Report
Lessons
  Learned

Your Product




               #swsofia – @andreasklinger
Never plan further than
you can throw…

You assumptions
and therefore your plans
are usually wrong.

You can’t parallelise your rollout
plan. You can’t already “work ahead”.
You won’t launch “in one month”.
Images: A guy who wants to rebuild
Spaceship Enterprise
Project Plan Timeline: 20 years.
Dude…
Still: He is less crazy than most founders i met.
Fuck your additional features.
Fuck your engineering.
Ship crap to learn gold.

Don’t try to push product by adding
features or “get ready to scale”.

Lesson: Validate your assumptions
earlier by shipping earlier.

Read: http://www.startuplessonslearned.com/
2009/08/minimum-viable-product-
guide.html
Read: The Lean Startup - Eric Ries
What is the core of your
solution?


Example: Bufferapp.com linked their
payment button to an 500-error page
until people complained.

Lesson: Try to focus only on the core of
your solution.

Read: http://blog.bufferapp.com/idea-
to-paying-customers-in-7-weeks-how-
we-did-it




                Source: Googe Images & Bufferapp.com
Founders always think
                                                 they are further along.

                                                 They try to push user growth
                                                 artificially (“Sales”, “marketing”).

                                                 Instead: Create personal relationships
                                                 (to learn more) not bulk acquisition/sales
                                                 operation.

                                                 Lesson: You need 1->10->100 customers.

                                                 Lesson: Focus on retention not
                                                 acquisition.

                                                 Read: http://www.ashmaurya.com/
                                                 2011/10/the-10x-product-launch/
Startups that behave inconsistent with their
stage accelerate short term through aggressive
user acquisition but lose long term.


                                                                   Source: Startup Genome Project Report
5-7 Months         3-5 Months                          5-6 Months               7-9 Months


             Sh*t needs time.
             But you see if you are on the right track early.

             Read: The Startup Genome Project Report

                                                                Source: Startup Genome Project & Custdev.com
Your Goal
   for
 Startup
Weekend
  Sofia




            #swsofia – @andreasklinger
Do this - in instead of 5-7 months -




                                       Source: Startup Genome Project & Custdev.com
Do this - in instead of 5-7 months -
in 2 days.




                                       Source: Startup Genome Project & Custdev.com
Do this - in instead of 5-7 months -
in 2 days.




                                       Source: Startup Genome Project & Custdev.com
SWSofia Tasks Cheatlist:
* Find a problem
* Have 5 customers with this problem
* Write down your potential solution
   * (Customer -Problem-Solution)
* Call your 5 customers tonight
   * Ask them if it is the right solution
      * Ask about the problems
      * Don’t sell
* Improve your solution
* Write down your improved solution
   * (Customer -Problem-Solution)
* Build the solution
* Make them use it
* Always improve as early as possible
* Do Magic
* Survive
* Win
Thanks
       for listening :)
      (Sorry for being overtime)




       @andreasklinger
http://slideshare.net/andreasklinger


          More to read:
        http://www.klinger.io

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Sh*t I wish I'd known before - Startup Lessons Learned

  • 1. Sh*t I wish I’d known before. Startup Lessons Learned. #swsofia – @andreasklinger
  • 2. Andreas Klinger CWTFO of LOOKK.com @andreasklinger #swsofia Slides: http://slideshare.net/andreasklinger
  • 3. I am one of the Co-Founders of a Fashion Startup called LOOKK.com Doing Startups since 2008 Previously Garmz.com Mentor @ Seedcamp. LeanCamp Evangelist.
  • 4. LOOKK = Network to help emerging fashion designers to get to market. * reach a larger audience * build relationships * monetize (Think community + shop)
  • 5. INVESTORS Carmen Busquets Dave McClure Eden Ventures Sherry Coutu Tom Hulme Seedcamp 500 Startups TEAM (11 fulltime) Tamas Locher Andreas Klinger Gilbert Wedam > Simone Ospelt Katy Richardson Tammy Ksseibiova Stefan Kanev Radoslav Stankov Veselin Todorov Anguel Lazarov Plamen Stoev
  • 6. INVESTORS Carmen Busquets Dave McClure Eden Ventures Sherry Coutu Tom Hulme Seedcamp 500 Startups TEAM (11 fulltime) Tamas Locher Andreas Klinger Gilbert Wedam > Simone Ospelt Katy Richardson Tammy Ksseibiova Stefan Kanev Veselin Todorov Radoslav Stankov Anguel Lazarov Plamen Stoev
  • 7. Half the team in Sofia. Stefan Kanev Veselin Todorov > Radoslav Stankov Anguel Lazarov Plamen Stoev Hackerspace INITLAB.org
  • 8. Sh*t I wish I’d known before. Startup Lessons Learned. #swsofia – @andreasklinger
  • 9. Who wants to start a startup? (or is currently in his first)
  • 10. Who wants to start a startup? (or is currently in his first) yay!
  • 11. Lessons Learned Europe #swsofia – @andreasklinger
  • 12. What do you see here?
  • 13. What do you see here? EUROPE.
  • 14. What do you see here?
  • 15. What do you see here? EUROPE + useless rectangle.
  • 16. Avoid the typical mistake: Don’t be “local” Lesson: Don’t restrict yourself to useless rectangles called borders. Go London Go New York Go Silicon Valley Most important: Go Online (Blog, OpenSource, Twitter) Lesson: Build international network and reputation. Being “local” in Austria
  • 17. Avoid the typical mistake: Don’t be “local” Lesson: Don’t restrict yourself to useless rectangles called borders. Go London Go New York Go Silicon Valley Most important: Go Online (Blog, OpenSource, Twitter) Lesson: Build international network and reputation. Best example - this location… Adel Zakout www.openbuildings.com Being “local” in Austria
  • 18. Avoid the typical mistake: Don’t be “local” No local legal entities. GmbH, SARL, OOD, DOO, LTDa, A, BVO, Sp. Zoo, SRO, TAA or OOO Otherwise: Extra legal costs, worse Investor interest, Suboptimal exits. Mark my words: You will flip the company and it will cost you loads of money. Lesson: Incorporate UK LTD or US INC right from the start. No local state funds. State funds are usually made for SMEs. You will try to compromise all the time that will slow you down. Lesson: Read above. Being “local” in Austria
  • 19. Lessons Learned Stages of Startups #swsofia – @andreasklinger
  • 20. Startups have different stages. In which different actions are needed. Read: The Startup Owners Manual - Steve Blank Or: Custdev.com by Patrick Vlaskovits and Brant Cooper Source: Custdev.com
  • 21. Startups have different stages. Each stage: Different challenges. Read: Startup Genome Report by Bjoern Herrmann and Max Marmer Source: Startup Genome Project Report
  • 22. Startups have different stages. #1 Mistake by all (70%) founders: Following the patterns of startups in later stages. Read: http://prezi.com/nfvyxijdmj7v/startup-lifecycle-by-fred-destin/ (!!!) Source: Startup Genome Project Report
  • 23. Usually the main challenge: “the hard part is finding the right problem to solve.” - Kevin Systrom, Instagram (Which includes finding the customer) Lesson: Focus on Customer->Problem->Solution Watch: http://ecorner.stanford.edu/authorMaterialInfo.html?mid=2738 Read: http://www.slideshare.net/saintsal/000-custdev-robfitz Source: Startup Genome Project Report
  • 24. Lessons Learned Investors #swsofia – @andreasklinger
  • 25. Don’t worry about Investment until traction. The job of low-level employees at VCs is it to keep contact with you (email, call, interest, meet). They are their radar. “Talking” ain’t “talking”. Lesson: Have a “we don’t fundraise” attitude until you have validated your customer demand with actual traction.
  • 26. Don’t worry about Investment until traction. The job of low-level employees at VCs is it to keep contact with you (email, call, interest, meet). They are their radar. “Talking” ain’t “talking”. Lesson: Have a “we don’t fundraise” attitude until you have validated your customer demand with actual traction. Exception: Look for domain expert advisors est eb h that can become angels. ot p ly t rs ap bato u Exception: If you are first time entrepreneur i nc get experience in via incubators and accelerators. Read: http://andrewchenblog.com/2011/06/21/video- Whitebear the-anatomy-of-a-fundable-startup-by-naval- ravikant-of-angellist/ Yard. Source: Startup Genome Project Report
  • 27. Seed investors, You, Incubators, Angels FFF Angels VC Investors Focus on raising when you have traction in your stage. Not earlier. In general: Try not to raise if you don’t need to. (Builds up interest) Source: Custdev.com
  • 28. Don’t try to “poker” too much - play along these values - or you will waste time: <- After Problem/Solution Fit Expect 5-15% equity for the incubator round And 20-25% for Seed and VC rounds. Remember: It’s more about the people you can get into your team (angels) and time you don’t waste on fundraising. Than optimizing your funding. Read: http://www.slideshare.net/dmc500hats/silicon-valley-20-lean-startup-lean-vc-12956096 Source: Custdev.com
  • 29. Lesson Learned Your Team #swsofia – @andreasklinger
  • 30. Teams Single Founders can do discovery and validation stage alone. Mid/Long term they will be too slow. Vesting should always be used. One founder alone is too slow… Vesting = you get your shares over time not all when you join. Thus when you leave you don’t take 25% of your company with you. Read: http://blog.simeonov.com/2010/04/25/ founder-agreements-vesting/ Balanced Teams “Balanced (Tech/Biz) Founding Teams have had more user growth[…]” - Startup …but more founders => more insecure decisions. Source: Startup Genome Project Report
  • 31. Lessons Learned Your Product #swsofia – @andreasklinger
  • 32. Never plan further than you can throw… You assumptions and therefore your plans are usually wrong. You can’t parallelise your rollout plan. You can’t already “work ahead”. You won’t launch “in one month”. Images: A guy who wants to rebuild Spaceship Enterprise Project Plan Timeline: 20 years. Dude… Still: He is less crazy than most founders i met.
  • 33. Fuck your additional features. Fuck your engineering. Ship crap to learn gold. Don’t try to push product by adding features or “get ready to scale”. Lesson: Validate your assumptions earlier by shipping earlier. Read: http://www.startuplessonslearned.com/ 2009/08/minimum-viable-product- guide.html Read: The Lean Startup - Eric Ries
  • 34. What is the core of your solution? Example: Bufferapp.com linked their payment button to an 500-error page until people complained. Lesson: Try to focus only on the core of your solution. Read: http://blog.bufferapp.com/idea- to-paying-customers-in-7-weeks-how- we-did-it Source: Googe Images & Bufferapp.com
  • 35. Founders always think they are further along. They try to push user growth artificially (“Sales”, “marketing”). Instead: Create personal relationships (to learn more) not bulk acquisition/sales operation. Lesson: You need 1->10->100 customers. Lesson: Focus on retention not acquisition. Read: http://www.ashmaurya.com/ 2011/10/the-10x-product-launch/ Startups that behave inconsistent with their stage accelerate short term through aggressive user acquisition but lose long term. Source: Startup Genome Project Report
  • 36. 5-7 Months 3-5 Months 5-6 Months 7-9 Months Sh*t needs time. But you see if you are on the right track early. Read: The Startup Genome Project Report Source: Startup Genome Project & Custdev.com
  • 37. Your Goal for Startup Weekend Sofia #swsofia – @andreasklinger
  • 38. Do this - in instead of 5-7 months - Source: Startup Genome Project & Custdev.com
  • 39. Do this - in instead of 5-7 months - in 2 days. Source: Startup Genome Project & Custdev.com
  • 40. Do this - in instead of 5-7 months - in 2 days. Source: Startup Genome Project & Custdev.com
  • 41. SWSofia Tasks Cheatlist: * Find a problem * Have 5 customers with this problem * Write down your potential solution * (Customer -Problem-Solution) * Call your 5 customers tonight * Ask them if it is the right solution * Ask about the problems * Don’t sell * Improve your solution * Write down your improved solution * (Customer -Problem-Solution) * Build the solution * Make them use it * Always improve as early as possible * Do Magic * Survive * Win
  • 42. Thanks for listening :) (Sorry for being overtime) @andreasklinger http://slideshare.net/andreasklinger More to read: http://www.klinger.io