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so you wanna do a
  startup, eh?
bwahahahahahahahahahahahaha...sucka...




   http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhinoneal/3907394091
startups are hard.
startups are really hard.
startups are really fucking hard.
startups are heartbreaking.
startups are soul crushing.
startups are life shortening.
So you want to do a startup, eh?
So you want to do a startup, eh?
fact:
this is not reality.
5 myths about startups
1. Startups cost nothing to build
2. The average tech startup founder is a
   25 year old male ivy league dropout
3. Startups get funded on a napkin
   sketch and passion
4. A good idea wins every time
5. Location doesn’t matter*
myth #1:
startups are cheap to build
reality:
lean or not, it costs money to
 build something significant.
     and savings run out.
stuff that costs $$
        as if you didn’t already know this

• hiring amazing people - and you need A
  level amazing people in startups (they like
  to be paid even if they believe in you)

• infrastructure - yes. It’s cheaper than it
  was, but those EC2 bills are still a bitch.

• marketing - you can do a LOT for free in
  the beginning, but there is a bunch of
  noise to cut through today.
fact:
4 out 5 people who use the phrase “it’s
 cheap to build a startup” have never
  built a startup (and probably never
will)...the remainder are independently
               wealthy.
myth #2:
the average tech co-founder is
 a 25 yr old male ivy league
           dropout
Average founder:
       40 yrs old
        Married
     With Children
6-10 yrs work experience

           Male = yes
(4% of tech startups funded have female
founders - while 40% of small businesses
          are owned by women)
           White = yes
 (6% of tech startups funded have non-
            white founders)
Ivy League? Meh. Dropout?
       Not at all.
Educated - bachelors or higher - but not
  necessarily Stanford, Harvard, etc.
fact:
   startup founders look a LOT like
  themselves (and can come from ANY
 background). looking for patterns is
the antithesis of innovative thinking.
myth #3:
all you need is a napkin plan
 and a bunch of passion and
      you’ll get money
reality:
  the examples that are told around
 startup campfires (i.e. techcrunch)
 are the outliers...and there is way
more than passion + napkins involved.
a week in the life
of a startup founder
monday
tuesday
wednesday
thursday
friday
saturday




   http://www.flickr.com/photos/milkyworld/3128291642/sizes/l/in/photostream/
sunday
fact:
   you will wake up in a
 puddle of your own sweat
   several nights a week
because you realize you are
    completely fucked.
how to deal:
1. know that you will be rejected.
2. understand that you will underestimate the
   number of times you will be rejected and how
   long it will take you to raise $$. (insert
   completely fucked night sweats here)
3. ask rejectors for feedback (REAL feedback)
4. ignore most of said feedback*
5. seek mentors and allies (note: this is the
   most important point I make this entire
   presentation)

                     * knowing what to ignore is not easy
the worst advice EVAR:
    ppl that tell you to do this are idiots.
1. when you are rejected, ask for a
   referral
  dude! IF they do this, they will explain to their
  contact why they passed...BAD intro.
2. when you are rejected, don’t take no
   for an answer
  this is just awkward. move on.

3. when you are rejected too often,
   rethink your business (i.e. pivot)
  it’s not you, it’s them (mostly)
conviction




    http://www.businessinsider.com/pandora-vc-2010-7
three freakin
 hundred!!!!
common vc rejections
          aka. “we’re just not that into you.”
•   “we think you are too early for us.”

•   “we have too many deals in our pipeline.”

•   “we don’t understand the market.”

•   “we’d like to see some local investment.”

•   “we’d like to see some interest from a US firm.”

•   “you are raising too much.”

•   “you are raising too little.”

•   “if only you did a + b, we’d be a better fit...”
what they tell us they know...
the reality...
fact:
          YOU build the
        goddamned future.
“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”
                    Alan Kay 1989
myth #4:
a good idea wins every time
closer to the truth:
             a good idea, good
          execution, good timing,
         perseverance and balls of
              steel* will win.

* I hate these masculine metaphors, but boobs of steel just didn’t sound right.
desire to
delusional A   change the
               status quo
           D
       C          B


       audacity
                      A.   those that go postal
                      B.   dictators
                      C.   serial killers
                      D.   startup entrepreneurs
the key to #winning:
 find your product/market
fit before you run out of
          money.
                T. IS. ALL.
            THA
really freakin awesome
creative ways to not go broke

• take the bus (Greyhound has wifi!)
• use microfunding (Indiegogo/
  Kickstarter) creatively

• use AirBnB - AND - rent your place
  out on it while you travel

• speaking of AirBnB...
“Paul Graham only invested in us, when he heard about the Obama O's
story. And he figured, well these guys are like really creative,
smart entrepreneurs; they'll probably change their idea.”
AirBnB Founder, Brian Chesky
Hey CEO’s!
       Your ONLY job is to keep
      the company going until you
       find product/market fit.
                        ONLY job.*
                  Your
* Okay, that AND 10 gabillion other things. But this is the most important.
more funding ideas
•   Friends & Family - your network is stronger than you
    know (we raised $192,000)

•   Go lean - how can you pare down your operations and
    personal lifestyle? Do it early. Lower the burn.

•   Hold a fundraiser - make it awesome. What are your
    Obama-O’s?

•   Sell your stuff on eBay - It’s a short term sacrifice.

•   Make $$ in your free time - Pixazza, TaskRabbit,
    TaskHire, deliver pizza (Alfred from Zappos did this),
    etc. (make it simple, mindless tasks)

•   Million Dollar Homepage? What else could you do that is
    simple but could bring in good $$.

•   Hire a Grant Application specialist - they often work
    off of commission and there are small biz grants.
Are you ready to
make the ultimate
    sacrifice? nly one
       ther e is o
              a nswer
myth #5:
 where you build your
startup doesn’t matter
WARNING:
this is the part where I
get seriously unpopular.
why Canada sux4
         startuping
1. barrier for valley funds (especially at seed stage)
2. local funds are miniscule compared to valley funds
3. most of the ‘successful’ startups move to the
   valley, so aren’t seen as shining Canadian examples
4. most of the amazing A level talent we want to hire
   move to the valley (or US in general) + we compete
   for those few left
5. Canadians are more risk averse in general
6. Population density is an issue for markets
why Canada is PERFECT
    for startuping
1. there is nothing to do here during our long
   winter but work
2. we have a high tolerance to pain
3. it is cost-effective to develop here
4. free health care, small biz benefits, etc make
   for lower burn rates
5. our dollar is strong + economy solid (yes, I
   know it’s because we aren’t reckless cowboys
   like those yanks)
what we need to change
1. encourage/educate more investment firms to invest in web
   startups
2. support one another better. Share intros. Work together.
   CROSS country (not just city)
3. invest REAL money into Canadian startups. Where is the
   series A?
4. recruit the talent up HERE. KEEP the talent that we have by
   appreciating them BEFORE they freakin leave!
5. create entrepreneurial programs for our universities + catch
   boys and girls at a young age to encourage
6. host more events in Canada, showcasing our startup scene -
   attract investors from the US to see what we have locally
7. get the press doing more pieces on Canadians state side and
   Canadian startups
8. reward for risk more. celebrate entrepreneurship in general.
bonus myth:
the startup world is a meritocracy
it’s not just about
   working hard.
  (though there is hard work involved)
there is nothing
 fair about this
      path.
both brilliant +
            both contributed SO
              much to science




tesla died broke          edison died rich
and what of those
  with better ideas
but without resources
  who weren’t heard
       at all?
1880s or 2010s, this
   hasn’t really
      changed.
you can do
EVERYTHING right and
  still die broke.
I know. I’m a real
     downer.
but true entrepreneurs
aren’t in it for the fame
  and fortune, are we?
                     hope fo r both)
         (th ough we
q: so why are we
doing this again?
a: fuck if I know.
but here I am.
and I can’t imagine doing
     ANYTHING else.
 it’s an unhealthy, but
  beautifully necessary
       obsession.
because without us crazy,
 delusional people who do
this the world would be a
 boring, stagnant place.
“Crazy Ones” Apple Think Different Campaign, 1997
             Agency: TBWAChiatDay
thank you for being
     crazy. xo
Tara
(@missrogue)
    Hunt
ceo/co-founder, Buyosphere
   tara@buyosphere.com
       514-679-2951
    www.buyosphere.com
   www.horsepigcow.com

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So you want to do a startup, eh?

  • 1. so you wanna do a startup, eh? bwahahahahahahahahahahahaha...sucka... http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhinoneal/3907394091
  • 4. startups are really fucking hard.
  • 6. startups are soul crushing.
  • 7. startups are life shortening.
  • 10. fact: this is not reality.
  • 11. 5 myths about startups 1. Startups cost nothing to build 2. The average tech startup founder is a 25 year old male ivy league dropout 3. Startups get funded on a napkin sketch and passion 4. A good idea wins every time 5. Location doesn’t matter*
  • 12. myth #1: startups are cheap to build
  • 13. reality: lean or not, it costs money to build something significant. and savings run out.
  • 14. stuff that costs $$ as if you didn’t already know this • hiring amazing people - and you need A level amazing people in startups (they like to be paid even if they believe in you) • infrastructure - yes. It’s cheaper than it was, but those EC2 bills are still a bitch. • marketing - you can do a LOT for free in the beginning, but there is a bunch of noise to cut through today.
  • 15. fact: 4 out 5 people who use the phrase “it’s cheap to build a startup” have never built a startup (and probably never will)...the remainder are independently wealthy.
  • 16. myth #2: the average tech co-founder is a 25 yr old male ivy league dropout
  • 17. Average founder: 40 yrs old Married With Children 6-10 yrs work experience Male = yes (4% of tech startups funded have female founders - while 40% of small businesses are owned by women) White = yes (6% of tech startups funded have non- white founders) Ivy League? Meh. Dropout? Not at all. Educated - bachelors or higher - but not necessarily Stanford, Harvard, etc.
  • 18. fact: startup founders look a LOT like themselves (and can come from ANY background). looking for patterns is the antithesis of innovative thinking.
  • 19. myth #3: all you need is a napkin plan and a bunch of passion and you’ll get money
  • 20. reality: the examples that are told around startup campfires (i.e. techcrunch) are the outliers...and there is way more than passion + napkins involved.
  • 21. a week in the life of a startup founder
  • 27. saturday http://www.flickr.com/photos/milkyworld/3128291642/sizes/l/in/photostream/
  • 29. fact: you will wake up in a puddle of your own sweat several nights a week because you realize you are completely fucked.
  • 30. how to deal: 1. know that you will be rejected. 2. understand that you will underestimate the number of times you will be rejected and how long it will take you to raise $$. (insert completely fucked night sweats here) 3. ask rejectors for feedback (REAL feedback) 4. ignore most of said feedback* 5. seek mentors and allies (note: this is the most important point I make this entire presentation) * knowing what to ignore is not easy
  • 31. the worst advice EVAR: ppl that tell you to do this are idiots. 1. when you are rejected, ask for a referral dude! IF they do this, they will explain to their contact why they passed...BAD intro. 2. when you are rejected, don’t take no for an answer this is just awkward. move on. 3. when you are rejected too often, rethink your business (i.e. pivot) it’s not you, it’s them (mostly)
  • 32. conviction http://www.businessinsider.com/pandora-vc-2010-7
  • 34. common vc rejections aka. “we’re just not that into you.” • “we think you are too early for us.” • “we have too many deals in our pipeline.” • “we don’t understand the market.” • “we’d like to see some local investment.” • “we’d like to see some interest from a US firm.” • “you are raising too much.” • “you are raising too little.” • “if only you did a + b, we’d be a better fit...”
  • 35. what they tell us they know...
  • 37. fact: YOU build the goddamned future. “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” Alan Kay 1989
  • 38. myth #4: a good idea wins every time
  • 39. closer to the truth: a good idea, good execution, good timing, perseverance and balls of steel* will win. * I hate these masculine metaphors, but boobs of steel just didn’t sound right.
  • 40. desire to delusional A change the status quo D C B audacity A. those that go postal B. dictators C. serial killers D. startup entrepreneurs
  • 41. the key to #winning: find your product/market fit before you run out of money. T. IS. ALL. THA
  • 42. really freakin awesome creative ways to not go broke • take the bus (Greyhound has wifi!) • use microfunding (Indiegogo/ Kickstarter) creatively • use AirBnB - AND - rent your place out on it while you travel • speaking of AirBnB...
  • 43. “Paul Graham only invested in us, when he heard about the Obama O's story. And he figured, well these guys are like really creative, smart entrepreneurs; they'll probably change their idea.” AirBnB Founder, Brian Chesky
  • 44. Hey CEO’s! Your ONLY job is to keep the company going until you find product/market fit. ONLY job.* Your * Okay, that AND 10 gabillion other things. But this is the most important.
  • 45. more funding ideas • Friends & Family - your network is stronger than you know (we raised $192,000) • Go lean - how can you pare down your operations and personal lifestyle? Do it early. Lower the burn. • Hold a fundraiser - make it awesome. What are your Obama-O’s? • Sell your stuff on eBay - It’s a short term sacrifice. • Make $$ in your free time - Pixazza, TaskRabbit, TaskHire, deliver pizza (Alfred from Zappos did this), etc. (make it simple, mindless tasks) • Million Dollar Homepage? What else could you do that is simple but could bring in good $$. • Hire a Grant Application specialist - they often work off of commission and there are small biz grants.
  • 46. Are you ready to make the ultimate sacrifice? nly one ther e is o a nswer
  • 47. myth #5: where you build your startup doesn’t matter
  • 48. WARNING: this is the part where I get seriously unpopular.
  • 49. why Canada sux4 startuping 1. barrier for valley funds (especially at seed stage) 2. local funds are miniscule compared to valley funds 3. most of the ‘successful’ startups move to the valley, so aren’t seen as shining Canadian examples 4. most of the amazing A level talent we want to hire move to the valley (or US in general) + we compete for those few left 5. Canadians are more risk averse in general 6. Population density is an issue for markets
  • 50. why Canada is PERFECT for startuping 1. there is nothing to do here during our long winter but work 2. we have a high tolerance to pain 3. it is cost-effective to develop here 4. free health care, small biz benefits, etc make for lower burn rates 5. our dollar is strong + economy solid (yes, I know it’s because we aren’t reckless cowboys like those yanks)
  • 51. what we need to change 1. encourage/educate more investment firms to invest in web startups 2. support one another better. Share intros. Work together. CROSS country (not just city) 3. invest REAL money into Canadian startups. Where is the series A? 4. recruit the talent up HERE. KEEP the talent that we have by appreciating them BEFORE they freakin leave! 5. create entrepreneurial programs for our universities + catch boys and girls at a young age to encourage 6. host more events in Canada, showcasing our startup scene - attract investors from the US to see what we have locally 7. get the press doing more pieces on Canadians state side and Canadian startups 8. reward for risk more. celebrate entrepreneurship in general.
  • 52. bonus myth: the startup world is a meritocracy
  • 53. it’s not just about working hard. (though there is hard work involved)
  • 54. there is nothing fair about this path.
  • 55. both brilliant + both contributed SO much to science tesla died broke edison died rich
  • 56. and what of those with better ideas but without resources who weren’t heard at all?
  • 57. 1880s or 2010s, this hasn’t really changed.
  • 58. you can do EVERYTHING right and still die broke.
  • 59. I know. I’m a real downer.
  • 60. but true entrepreneurs aren’t in it for the fame and fortune, are we? hope fo r both) (th ough we
  • 61. q: so why are we doing this again?
  • 62. a: fuck if I know.
  • 63. but here I am. and I can’t imagine doing ANYTHING else. it’s an unhealthy, but beautifully necessary obsession.
  • 64. because without us crazy, delusional people who do this the world would be a boring, stagnant place.
  • 65. “Crazy Ones” Apple Think Different Campaign, 1997 Agency: TBWAChiatDay
  • 66. thank you for being crazy. xo
  • 67. Tara (@missrogue) Hunt ceo/co-founder, Buyosphere tara@buyosphere.com 514-679-2951 www.buyosphere.com www.horsepigcow.com