Strategy, execution and a bit of luck.

The life of a startup founder
http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhinoneal/3907394091
•

STARTUP FOUNDER

•

TWO EXITS (2009 – ALCATEL
LUCENT & 2014 – LIVEOPS

•

EARLY STAGE ANGEL
INVESTOR

•

MENTOR TO MANY...
TOPICS
1. STARTING
2. GROWING
3. EXITING

http://www.flickr.com/photos/gianpierre_soto/5505817770/sizes/l/in/photostream/
team | validation | funding

STARTING
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cedmars/6816878644/
Team
Make wise choices, including your co-founders

http://cdn.api.warnerbros.com/WB_Portal_3.0/imageRequest?rendition=Sma...
Founders
Commitment, and a shared passion.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/syume/4400844746/
Core Team
Never settle for anything less than A+ | Slow to hire & quick to fire.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/syume/44008...
As a founder, you will wake up
in a puddle of your own sweat
realizing you are completely
******

http://sleepdisorders.do...
Validation
Your idea solves a problem
customers are willing to pay
money for

http://wallpapergravity.com/Image.php?ID=382...
Validation
Ensures you’re not heading
down the wrong path.
http://smithery.co/making/make-things-people-want-make-people-want-things/attachment/make-things-people-want/
Ignoring Validation
Means your guessing and burning
cash

http://www.ipadwallpaperhd.com/fire_dollar-wallpapers.html
Funding
The art of bootstrapping

http://www.flickr.com/photos/trippinlarry/5987691227/
Bootstrapping
retain control | no dilution

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tfpc/6139591124/
Bootstrapping
•
•
•

Get lean, at work and at home.
Explore consulting or other work options.
Leverage every dollar.

http...
Leverage
R&D grants
New hire programs
Loans for sales & marketing

http://farm1.staticflickr.com/93/281790898_c3240c02c4_o...
Angel / Seed
Once you have a
validation, prototype, and
ideally paying customers

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/co...
Accelerators
advance your idea | scale | investors
Failure is from a lack of paying
customers, not funding
http://www.flickr.com/photos/minusbaby/3403178463/
planning | process | advisors

GROWING
http://www.flickr.com/photos/evoo73/6930638399/
Planning
“Some people skate to the puck. I skate to where
the puck is going to be.”
Credit: Sporting News Archive
Planning
When starting, doing is more important
than planning.

At some point you will need some
‘planning’ for growth

ht...
Knowing when to hit the gas pedal is key.
Scaling awareness too quickly can spell disaster
http://www.flickr.com/photos/la...
Process
Important, but balance that ‘startup’
culture. Above all else, ensure you
have a culture of employee
accountabilit...
Advisors
Important to you as a founder, and to your company
strategy | positioning | execution

EXITING
http://www.flickr.com/photos/javi_velazquez/6908063653/
Strategy
Are you an entrepreneur, or empire builder?

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Maccari-Cicero.jpg
Lean Startup + Early Exit
a winning combination

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kellbailey/1805414461/
Which path is better?
reducing time to exit = reducing risk + enhances IRR

Mezzanine
(own 10%)

Series B
(own 25%)

IPO /...
Exit Strategy
Have your “end game” exit
strategy on Day #1
http://www.flickr.com/photos/uckhet/268319752/
Positioning
•
•
•

Tell a good story, with passion
Specifics on potential of “together”
Vision of “what could be” in the f...
Negotiation
•
•
•

Hire A+ finance & legal advisors
Never piecemeal
Clean house before diligence

http://www.gazprom.com/a...
TOPICS
1. STARTING
2. GROWING
3. EXITING

http://www.flickr.com/photos/gianpierre_soto/5505817770/sizes/l/in/photostream/
It is a lonely adventure
Balancing Act
Most successful entrepreneurs have a good balance of execution intuition and luck.
http://www.flickr.com/pho...
Failure is a real possibility

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kcnickerson/1008563510/
Light at the end of the tunnel
Recommended Reading
The Founder’s Dilemmas| Lean Analytics | Running Lean
Local Accelerators
Accepting applications for their next cohort.
Contact Me:
E-Mail: jthompson@about.me
Twitter: @thomjeff

Some of the photographs in this presentation were retrieved fro...
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Strategy, execution, and a bit of luck - Startup Founder's Dream

  1. 1. Strategy, execution and a bit of luck. The life of a startup founder http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhinoneal/3907394091
  2. 2. • STARTUP FOUNDER • TWO EXITS (2009 – ALCATEL LUCENT & 2014 – LIVEOPS • EARLY STAGE ANGEL INVESTOR • MENTOR TO MANY STARTUPS • RUNNER
  3. 3. TOPICS 1. STARTING 2. GROWING 3. EXITING http://www.flickr.com/photos/gianpierre_soto/5505817770/sizes/l/in/photostream/
  4. 4. team | validation | funding STARTING http://www.flickr.com/photos/cedmars/6816878644/
  5. 5. Team Make wise choices, including your co-founders http://cdn.api.warnerbros.com/WB_Portal_3.0/imageRequest?rendition=SmallThumbnail&contentId=087194
  6. 6. Founders Commitment, and a shared passion. http://www.flickr.com/photos/syume/4400844746/
  7. 7. Core Team Never settle for anything less than A+ | Slow to hire & quick to fire. http://www.flickr.com/photos/syume/4400844746/
  8. 8. As a founder, you will wake up in a puddle of your own sweat realizing you are completely ****** http://sleepdisorders.dolyan.com/30-great-tips-what-can-help-me-sleep/
  9. 9. Validation Your idea solves a problem customers are willing to pay money for http://wallpapergravity.com/Image.php?ID=382174
  10. 10. Validation Ensures you’re not heading down the wrong path.
  11. 11. http://smithery.co/making/make-things-people-want-make-people-want-things/attachment/make-things-people-want/
  12. 12. Ignoring Validation Means your guessing and burning cash http://www.ipadwallpaperhd.com/fire_dollar-wallpapers.html
  13. 13. Funding The art of bootstrapping http://www.flickr.com/photos/trippinlarry/5987691227/
  14. 14. Bootstrapping retain control | no dilution http://www.flickr.com/photos/tfpc/6139591124/
  15. 15. Bootstrapping • • • Get lean, at work and at home. Explore consulting or other work options. Leverage every dollar. http://www.flickr.com/photos/h-k-d/4490192739/
  16. 16. Leverage R&D grants New hire programs Loans for sales & marketing http://farm1.staticflickr.com/93/281790898_c3240c02c4_o_d.jpg
  17. 17. Angel / Seed Once you have a validation, prototype, and ideally paying customers http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/87/WinonaSavingsBankVault.JPG/1280px-WinonaSavingsBankVault.JPG
  18. 18. Accelerators advance your idea | scale | investors
  19. 19. Failure is from a lack of paying customers, not funding http://www.flickr.com/photos/minusbaby/3403178463/
  20. 20. planning | process | advisors GROWING http://www.flickr.com/photos/evoo73/6930638399/
  21. 21. Planning “Some people skate to the puck. I skate to where the puck is going to be.” Credit: Sporting News Archive
  22. 22. Planning When starting, doing is more important than planning. At some point you will need some ‘planning’ for growth http://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/21470089/
  23. 23. Knowing when to hit the gas pedal is key. Scaling awareness too quickly can spell disaster http://www.flickr.com/photos/lanier67/4047779644/sizes/l/in/photostream/
  24. 24. Process Important, but balance that ‘startup’ culture. Above all else, ensure you have a culture of employee accountability http://farm1.staticflickr.com/91/269389847_e32f708b58_b_d.jpg
  25. 25. Advisors Important to you as a founder, and to your company
  26. 26. strategy | positioning | execution EXITING http://www.flickr.com/photos/javi_velazquez/6908063653/
  27. 27. Strategy Are you an entrepreneur, or empire builder? http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Maccari-Cicero.jpg
  28. 28. Lean Startup + Early Exit a winning combination http://www.flickr.com/photos/kellbailey/1805414461/
  29. 29. Which path is better? reducing time to exit = reducing risk + enhances IRR Mezzanine (own 10%) Series B (own 25%) IPO / Exit $150M at 10% Series A (own 40%) Traction Prove Model Product / Market Fit Raise Angel (own 35%) Validation 3 Year Exit$25M at 65% 2 to 3 years 5 to 7 years Source: “Exit Strategy for Startups”, VentureArchetypes, LLC
  30. 30. Exit Strategy Have your “end game” exit strategy on Day #1 http://www.flickr.com/photos/uckhet/268319752/
  31. 31. Positioning • • • Tell a good story, with passion Specifics on potential of “together” Vision of “what could be” in the future http://www.flickr.com/photos/beaconradio/5911999506/
  32. 32. Negotiation • • • Hire A+ finance & legal advisors Never piecemeal Clean house before diligence http://www.gazprom.com/about/history/events/italy40/
  33. 33. TOPICS 1. STARTING 2. GROWING 3. EXITING http://www.flickr.com/photos/gianpierre_soto/5505817770/sizes/l/in/photostream/
  34. 34. It is a lonely adventure
  35. 35. Balancing Act Most successful entrepreneurs have a good balance of execution intuition and luck. http://www.flickr.com/photos/classblog/5136926303/sizes/l/in/photostream/
  36. 36. Failure is a real possibility http://www.flickr.com/photos/kcnickerson/1008563510/
  37. 37. Light at the end of the tunnel
  38. 38. Recommended Reading The Founder’s Dilemmas| Lean Analytics | Running Lean
  39. 39. Local Accelerators Accepting applications for their next cohort.
  40. 40. Contact Me: E-Mail: jthompson@about.me Twitter: @thomjeff Some of the photographs in this presentation were retrieved from Flickr and made available under a Creative Commons license. Please refer to each photograph for a link to the image source.

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