Monthly Archives: October 2013

Retooling Early Stage Development

Title: Retooling Early Stage Development
Date: 2008-10-01
Speaker: Steve Blank (Serial Entrepreneur)
Link: Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders
Entrepreneurship is chaotic, unpredictable, and will change from minute to minute.
Out of failure comes success.
Most entrepreneurs are focused on getting to launch and first customership.
Less than 10% of startups fail because the engineers were wrong.
Most startups, in every field other than life sciences, fail (over 90%) because they didn’t find a market and customers.
If you’re doing a web based company you should release often (several times a day).
Get out of your office or dorm room and test two hypotheses about your business: show that there are customers out there and that they will pay you money to solve their problem
The goal of a customer development process is to simply take the hypotheses about your business or product as is and see if there are customers and a market outside of the building.
This process puts you in continuous contact with the customers.
Great ideas are built into companies with continued contact and feedback from customers.
Great engineers understand what customers need.
Customer creation is about how do we create demand for companies.
The people capable of changing strategy need to be the ones hearing good news and bad.
Getting feedback from customers is the most valuable thing you will do as entrepreneurs. It is not outsourceable.
Customer validation sometimes requires you to re-engineer the problem.
Until you have your first customer all of the tips and tricks that big companies do are divide by zero (they don’t work).
Discover what the minimum feature set is and start with that. Do A/B testing on features.
Go for minimum feature set.
You won’t know what the minimum feature set is inside of the building.
In areas where there is market and customer risk customer development, or its equivalent, will become a fundamental part of your toolkit.
Some problems (such as cleantech) are technology risk at first and then become customer development problems.
The job of a great entrepreneur is to become a domain expert–enough to understand a day in the life of their customer, buyer, and anybody else in their organizational chain.

Revel in the Adventure of New Ideas

Title: Revel in the Adventure of New Ideas
Date: 2013-10-23
Speaker: Steve Teig (Tabula)
Link: Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders
Apply everything you know about everything to every problem you encounter.
Always challenge your assumptions.
It is not enough to have great ideas. Infrastructure matters.
Redirect your fear.
Surround yourself with great teams.
Try to solve a problem that matters and whose solution matches your particular skillset.
Try to solve a problem whose solution will help you solve other problems down the road.
Making a decision clearly and quickly often matters more than making the right decision.
Figure out what you want to be and go after that. If the environment changes then change course a little bit.
It is easy to get paralyzed by trying to gather too much data too soon.
The most fun you can have at work is at a “change the world” startup.
If you change the world the money is going to come.
Have fun.
Pick something you love.
Always try your best.

You Have to Break the Egg

Title: You Have to Break the Egg
Date: 2013-10-16
Speaker: Cyriac Roeding (Shopkick)
Link: Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders
Mobile and shopping are a really good combination.
The cellphone is the only computer that most people in the world have.
Mobile has different rules than other platforms.
There is a big difference between a feature, a product, and a company.
Conversion rates are very good in the physical world.
The chicken and egg problem is the number one problem for entrepreneurs.
The number one job of the entrepreneur is to break the egg.
The second thing an entrepreneur needs to do is create assets and reduce risks.
Everybody needs to know what their passion is.
First thing to do is to ask yourself, “whose problem does this solve?”
If you have an awesome idea with a bad team you’re done.
Culture is highly underrated.
Culture is a decision framework.
Culture is a wind that blows everybody in one direction.
When in doubt don’t hire.

Realizing Innovation at Enterprise Scale

Title: Realizing Innovation at Enterprise Scale
Date: 2013-10-09
Speaker: Padmasree Warrior (Cisco)
Link: Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders
Technology has the incredible power to change how business gets done.
There were 1,000 devices connected to the Internet in 1984. A million in 1992. A billion in 2008. 12.5 billion in 2010. They expect roughly 50 billion devices by 2020.
Many of the connected devices will be sensors.
In 2012 we created more data than in the previous 5,000 years combined.
The next wave of the Internet is “the Internet of everything.”
The next wave is to connect people, processes, data, and things.
Usability and user experience are two slightly different things.
Cisco expects one to two percent of revenue growth every year to come from acquisitions.
First golden rule of acquisition is if the vision and strategy aligns.
Second golden rule is to look for things that are disruptive.
Have an influence platform.
Leaders need to be community builders.
You need to separate learning from education.
Learning is going to be a massively scalable platform.

Music Artists Go Entrepreneurial

Title: Music Artists Go Entrepreneurial
Date: 2008-07-24
Speaker: Tony Perkins (AlwaysOn Panel)
Link: Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders
Sometimes you have to take the bitter with the sweet. (Mistah FAB)
Technology has rewritten the business model for the music industry. (MC Hammer)
Everybody is an artist. Everybody is a blogger. (Chamillionaire)
The Internet offers artists free distribution and free marketing. (QJ3)
The world is at your fingertips. (Chamillionaire)
People want to associate with a winner. (MC Hammer)
You can’t give away everything. (MC Hammer)
You’ve got to humble yourself down. (Chamillionaire)
What is a handshake to you is to somebody a lifetime memory. (Mistah FAB)
Analytics is the end game. (MC Hammer)
Analytics let you put your promoting dollars in the right places. (MC Hammer)
You have to interact with the fans. (Mistah FAB)
If some people know how smart you are they aren’t going to talk in front of you. (Chamillionaire)
Innovation is what makes you stand out from other people. (Chamillionaire)
Don’t talk about it. Just show people. (Chamillionaire)
Even a genius asks questions. (Mistah FAB)
If you’re smart enough to know something you’re smart enough to know you know not much at all and there is always more to learn. (Mistah FAB)
The strive for, the thirst for, knowledge is always a beautiful quest. (Mistah FAB)

A VC Perspective on the Life Sciences

Title: A VC Perspective on the Life Sciences
Date: 2008-05-28
Speaker: Beth Seidenberg (KPCB)
Link: Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders
The most important thing is leadership.
They look for companies serving large markets.
A sense of urgency is critical.
Being first matters. Being the best matters.
Intellectual property protection is important for life sciences and cleantech.
Know how to put financing together or know somebody who can help you.
Every company goes to the ICU at least once.
You have to be nimble to deal with crises.
Sometimes you need to be a psychologist and a therapist (when bringing great people into a company).
You don’t need to start out with business expertise. Find somebody who does.

DCBKK 2013 – What Our Speakers Taught Us

EP50 – DCBKK 2013 – What Our Speakers Taught Us
Date: 2013-10-24
Link: Tropical Talk Radio
Never brag about money.
Don’t talk about your future plans.
It is not validated unless they have paid you money.
Don’t believe your hype.
Home offices aren’t always a great idea.
Net 30 is for suckers.
Keep your family and business completely separated.
Don’t resolve internal conflicts on social media.
Don’t link your business name to your Google accounts.
Don’t purchase inventory before your customers have bought the product.
The only thing more important than being nice is revenue.
Design is a defensible competitive advantage.
Design is where you can set your business apart.
Record what you would do during a client meeting or a sales presentation. Put that on your website.
What gear are you in?
Select the right lever.
Plan on success. Write stuff down.
Be deliberate with your social media.
Don’t fall into a trap.
Keep your expenses low but don’t let that limit what you can really make.
With great responsibility comes great power.
Entrepreneurs make themselves responsible for things like the outcomes of their clients and the future of their industries.

10 Predictions For 2014 and Beyond

EP49: 10 Predictions For 2014 and Beyond
Date: 2013-10-17
Link: Tropical Talk Radio
There are still location dependent jobs.
People still need a physical connection.
Hire people not where you get arbitrage opportunities but where you get optimization opportunities.
The role of a city evolves.
You have more of an interest to connect when you’re uprooting and going somewhere.
You need to get control of your cash flow if you’re going to control your time.
If the network is out of your control you need to figure out a way to leverage it.
Virtual currencies will happen out of necessity, out of frustration, out of pain.

What Makes a Great Conference Talk? (And Specific Takeaways From Outstanding Software Entrepreneurs)

EP48: What Makes a Great Conference Talk? (And Specific Takeaways From Outstanding Software Entrepreneurs)
Link: Tropical Talk Radio
Focus on your craft.
Track customers during the trial period.
Raise your price.
Know if you’re in the learning stage and if it has potential to get to the scale stage.
Your acquisition costs should be one-third of the lifetime value of your customer.
Don’t tell people how hard you’re working for them. Show them.
Do not project your problems onto your customer.
You have to take a credit card to know people are serious.
Feedback of people that have paid you money is worth ten times that of people that haven’t paid you money.
Start a talk with what you’re going to tell the audience and the benefits.
Show what life is like before the problem and what is is like after you solved the problem.

Building Distributed Software Teams in Asia

TMBA47: Building Distributed Software Teams in Asia
Link: Tropical Talk Radio
$275-$325 a month for fresh out of college programmers.
Senior developers can go for $2,000 to $2,2000 a month.
Look at whether things are worth doing.
Self improvement doesn’t need to be adding things. It can be subtracting things as well.
Get yourself in shape the old fashioned way.
It is a bad idea to use Modafinil as a sleep avoidance strategy.
It helps to be in the same location as your developers as you’re learning your strengths and weaknesses.
The average education of a graduating computer scientist is higher in the U.S. than is Asia.