Connecting Common Experiences

Title: Connecting Common Experiences
Date: 2007-11-14
Speaker: Armen Berjikly, Julio Vasconcellos (Experience Project)
Link: Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders
Experience Project brings people together around their shared life experiences to build support groups, etc.
Anonymity is a key to the site.
When you’re starting a social site on the Internet you want to echo what cavemen have been doing since fire (rather than building something new).
Multiple sclerosis tends to strike young women in their early 20s. Inflammations in the brain can lead to paralysis, cognitive issues, or nothing.
People who post on health sites are not doing well. Survivors are either out doing things or don’t want to show how well they’re doing.
When you start a company you’re going to violently close almost all of the doors in your life as you pursue one of them.
It takes much longer than you think.
Silicon Valley seems like a huge place but it really is about 150 people who have influence.
You constantly need to overcome the credibility gap.
If people see advertising that is relevant to them it is okay.
You need to work with people who have been there and done that.
Mentor capitalist is somebody who has faced the same struggles.
You need someone who can say it is alright. Zoom out for a second.
You need people who can guide you.
You really don’t know what you don’t know.
The culture of the site is set at the very beginning.
Hiring is hugely important for a startup. You spend more time with them than anything else.
Investors are good at helping you find VPs and CFOs but they’re not good at helping you find developers.
It is so hard to find good developers that it is okay to go through a recruiter.
If you don’t have passion for your project you’re going to get exhausted, spin your wheels, and eventually give up.
Every single day people are going to be questioning what you’re going to do.
Spend what you raise.
You’re part of a very large flow. Relationships exist beyond you and after you.
You can not underestimate the value of having some experience in the corporate world.
Unless you have a patentable idea stealth doesn’t work.
In the end it is execution.
When you have no money to pay someone you use your equity. What it is worth is a long discussion.
As an entrepreneur you will probably underestimate what you need to raise. Your angels will help you push that number up.