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My Startup Lessons Learned

My favorite startup lessons learned & the ones that had the most profound affect on what I was doing & am going to do next.

Steven Milstein

on 6 July 2011

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Transcript of My Startup Lessons Learned

1:10:45 David: The goal is to build a profitable business. http://37signals.com/svn/posts/1864-rework-unveiling-the-cover “I thought they were off to a really great start and that shopping combined with social networking is a real challenge and opportunity. However, their product was not as far along as the top 50 we are selecting this year. I have no doubt they will get to the promised land with a little more time and effort.”
- Jason This startup search process is the business model / customer development / agile development solution stack. This solution stack proposes that entrepreneurs should first map their assumptions (their business model) and then test whether these hypotheses are accurate, outside in the field (customer development) and then use an iterative and incremental development methodology (agile development) to build the product. When founders discover their assumptions are wrong, as they inevitably will, the result isn’t a crisis, it’s a learning event called a pivot — and an opportunity to update the business model.
- Steve Blank Get out of the building. http://stevenmilstein.com/2009/09/16/homage-to-techcrunch50-2009-its-organizers-and-participants/ My First Demo Pitch.
Are All Retail Sales Associates Like This? "#1 You do not get credit before you do the work."
- Jason Calacanis http://stevenmilstein.com/2010/08/26/the-twouble-with-twetailer/ The Twouble With Twetailer Golden Rule of Branding:

Choose a name that is your URL
Don't choose anything that paints you in a corner. With the word "tweet" in it, it's painted into a corner.
-- Mark Suster (6:11 This Week in Venture Capital #2) http://thisweekin.com/thisweekin-venture-capital/twivc-02-with-mark-suster/ ... the key to success is sharing with those who can help. So that's the motivation behind the AnotherSocialEconomy Reseller and Referrer programs. Another lesson learned, is that I have to make it real easy for those folks to pass the message along. Widget / Bookmarklet http://stevenmilstein.com/2010/08/31/why-our-widgets-whip-click-through-or-pay-per-click-ads/ http://stevenmilstein.com/2010/09/10/welcome-to-google-local-shopping/ Welcome to Google Local Shopping This year, 46% of retail sales will be influenced by the web – but more than 90% of total retail transactions will occur in-store, from small neighborhood boutiques to national chains *. No matter where our users are shopping, we want to help them find your products.

-- Google Product Search http://www.google.com/intl/en_us/products/local.html http://stevenmilstein.com/2010/11/02/lean-lectures-1-with-ash-maurya/ Lean Lectures #1 with Ash Maurya Don't waste time trying to convert someone who isn't ready to listen. Move on to the next prospect. Go back to the doubters later with a fistful of customers or partners. Or better yet, let them come to you...when they are ready to listen. http://dondodge.typepad.com/the_next_big_thing/2010/05/if-they-arent-ready-to-listen-it-doesnt-matter-what-you-say.html Car Dealers Pivot http://www.runningleanhq.com/ Practice Trumps Theory: Lean Startup + Customer Development + Bootstrapping http://www.ashmaurya.com Do I have a problem worth solving? Have I built something people want? How do I accelerate growth? http://www.guykawasaki.com/reality-check/ http://www.guykawasaki.com/the-art-of-the-start/ http://stevenmilstein.com/2010/04/19/kool-aid-being-served-here/ http://sethgodin.typepad.com/the_dip/ Google "elearning-labs llc ibm" Multi-stream http://steveblank.com/2010/11/11/get-out-of-the-building-and-win-50000/ the fundamental difference between an existing company and a startup: existing companies execute business models, while startups search for a business model. (Or more accurately, startups are a temporary organization designed to search for a scalable and repeatable business model.) Managed Service Co-authored
Software as a Service (SaaS): Application Service Provider Business Model: Implementation on the iSeries Server http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/sg246053.html?Open
Collaboration Software: Deploying IBM Workplace Collaboration Services on the IBM System i5 Platform http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/sg246640.html?Open
Online Education: IBM Workplace Collaborative Learning for IBM i5/OS http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/redp3936.html?Open Client Consolidation: A method to use news reader clients to facilitate business transformation of enterprise applications. Publication IPCOM000171692D under IBM. http://cyn.in http://twetailer.com http://www.sllconf.com/2010/ http://www.slideshare.net/500startups/eric-ries http://www.slideshare.net/gueste94e4c/dropbox-startup-lessons-learned-3836587 http://www.slideshare.net/startuplessonslearned/aardvark-case-study-from-sllconf-by-max-ventilla-and-damon-horowitz http://www.slideshare.net/sblank/why-accountants-dont-run-startups-sllc http://thisweekin.com/thisweekin-startups/twist-46-with-david-heinemeier-hansson-2/ Waste is any human activity which absorbs resources but creates no value.
- Womak and Jones, Lean Thinking http://www.slideshare.net/gueste94e4c/dropbox-startup-lessons-learned-3836587 http://www.stevenblank.com/books.html http://steveblank.com/2011/01/27/7719/ http://steveblank.com/2010/04/12/why-startups-are-agile-and-opportunistic-%E2%80%93-pivoting-the-business-model/ "Inovation through experimentation" No Plan Survives First Contact With Customers – Business Plans versus Business Models.
-Steve Blank http://steveblank.com/2010/04/08/no-plan-survives-first-contact-with-customers-%E2%80%93-business-plans-versus-business-models/ http://steveblank.com/2010/05/13/consultants-don%E2%80%99t-pivot-founders-do/ http://steveblank.com/2010/11/11/get-out-of-the-building-and-win-50000/ “Pivoting” is when you change a fundamental part of the business model. It can be as simple as recognizing that your product was priced incorrectly. It can be more complex if you find your target customer or users need to change or the feature set is wrong or you need to “repackage” a monolithic product into a family of products or you chose the wrong sales channel or your customer acquisition programs were ineffective.
-Steve Blank A startup is a temporary organization formed to search for a sustainable*, repeatable and scalable business model.
- Steve Blank (*Ash Maurya helped me with "sustainable") Business Partner "C"? A systematic process for iterating your web application from Plan A to a plan that works Customer Development Day 1 Falsifiable Hypothesis http://leancanvas.com The best idea: Solve a real business problem and charge money for it.
– Lincoln Murphy Slide 12 at Freemium – A Word of Caution | CloudAve. http://www.cloudave.com/link/freemium-a-word-of-caution http://www.slideshare.net/sixteenventures http://steveblank.com/2010/11/11/get-out-of-the-building-and-win-50000/ htpp://ashmaurya.com Divot, or, Pivot?
Sometimes when you swing at the ball, you simply miss and create a hole in the ground. http://vator.tv/news/2011-03-25-pivot-or-divot If they aren't ready to listen, it doesn't matter what you say.
- Don Dodge http://dondodge.typepad.com/the_next_big_thing/2010/05/if-they-arent-ready-to-listen-it-doesnt-matter-what-you-say.html Early Adopter /
Business Partner "A"? ezToff Business Partner "A"? ezToff Business Partner "A"? Jan 2010 Feb 2010 Mar 2010 ... Sep 2009 2003-2006 2006-2009 Feb 2009 Mar 2009 Jun 2009 Jul 2009 Aug 2009 Apr 2010 May 2010 Jun 10 Jul 2010 Aug 2010 Sep 2010 Oct 2010 Nov 2010 Jan 2011 Feb 2011 Mar 2011 Dec 2010 Early Adopter / Business Partner "A"? 4 Car Dealer Early Adopters? Car Dealer Business Partner?
George I. Robert Y. http://stevenmilstein.com/2010/03/06/my-first-cold-call-demo-pitch-and-are-all-retail-sales-associates-like-this/ Drinking The Kool-Aid To Pivot, or, Not To Pivot Apr 2011 May 2011 Chris A. Grant R. Robert H. Y & R Peter B. Marc B &
Peri L. &
Steph B. Michel D.
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