Sunday, January 20, 2008

Startup Success 2006

Notes from Google video Startup Success 2006

Distribution, Distribution, Distribution. There is no value in consumer Internet company if there is no distribution model. If you are not embarrassed by first version of your product you are too late to market. Keep iterating. Value speed and intelligent feedback.

Persistence, never take no for an answer. Opportunities - one opportunity leads to another. Keep the site very simple. Focus is very important for a startup. One step process, one form. Just do one thing and do it very well. Google - search, Flickr - photo etc.

Two Types of Entrepreneur

Pick an established market and penetrate a niche within it. Ex: Vertical search engine.
Look for patterns in the market and provide a solution. Ex: Wiki product for the non-geeks.

Secrets of a Serial Entrepreneur

Notes from Google video presentation by Mike O'Donnel

Startup Phases & Objectives

Start - Need
Innovate - Product
Sell - Customers
Hire - People
Partner - Channels
Finance - Revenue

Marketing comes after above phases

Six Phases of start-up success:

1. Idea Valuation
2. Product Valuation
3. Market Valuation
4. Channel Valuation
5. People Valuation
6. Revenue Valuation

There is no such thing as serial entrepreneur. There are parallel entrepreneur who run multiple businesses at the same time.

Start: Idea Valuation

All startups are a leap of faith. Founders cannot foresee what will unfold. Based on passion.
The true value of an idea can only be found in its execution
Starting is more important than finishing. Use feedback and learn as you go.
Will is more important than money. Passion, determination and good will of others more important.
It's marathon, not a sprint. Take a long term view.

Innovate: Product Valuation

Key insight, unique and sustainable advantage. How you are going to serve the market.
Nothing succeeds like a working prototype
Rapid development and iteration
Galvanizing event

Sell: Market Valuation

Marquee account, referenceable user
New pain points. Your real business
Cost of customer acquisition and LTV
Does it scale

Hire: People Valuation

1:3 rule. Generalists more valuable than specialists.
Fire yourself. Contract everything and everyone.
Pay for work not for advice.
Leverage "client development" programs.
Advertise for all positions every 6 months.

Partner: Channel Valuation

Leverage the resources of partners. Distribution, customers, people, budget.
Customers make the best salespeople
It's the 'service provider' network, stupid.

Finance: Investor Valuation

The best investors are customers, followed by partners with a strategic stake.
All money has the same value, the costs to acquire it varies greatly.
Investors value the future higher than the present, but base that value on the past.
Tell them whatever they want to hear.
Your chances of being right are better with the money than without it.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

AWDR - Part 2 Screencast Clarifications

In this screencast, admin namespaced products controller is created. This gives products_controller in the admin directory.

The public products_controller has only index and show and the other actions are not needed so we delete them. The admin products controller is capable of all the CRUD operations. So we copy them over to the admin controller. The urls needs to be changed because when we access them as an admin the url on the browser will be:


Since we have admin in the url the url helper methods will be different than the public url methods. You can find out the name of the URL methods by doing rake routes in your rails project home directory. Here is the process:

1. Let's say you want to find out the name of the URL helper method to route to update action in admin's products controller.
2. Look at the output of rake routes and find the controller with value admin/products and action with value show. The first column will give you the name of the URL helper you should use in the admin/products_controller and the views under admin/views/ directory.
3. The :id in the /admin/products/:id is a variable that is available in the params hash. You can access it's value in your controller by doing params[:id]. Similarly if you find anything in the second column that is prefixed by : , it means that it is a variable and you can extract it's value in the controller from the params hash.