Sunday, January 20, 2008

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.

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