This was at Dave & Busters, Times Square, NYC on May 15th 2012. Event by CBSAC/NY with Bob Dorf, co-author of “The Startup Owner’s Manual.”
Interesting. Some main points for startups include – Listen to the customer; find the problem that a customer might be facing and thrash out a solution. But Get out of the building and talk to the customers. If the initial idea does not seem to appeal to the customers then iterate and pivot. Complete this loop fast. It makes sense to find out whether a customer wants the product at all, before spending months on developing it based on a bunch of guesses.
At the Investor Feedback Forum and Pitch Showdown – NYC, 10 May 2012
The panelists were Brian Cohen, Brad Harrison, Ben Siscovick and Laurel Touby. There were eight pitches – some quirky and some really good. Enjoyed it. What did I learn from this? Rather reinforced what I hear in almost all such gatherings – the importance of a good team, a scalable idea which can be monetized well, can be made social/viral, can be differentiated from the competitors and is sustainable in the long term, the importance of consumer connection, creating value, getting the right data and market research.
That’s Joe Chin, host of Best Practices – Secrets of a Serial Entrepreneur with Dennis Mortensen and Fabrice Grinda at the Kaufman Center, NYU Stern.
Points tossed around were how important hard work is. Be ready to give everything to the idea you believe in. Be prepared. Invest resources in getting the right team on board. Make quick decisions, if a mistake is made iterate. Do research on the market – Google ads, A/B testing etc. Importance of getting the right lawyer and a VC who understands the business you are in. Be clear on the terms and conditions while dealing with a VC, know aspects like Drag-along, Piggyback Registration, burn rate etc. (This led to me check up the glossary of Venture Capital terms – a must read!)
The team getting out of the building or “GOOBing” :-) (I am the photographer!)
“You need to get out and engage with the customers.” Ask questions to the right segment and pivot if necessary based on the feedback. At the LSMnyc workshop.
At the Lean Startup Machine workshop over the weekend. Awesome learning experience. Totally sold on the idea of ‘assumptions’ and their validation/invalidation thereof. Focus on what customer wants! Helps you remove the blinkers and have a broader outlook. Go Lean!
AWS Summit 2012 - Navigate the Cloud
This was a well attended and informative session at Jacob Javits Center, NYC. Got insight into how some of the startups were using Amazon Web Services.
That’s Dan Porter of OMGPOP at NYU Stern EEX Summit.
The buzz is around the impressive amount he sold his company’s popular “Draw Something” game to Zynga. But what I came away with was that in this period of greed and excess (as exemplified by some of the payouts in Wall St.) there are CEOs who are willing to go that extra mile to help their employees. Porter hired back fired employees so that they could cash in on the company’s new found success. We need more such people heading the companies!