Customer Development, Education, entrepreneurship, Lean Startup, startup

Customer Development Resources for Startups

First rule of Customer Development Club: No selling! Ever!

First rule of Customer Development Club: No selling! Ever!

A first time founder of a very early-stage startup asked me recently about how to do customer interviews (aka doing the Customer Development part of the methodologies collectively known as The Lean Startup) properly.

I get asked this question a lot. Because doing customer interviews is for many like Justin Wilcox puts it, “a special kind of torture”.

At the end of this article, you’ll find a bunch of resources to help you conduct customer interviews like a boss. But first, let’s take a look at what this Customer Development thing is, why it is so important and how to avoid the usual mistakes.

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Education, entrepreneurship, startup

Vesting For Startup Founders Explained

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It’s pretty much expected by your potential investors that your startup should have a 4 year vesting plan with a 1 year cliff, accelerated on an exit event with a double trigger for the founders. But what does all this mean?

BTW: If you like this post, you’ll probably love the much more in-depth Pitching Masterclass.

It’s a question I get asked all too often by first-time startup founders, so I’ll try to explain it here once and for all. You don’t need to be a lawyer to understand it. Read on to master your vesting.

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Education, entrepreneurship, pitching, startup

How to Pitch Your Startup

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Yours truly live on stage at LeWeb in Paris pitching “Gauss — The People Magnet” (Image CC @francois_tancre)

How to Pitch Your Startup

I see a lot of startup pitches and pitch decks. And most of them suck. So let me share some basic knowledge to help you avoid my rookie mistakes and to help you massively improve your pitch before you reach out to investors, before you start raising that funding round.

(If you like this post, you’ll probably love the much more in-depth Pitching Masterclass.)

There are actually three pitches you need to master. Read on to master them all.

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entrepreneurship, Lessons Learned, startup

On Location Based Services

Painted in Waterlogue

Writing on the Wall: A Business Model Canvas, complete with festively colored Post-Its, Atherton, CA June 2013.

This post has been gather digital dust in private draft form since May 2013. I thought I’d finally publish it to share with anyone interested in location based services.

Preamble

In what now seems like eons ago, I founded a location based tech startup called “Gauss — The People Magnet”. It took me on a roller-coaster ride around the world — from the front page of The New York Times to near personal bankruptcy in the course of about two years. It folded before we got somewhere significant. If you’re interested in the background for founding ‘Gauss — The People Magnet’, there are a couple of old posts for that.

In this post I’m completely cleaning out the closet with my thoughts and experiences related to that startup, including potential revenue sources and business models. It’s a long and winding read — a very mixed bag, assembled from scattered notes.

Caveat Emptor in 2016: If any of this looks familiar or straight forward today, rest assured they weren’t when we started out back in early 2011. To wit: successful monetization of non-dating social discovery apps arguably still hasn’t happened yet.

tl;dr

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