Education, Lean Startup

Lean Startup – Am I doing it right?

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One question I get all the time is how to do Lean Startup right, so I thought I’d take a minute and share a somewhat canonical answer.

The shortest 5 step description I can give goes as follows:

  1. Articulate your hypotheses (guesses about the unknowns) using the Business Model Canvas (BMC).
  2. Get out of the building and test these hypotheses using Customer Development.
  3. Validate learnings by building Minimum Viable Products and getting them in front of customers.
  4. Iterate (small variation, no real change in BMC) or Pivot (something changed in the BMC) as needed.
  5. Build – Measure – Learn (aka rinse, lather, repeat – because this is an iterative process, you have to get out of the building more than once to talk to customers)

By now, getting the the Lean Startup methodology right should not be a problem.

The hard part is still going to be creating a product people love. 

To learn more in-depth about the Lean Startup and how to do it right, I recommend taking the canonical free course ” How to Build a Startup” from the father of the movement himself, Steve Blank.

This text was originally posted on LinkedIn.

Events, startup

It’s that WebSummit time again

Gary V…

It’s that time of year again! This year the WebSummit moved to beautiful Lisbon, Portugal. Who’s in town? Hit me up on them there social interwebs and let’s have a drink or dinner.

This thing is getting huuuuge… But we all know we come to catch up outside of the talks, having chats and drinks outside of the venue even…

WebSummit is also a Great excuse for me to visit my fiends at Startup Braga and Startup Portugal

Education, pitching, startup

Top 10 ways to fuck up your startup pitch

I’ve done my own fair share of startup pitching and royally screwed up my own pitch at least one time. That’s why I’ve helped over 500 startups to pitch investors in the last couple of years with Germany’s largest startup pitch event, the Rheinland Pitch.

Here is my list of the top 10 mistakes I see founders make when trying to pitch their startups to investors that you can easily avoid right now.

If you like this, you’ll love my FREE “Pitching Masterclass”.

10. Body and vocal language

Running feverishly, jittery, fidgety around the stage instead of calmly remaining in one place. Using filler words like so, yeah, like and uh. Practice! Have a team mate kick you every time you use fillers until you don’t use them anymore.

9. Timing and script reading

Going over the allotted time instead of having practiced to finish convincingly within. Reading a script (in their mind) instead of having practiced a journey of key concepts to move through leads to mental blocks and embarrassing pauses and gaps in the narrative and adds to a truly awful amateur performance. Know and own your shit — don’t write fiction for a fake performance of what you believe someone wants to hear. This is not a school play.

8. Telling instead of showing

Too many startups that have actually built something forget to actually show and demo the product in the pitch. Show, don’t tell. Conversely, they have built something — but they don’t show it. Bad and worse.

7. Video killed the pitching star

Your video will work approximately 50% of the time and will fail when it’s most important not to. Too many startups don’t prepare slides with screenshots of their demo or video, so that they can effortlessly move on to slides if they fail. Which they inevitably will. Don’t be that idiot that spends the whole allotted time trying to get the demo or video to run and failing to get the message across. Make those fucking screenshots and put them in your deck — Your video will not play.

6. Solution before Problem

Don’t be that startup with a solution in search of a problem. And whatever you do, don’t present your solution before you’ve introduced and made us understand the big problem your solution will solve. That just fucks up your narrative.

5. Metrics, KPIs and Analytics

Understand your own business. Know which metrics your startup will be measured on, know how to measure them and how to do proper cohort analyses from day one.

4. Arguing with investors

Don’t. Just don’t. A relationship with an investor is like a marriage. You are going to be together for years. You can imagine how much they feel like working with you for the future if you are an argumentative ass on the first date. They may be assholes. They may be wrong. So if you don’t want to raise money from them, this is the perfect way to make sure you’ll never work together.

3. Team

Don’t save it for last. Show who’s pitching, why you are credible and why you guys are the right people to make this successful. Establish authority, credibility and rapport as soon as possible. And don’t tell me about irrelevant stuff you’ve done in the past – only what’s relevant for the road ahead, the mission at hand.

2. Competition

You have competition. Always. Hiding the fact doesn’t make it go away. It only shows you’re either scared or too stupid to do the research. Hell, competition is good! It means there is a market here. But tell us why you are different and better. And not only direct competition is your competition. Anything that stands in the way between the customer and your wallet can be a competitor.

1. Projections

You’re an early stage startup with no customers and no revenue, but you are showing me projections on your business in 20 years from now and a break even in 3? Seriously? Fuck you and the lying horse you rode in on. Stop lying to yourself too. No business plans ever survives first contact with customers. Show me how you are going to spend my money the next 12 months and why, what we can expect from that; Which most critical guesses about your business are you going to use the money towards testing, how exactly and why — Don’t bother with fantasy numbers pulled out of your ass.

Now watch my Pitching Masterclass for Startups for FREE before you embarrass yourself in front of investors; Learn “How to Pitch your Startup”.

This post was originally published on Medium.