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Becoming Accidental Entrepreneurs


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At Web Directions South, Australia,

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Becoming Accidental Entrepreneurs

  1. 1. Lanyrd.commaking conferences work
  2. 2. The New Shiny
  3. 3. Lanyrd.comaccidentalentrepreneurs
  4. 4.
  5. 5. $US 1.4 million
  6. 6. CasablancaAugust 2010
  7. 7. CasablancaAugust 2010
  8. 8. People who Professional use Twitter Events Something interesting
  9. 9. Private Beta
  10. 10. Bootstrapping on Twitter
  11. 11. Lanyrd.comTips on beta testing Launch in beta first ... but not for too long Keep the beta testers after launch Make sure beta-only features obvious
  12. 12. Tom Coates
  13. 13. @lanyrd attending #wds11
  14. 14.
  15. 15.
  16. 16."Well scale it live!"
  17. 17. Read only mode
  18. 18. El Jadida September 2010
  19. 19. Lanyrd.comLearn from our mistakes Dont over-engineer... but... Do plan for at least a small spike in traffic Dont miss out on users because your site is too unstable
  20. 20. Launch early, launch often
  21. 21. Lanyrd.comCommunity support Any contact from a user is a chance to turn them into a fan, no matter how grumpy they are It is not the bug that reflects you, its how you deal with it 140 characters in public is not the best forum for discussion Let people know about their pet features
  22. 22. Lanyrd.comCommunity support Any contact from a user is a chance to turn them into a fan, no matter how grumpy they are It is not the bug that reflects you, its how you deal with it 140 characters in public is not the best forum for discussion Let people know about their pet features
  23. 23. Lanyrd.comWatch how people use your site Have an activity stream, even if it is just admin only Data is a symptom of design. Watch for duplicates and bad data: these bugs are important to fix quickly because they affect the quality of your data.
  24. 24. MarrakechLanyrd.comSeptember 2010
  25. 25. MarrakechLanyrd.comSeptember 2010
  26. 26. MarrakechLanyrd.comSeptember 2010
  27. 27.
  28. 28. Cairo September 2010
  29. 29.
  30. 30. LuxorOctober 2010
  31. 31. Lanyrd.comYC application What substitutes do people resort to because what you plan to make doesnt exist yet? What do you understand about your business that other companies in it just dont get? How will you make money?
  32. 32. Mountain View, USAJanuary 2011
  33. 33. Lanyrd.comY Combinator $11,000 (+$3000 per founder) for about 7% $150,000 follow-on investment from Start Fund Office hours meetings with YC partners for advice Weekly off-the-record dinner with invited speakers Demo Day after 3 months
  34. 34. Mountain View, USA March 2011
  35. 35. Demo Day
  36. 36.
  37. 37. 2 minutes, 10 seconds Youll be lucky if investors remember a single noun from your pitch... so make sure its the right noun!
  38. 38. Investment
  39. 39. Lanyrd.comReasons startups die1. Not making something people want2. Fundraising
  40. 40. "Raise money or Bootstrap?"
  41. 41."How much should I raise?" Raise enough money for 18 months Youll have to start fundraising again after 12 How much of the company are you willing to give away?
  42. 42. Lanyrd.comValuations If you can convince someone to invest $1,000,000 for 10% of your company, your valuation is $10m (Actually its $11m post-money, and $10m post-money)
  43. 43. "Equity or convertible notes?"
  44. 44. Convertible Notes Also known as "bridge loans" Investor can give $100,000 now as an advance on your future equity round When you raise the full round later, they get $100,000 worth of stock at whatever the valuation is They get perks for investing early (a cap and/or discount) with-graphs.html
  45. 45."Angel investors or VCs?" Angels invest their own money, usually $5k-$50k Frequently exited founders themselves Not necessarily looking for a massive exit VCs invest other peoples money Looking for the big 10x hits, to make up for losses You can raise money from both
  46. 46. Lanyrd.comAsk for more than money Have a hit-list of skills you want to find in investors Marketing? Internationalisation? Hiring? Growing a company from 2 to 10 to 100 people?
  47. 47. Lanyrd.comWhat youll need Executive summary Elevator pitch Pitch deck The phone number of a really good lawyer Answers to common questions
  48. 48. Lanyrd.comCommon questions Where do you see your company in five yours time? Whats your TAM - your Total Addressable Market size? How are you going to spend the money?
  49. 49. Lanyrd.comFinding (the right) investors Introductions are essential Ask investors for intros to more investors Look at who they have previously invested in
  50. 50. Lanyrd.comInvestor meetings Good investors decide quickly - just one or two meetings ... but it takes a LOT of meetings to fill up your round Meet with less exciting investors first, to practice At the end of the meeting, ask for the money!
  51. 51. Lanyrd.comClosing a round A VC will offer you a "term sheet", outlining their proposed investment Show it to a lawyer! If youre lucky, youll get more than one offer from different firms. Then you can negotiate. Even when you sign it, youll still need to round up the other investors and negotiate on the full legal documents
  52. 52. Raising money takes longer than you expect, even when you take that in to account
  53. 53. Lanyrd.comLawyers are translators VCs are professional negotiators - you arent Your lawyers can translate the legalese, and tell you what terms are standard and what terms arent To negotiate, you need reasons Investment is full of strange etiquette - good lawyers can guide you through that as well
  54. 54. Lanyrd.comRunway
  55. 55. Lanyrd.comAnnouncing your round Its a free news story, time it well Dont share your valuation Do say who your investors are, how much you raised and what you are going to spend the money on Give the exclusive to one publication, follow up with different angles to subsequent publications if you can
  56. 56. Hiring
  57. 57. Lanyrd.comLondonOctober 2011 photo by @bfirsh
  58. 58. Have a Vision
  59. 59. Lanyrd.comIt may look like a glamorous life... but its not all sunshine and daisies!
  60. 60. Lanyrd app for iPhone
  61. 61. The emotional roller-coaster
  62. 62. On top of the world!Everyone likes us!Why would I ever want areal job?Oh crap!The world is ending,Servers are down,Bad comments on twitterMaybe I can still get a real job?
  63. 63. Lanyrd.comIts a tough job! You dont get to go home and stop thinking about work You will have no idea what you are doing - but nobody else does either, ask a founder! You dont need to be born an entrepreneur ... but you do need to find a great co-founder
  64. 64. Lanyrd.comWould we do it again? ... Yes! You have something that is yours Knowing that you are improving peoples lives, even slightly You get to build the company you want to work for
  65. 65. There are many ways to do a startup
  66. 66. Lanyrd.comMake somethingpeople want
  67. 67. Thank you!
  68. 68. Any questions?