Most Startups Should be Deer Hunters

Both Sides of the Table

We typically committed to building “missing&# features and therefore steered off of our MVP (minimum viable product). Some companies / products are designed for large organizations from day 1. Companies post the $5 / month product designed for self-service clients.

Is it Time for You to Earn or to Learn?

Both Sides of the Table

If you’re thinking about joining as the director of marketing, product management manager, senior architect, international business development lead, etc. This is part of my Startup Advice series.

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Trending Sources

What Makes an Entrepreneur? Four Letters: JFDI

Both Sides of the Table

He went out and found a developer and built a product. We had every chart every invented by man (or McKinsey) showing failure rates of our product, mean-times-to-repair, detailed sales forecast charts, etc. This is part of my Startup Advice series.

Google Enters Financial Products Comparisons Market

socalTECH

Search engine giant Google has made its entree into an area long dominated by Southern California technology startups: financial products and leads generation. Google has been quietly offering up mortgage lead gen since late 2009 via AdWords Comparison Ads; Los Angeles-based Leads360 had said last year that it was providing the back-end, lead handling systems for Google as part of that effort. google advisor financial products leads mortgages rates leads360

FAQ 44

Startup Software Development – Do Your Homework Before You Develop Anything

SoCal CTO

The mess really comes from a developer who was willing to get started on a product that was not fully thought out. Of course, we’ll also discuss the details of the product itself. A lot of the product discussion feeds off the answers to this conversation. We’ll spend quite a bit of time discussing specifics of early versions of the product that will achieve specific business milestones, or reduce certain risks, or prove market, or whatever it is.

How to Deal with Skeletons in your Closet

Both Sides of the Table

A company has just filed suit against you for product patent infringement (obviously more serious). This is part of my series with Advice on Raising Venture Capital. I recently wrote a post on how to Deal with your Elephants in the Room during your VC meetings.

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WTF is Traction? A 6-Step Relationship Guide to VC

Both Sides of the Table

Traction can simply mean showing that you’re making progress with customers, product development, channel partners, initial revenue as a proof point, attracting well-known angel investors, winning industry awards / recognition. Tell them about what you’re up to in your business, show them your product or prototype, tell them your strategy, talk about the deals you’re working on and seek feedback. They tell you they’re going to ship product and they do.

Guide 58

Start-ups are all Naked in the Mirror

Both Sides of the Table

Our product releases took longer to ship than we had hoped. We kept reading about their customer wins, their product releases and their biz dev deals. Don’t obsess with product releases of competitors or biz dev deals. Product announcements come and go. This is part of my ongoing series Startup Lessons. Building companies is hard work. I started my first company in 1999 in London at the height of the dot com craze.

Should Your Startup Have an Advisory Board?

Both Sides of the Table

Time to start thinking about how to make it more productive. This is part of my ongoing series Startup Advice. Many startup companies hire advisory boards. It’s very tempting. It’s mostly done by first-time entrepreneurs who want to persuade (bribe?)

Who Should you Hire at a Startup?

Both Sides of the Table

One such meeting that he set up was with the CIO of the largest consumer products company in Europe. Only Hire A+ People Who Punch Above Their Weight Class. This is part of my ongoing posts on Startup Advice.

CIO 51

What Makes an Entrepreneur? (1/11) – Tenacity

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my new series on what makes an entrepreneur successful. I originally posted it on VentureHacks , one of my favorite websites for entrepreneurs. If you haven’t spent time over there you should.

Are Business Plans Still Necessary?

Both Sides of the Table

People mistook extra doses of Ajax for a successful product. The last couple of years has also seen the huge initial success of Ycombinator, the Lean Startup and many other product driven approaches to going to market. Don’t know how much you can charge for your product?

Bank Robber or ATM Operator?

InfoChachkie

A Bank Robber will ask questions that are focused on your products, customers, and the potential size of your adVenture’s overall opportunity. This is a reposting of a ‘classic’ popular post. A Fortune 500 CEO once told me that I was a Bank Robber. Initially, I was offended. However, once he explained what he meant, I was flattered. A Bank Robber is someone who craves the thrill of the chase.

Are MBAs Necessary for Start-ups or VC?

Both Sides of the Table

I took an advanced computer course in high school where I learned to build databases in Ashton Tate’s dBase III+ and to compile my designs using a product called Clipper. Ask if you could shadow different functions like marketing, finance or product management.

Startup Founders Should Flip Burgers

Both Sides of the Table

This can often happen when there is a good product built but no real customer adoption yet. We built 4 products simultaneously with no market feedback. We had 6 developers, 1 head of product management, 1 QA in India and me. This is part of my ongoing series Startup Advice.

Startup Metrics

SoCal CTO

Startup Metrics for Pirates (SeedCamp, Sept 2009) View more documents from Dave McClure. A post by Fred Wilson pointed me to Dave McClure's Startup Metrics presentation. This is a great presentation and one that I'm going to point out to startup / early stage company CEOs.

Product Manager Entrepreneur Mark Geller

SoCal CTO

He has a really interesting background as a product manager and now an entrepreneur. Like many product managers, my background is fairly eclectic. That's where I learned I enjoyed interacting with customers and working with development teams to build and launch products.

Video Games Industry 2009

SoCal Tech Calendar

Thursday, February 26, 2009 -- Video Games Industry 2009. The video game industry sits at the center of an increasingly sophisticated network of growth opportunities: advertisers can reach difficult population segments in a targeted manner; retail outlets can expand their business by adding a new product that caters to their customers; and traditional media companies can find novel ways to present their products.

BIOCOM's 2009 DeviceFest

SoCal Tech Calendar

Thursday, May 7, 2009 -- BIOCOM's 2009 DeviceFest promises to provide thought provoking panel discussions and case studies focusing on Inspiring Innovation, Overcoming Adversity and What's Next? However, bringing life saving products to patients expeditiously remains a great challenge for medical device companies.

What Makes an Entrepreneur (2/10) – Street Smarts

Both Sides of the Table

They spot opportunities that aren’t being met and the design products to meet these needs. They realized that they were selling a bunch of cool products but none that had enough economic value. We couldn’t cut product development (we had 23 people!)

Brain Corp.’s First Product is a Brain for Floor-Scrubbing Machines

Xconomy

began life in 2009 with a lofty goal of reverse-engineering the human brain. is rolling out its first commercial product—a “brain-enabled” commercial floor scrubber that is part mini-Zamboni and part Roomba. But as a pragmatic industrial product, Brain Corp.

Don’t drink your own Kool-Aid (surviving TC50)

Both Sides of the Table

We had scrambled to get a product to market, built our first website, rapidly hired a technology team, raised our seed round of capital ($1.5 We started building 4 products so that our end-to-end, supply-chain services would be complete (MVP?

Do you need a Powerpoint deck for a VC meeting?

Both Sides of the Table

Some readers have commented that in today’s world you shouldn’t even need a PowerPoint presentation – in this era you should always just demo your product. I find this is more often an ex operator VC and often somebody who deep down is a product guy.

Product Management for Startups in Los Angeles – Steve Gilison

SoCal CTO

Steve Gilison worked as a market researcher and product manager at a startup where my company, TechEmpower , did the software / web development. I have about 11 years in the technology sector including roles doing market research, sales and product development.

5 Tips to Becoming a More Customer Centric Organization

Both Sides of the Table

They communicated this to product management who looked at all of the internal requirements we had generated (e.g. and product management worked with me to decide what to build & when. I spent time with the folks (Klaus Schauser and Brian Danahoo) at AppFolio before they ever launched their products. They taped people using existing products. I used to always tell my development team, “you need to design a product that my dad could use.

Video Games Industry 2009: New Opportunities

SoCal Tech Calendar

Thursday, February 26, 2009 -- "Video Games Industry 2009: New Opportunities" TCOSC. The video game industry sits at the center of an increasingly sophisticated network of growth opportunities: advertisers can reach difficult population segments in a targeted manner; retail outlets can expand their business by adding a new product that caters to their customers; and traditional media companies can find novel ways to present their products.

What Makes an Entrepreneur (4/11) – Resiliency

Both Sides of the Table

You’ve got to see your product weaknesses and plug them. This is part of my new series on what makes an entrepreneur successful. I originally posted it on VentureHacks , one of my favorite websites for entrepreneurs. If you haven’t spent time over there you should.

Angel Funding Advice

Both Sides of the Table

Product : You should build a product or a prototype. You cannot be just a biz dev type, salesperson, marketing genius or whatever and divorce yourself from product. Great companies are built by having great products. And a great product starts with the founder. release out the door and get some customers using it, or friendly people piloting it then at least there is some validation to the product and some people to speak to about their experiences.

Should Founders Be Allowed to Take Money off the Table?

Both Sides of the Table

The company did well in 2006 as we delivered a phenomenal product that got much industry acclaim at conferences and with initial customers. This is part of my ongoing series “ Start Up Advice &# but I’d really like to call this post, “VC Advice.&#. If a company has reached a level of success, has been around for a few years and you believe the company has potential to break out into a much bigger company then you should let the founders take money off of the table.

Accelerating New Product Development

SoCal Tech Calendar

Thursday, April 30, 2009 -- Caltech Executive Education: Accelerating New Product Development. See [link] (more

Zadspace Unveils Ad Product

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based Zadspace , an advertising firm backed by DFJ Frontier, Crosscut Ventures and Gideon Hixon Fund, has unveiled its advertising product, saying Tuesday that it has exited beta testing of its service.

MyLife Snags Siegel As Chief Product Officer

socalTECH

Los Angeles-based people search engine MyLife.com has snagged technologist Ian Siegel as the firm's new Chief Product Officer, the firm said today. Tags: mylife executive siegel product officer people search

The Best VC Meetings are Debates not Sales

Both Sides of the Table

People are much more likely to buy into you as a person and us as a firm when they’ve been involved in a discussion with you about their problems, your solutions, who else has been using your product, etc. Most worryingly, many times it means that they have decided that they are not interested in your product (or investing in your company) so why bother having a debate / discussion with you. This is part of my blog series “ Pitching a VC.&#.