the lean startup
This week, I talked to serial entrepreneur, Angel investor, and founder of CareGuide, John Philip Green. CareGuide is an online "matchmaking" service for people in need of care professionals, and need tailored, vetted recommendations. Here's my Q&A with him.
We've all heard the apocryphal tales of companies who put their pet projects on crowd-funding websites and made millions. A group out of Vancouver asked the question: "How can we leverage this zeal and social funding for good?" In July, Weeve was born, and they have helped dozens of not-for-profits achieve crowd funding success. Alex Chuang explains how they've had early success.
When you're in the earliest days of your start-up, you are completely head down, focused on your product and you don't have much time for reaching out, and you're certainly not relying upon others to help you. And then you hit your first time where you need to solicit advice, hire contractors, or to network, you encounter your first Great Wait. So, what do you do when you're forced into a Great Wait?
Talking to Phil Libin about his third (and most famous) company, Evernote, on the surface seems like a lesson in how not to make something. But therein lies the genius of why Evernote has had rousing success since its inception in 2007. Phil and his co-founders bootstrapped Evernote themselves for a year. No small feat. During that year, they focused on one goal: making a product they really, really wanted to use.
I recently spoke to Amin Todai, serial start-up entrepreneur, founder of onemethod digital+ design about how he applies the principles of The Lean Start-Up to his various ventures. Amin is also one of the men behind Toronto taqueria La Carnita, which had taken the city by storm. What does he think about being an entrepreneur?
You most likely won't make $41 million off your first business presentation, but you DO need a deck which clearly lays out a few key things which all venture capitalists (and potential partners) look for. It seems easy, but one of the hardest exercises you will go through in this process is distilling everything you think, want, and believe in your company into a measly 10 pages. Here are some tips.
Earwolf Media produces the most highly rated comedy podcasts online, and has recently expanded to television (with IFC's Comedy Bang Bang) and comedy album production. He's had many ups and downs in the process -- like pitching a website without knowing how to build one, engineer turnover and self doubt. But on hindsight, Jeff says, "I've never looked back on something we did and said, 'I'm glad I listened to that other person who told me it was a bad idea.'"
It's easy to see the appeal of having your own business: you can set your own hours, you get to collect all of the money, and you can do things your way. But having your own start-up is the exact opposite of the movies. While it's true that most people have a few great ideas in them, not everyone enjoys the humility-building exercise which is getting your startup off the ground. It takes a lot of planning. So, what's the actual first step once you've had your big idea?
A few years back, I set a personal goal of reading one book per week. Blog posts are great. So are Twitter, online newspapers and magazines and the occasional podcast, but if you really want to deep-dive into a topic, you have to read a well-written book about the topic that interests you.