Strategy, execution, and a bit of luck - Startup Founder's Dream

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Information about Strategy, execution, and a bit of luck - Startup Founder's Dream
Business & Mgmt

Published on February 21, 2014

Author: thomjeff


Strategy, execution and a bit of luck. The life of a startup founder



team | validation | funding STARTING

Team Make wise choices, including your co-founders

Founders Commitment, and a shared passion.

Core Team Never settle for anything less than A+ | Slow to hire & quick to fire.

As a founder, you will wake up in a puddle of your own sweat realizing you are completely ******

Validation Your idea solves a problem customers are willing to pay money for

Validation Ensures you’re not heading down the wrong path.

Ignoring Validation Means your guessing and burning cash

Funding The art of bootstrapping

Bootstrapping retain control | no dilution

Bootstrapping • • • Get lean, at work and at home. Explore consulting or other work options. Leverage every dollar.

Leverage R&D grants New hire programs Loans for sales & marketing

Angel / Seed Once you have a validation, prototype, and ideally paying customers

Accelerators advance your idea | scale | investors

Failure is from a lack of paying customers, not funding

planning | process | advisors GROWING

Planning “Some people skate to the puck. I skate to where the puck is going to be.” Credit: Sporting News Archive

Planning When starting, doing is more important than planning. At some point you will need some ‘planning’ for growth

Knowing when to hit the gas pedal is key. Scaling awareness too quickly can spell disaster

Process Important, but balance that ‘startup’ culture. Above all else, ensure you have a culture of employee accountability

Advisors Important to you as a founder, and to your company

strategy | positioning | execution EXITING

Strategy Are you an entrepreneur, or empire builder?

Lean Startup + Early Exit a winning combination

Which path is better? reducing time to exit = reducing risk + enhances IRR Mezzanine (own 10%) Series B (own 25%) IPO / Exit $150M at 10% Series A (own 40%) Traction Prove Model Product / Market Fit Raise Angel (own 35%) Validation 3 Year Exit$25M at 65% 2 to 3 years 5 to 7 years Source: “Exit Strategy for Startups”, VentureArchetypes, LLC

Exit Strategy Have your “end game” exit strategy on Day #1

Positioning • • • Tell a good story, with passion Specifics on potential of “together” Vision of “what could be” in the future

Negotiation • • • Hire A+ finance & legal advisors Never piecemeal Clean house before diligence


It is a lonely adventure

Balancing Act Most successful entrepreneurs have a good balance of execution intuition and luck.

Failure is a real possibility

Light at the end of the tunnel

Recommended Reading The Founder’s Dilemmas| Lean Analytics | Running Lean

Local Accelerators Accepting applications for their next cohort.

Contact Me: E-Mail: Twitter: @thomjeff Some of the photographs in this presentation were retrieved from Flickr and made available under a Creative Commons license. Please refer to each photograph for a link to the image source.

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