Pete Yandell gave a great talk, entitled Starting Up, at Trampoline the other week and I liked it so much I thought I’d share a few thoughts on the topic and share a few of Pete’s more salient points.
1) What is it, in one line?
One of the points Pete raised was to tell people what your product is about and to be very clear when doing it. He talked about the power of a great ‘one liner’ and discussed his own little start up – Monkey On Your Back. Eg:
“Monkey on Your Back is your to-do list for things that you want other people to do.”
I’ve used ‘Monkey On’ before and love it for it’s simplicity. And the above ‘one liner’ captures it perfectly.
2) Tell people how it works.
This one is one of my favourites from Bokardo and Josh Porter. It’s so easy, yet almost no one does it. Tell people, simply, how your business/idea/product actually works. Use a 1,2,3 step approach. Monkey On Your Back does this too, and it’s fantastic for initial users. This concept is just as crucial for brick and mortar stores too. Be clear. By telling people how your product works, you inherently tell them what it is.
3) Do your financials.
I wrote a post a few years ago about calculating the key financial figures for your new venture on the back of a napkin in 10 minutes. Pete argued for the same, simple approach. You don’t need MYOB or Quicken – you just need the back of an envelope and some serious contemplation about how your business will actually turn a profit.
Finally, there are heaps of people talking about ‘starting up’ online – here are just a few of my favourite authors, and a favourite post of mine from each of them. You can also watch Pete’s talk on the Trampoline Vimeo Channel.
- Eric Ries (Minimum Viable Product: a guide)
- Paul Graham (Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule)
- Pollenizer ([Primer] Hyper-Productivity through scrum)
- Fred Wilson (Every product is a platform)
- Derek Sivers (Let pedestrians define the walkways)
- Steve Sammartino (Quirky facts and business models)
- Ross Hill (Big websites start small)