The Fat Lady Cometh – Shutting Down startupSQUARE

On Dec 1st, startupSQUARE.com will thank it’s very generous alpha users and the support we’ve received from peers and mentors alike before closing our doors and shutting down. Why?

We’ve demonstrated that there is significant demand for this type of service, we have 46% product / market fit based on Sean Ellis’ suggested measurement method, and we have users so enthusiastic about the idea that they just send us money. Still we’re shutting it down. Continue reading

Lean Deck Clinic November

It’s November! Gregarious and I are putting together the next Lean Deck Clinic on November 11th. So if you’re in San Francisco and you’re looking to get candid feedback on your pitch from potential investors, sign up now.
This time around, we’re going to focus on the learning and we’re keeping the headcount to 18 companies. There’ll be two VCs and Angels per round table and presenters in the final round will be asked to summarize their lessons learned from the workshop for everyone’s benefit. Continue reading

Eat Your Own Dog Food

Yesterday it occurred to me that although I’d been diligently conducting customer development and diligently using my own site, I had missed something important. Sure, I’ve been browsing the new ideas, making comments, looking for interesting projects I might contribute to, but was I really using our own platform the way it was intended?

No.

Continue reading

What makes Silicon Valley special? – Information is a Commodity

Last week one of our competitors began the process of shutting it’s doors: StartupLinkup. On the top of their home page you can now read the following:
StartupLinkup.com is winding down. It was a nice experiment, but I realize it’s not the best model for connecting startup founders.
I strongly recommend that you use StartupSQUARE. Tristan, Manuel, and Marcel are the great guys there, and will make sure you get the right connections. All the best, Adrian.
This could only happen in Silicon Valley, our competitor Adrian Fritsch, started referring business to us. What makes Silicon Valley special? Cooperation. Continue reading

Lean Deck Clinic Lessons Learned

It’s been a few weeks since the Lean Deck Clinic and Gregarious & I are starting to plan the next ones. But first, we wanted to publish some of the lessons learned from the clinic.

These are notes from the participants themselves of advice given by a variety of different clinicians (see here for the list). So the bullets may at times contradict one another or other advice you may have read or received. I’ve edited some for legibility. Continue reading

Photographic Proof that I am not a Ninja

Owch

The bloated thing is my foot.

After my anti-ninja rant last week, it was perhaps inevitable that the universe would see fit to prove that I am not a ninja by any stretch of the imagination. Behold my foot. (see pic) It’s not supposed to look like that.

Let the laughter and taunting begin! Continue reading

Stop Calling Yourself a Rockstar and a Ninja

I understand that you kickass at Guitar Hero and you play a ninja in World of Warcraft, but seriously… can you stop calling yourself a rockstar and a ninja in real life? These hacker terms for “awesome coder” have gotten way out of control.

[UPDATE: Thanks to everyone for pointing out that WoW has no ninja class. Sorry...I'm a Starcraft guy. :(   ] Continue reading

Startup Weekend Lesson Learned #2 – Customer Development

Ok…this is less of a lessons learned and more of an outright challenge.

At the last Startup Weekend (#swmobile) the team I joined was called KissMobs. As far as I’m aware, we are the only Startup Weekend team ever to finish the weekend cash flow positive. It could be there are others, I don’t have the stats and I’ll let Franck correct me on this one. We also didn’t pay ourselves any salaries and my dividend totaled enough for a cup of coffee. A bad cup of coffee.

Still, I think every team coming out of Startup Weekend should have this as a goal: A SALE

Continue reading

Startup Weekend Lesson Learned #1 – The Pitch

Startup WeekendThis last week was crazy, mostly because I spent all last weekend coding, marketing, pitching, and navigating the intense and creative atmosphere of Startup Weekend SF (#swmobile). If you haven’t been to Startup Weekend, you should because it’s the best place to get a quick feel of what it takes to run a startup and one of the best places to find a co-founder for your next business.(aside from startupSQUARE of course!) Continue reading

Update: How to Make Your Investor Pitch Lean

Getting lean is becoming essential to all aspects of running a business and pitching is no exception. Here’s a quick update on our original post to the Lean Deck Clinic on Monday August the 2nd. The event is sold out for participants, but you might be able to score a ticket to the final round of presentations if you’re fast. (There were three left as of this post.) Continue reading