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
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
Admittedly, I look like a giraffe. (A handsome giraffe damnit!) So it was inevitable that the universe would take advantage of my gangliness by conspiring to put me into a Parkour class. (Hint: I got a Groupon.)
For those not familiar with it, Parkour is “extreme urban running” as imagined by a crazy Frenchman named David Belle. It’s that thing they do at the beginning of Casino Royale and in those old Nike comercials. Here’s a video if you still don’t know: Continue reading
On Friday, I received this welcome email:
Subject: Sale – Entrepreneurs Guide to CustDev- ID:5777670 Entrepreneur’s Guide to CustDev eBook
You have earned an affiliate fee of 3.95 USD for the sale (ID:5777670-686=
2856) of Entrepreneur’s Guide to CustDev eBook on Thu May 27 2010 23:52:3=
Entrepreneurs Guide to CustDev
startupSQUARE, having not yet progressed to beta testing, now has revenue! Granted, a very small amount of revenue. Why?
How does customer development differ with regards to products which require a network effect to be useful? Short answer: No one knows.
Companies offering services such as Skype, eBay, Facebook, and others have cannot really test their value proposition without having a critical mass of users. A telephone with only one person on it is pretty useless. Yet these are some of the most lucrative inventions ever. So how do you apply the principles of customer development to these situations?
On April 23rd I was able to go to the Startup Lessons Learned Conference and had my world rocked. I thought I was lean, I could be leaner. I thought I had a minimum viable product, I could have built less. Although Steve Blank, Eric Ries, Dave McClure, David Weekly etc. etc. all have written and spoken prolifically about their methods and thoughts, there is a powerful feeling to being the the same room as a thousand other people drinking the same kool-aid.
First off, I should mention that I wouldn’t of been able to go at all without the sponsorship of the Microsoft Bizspark program. Usually I’m not one to thank MS except sarcastically for bricking my hard drive, but there’s no way a bootstrapped company like ours could have gone. So special thanks to Adrian Perez, Joel Franusic, and Bizspark! Continue reading