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9
Things I will
tell my kids if
they become
entrepreneurs
11
Disclaimer:

There is no playbook for startups
13
Things I will tell my kids if they
become entrepreneurs
Idea
Team
Fundraising
Execution
Market
Competition
Money & Risk...
IDEA
14
IDEA
15
Somebody somewhere already had your idea.
Don’t waste too much time thinking you’re a genius
16
Your idea is 1% of success.



Google’s key idea (pagerank) was published as a public paper in 1998
17
Execution > idea
Jeff Bezos was not the only person trying to sell books on the internet.
He just executed better and f...
18
Team > idea
A great team will pivot out of a bad idea
19
Product > idea
How you implement an idea is more important than the idea itself
Startup = idea + execution + product + team + luck
20
21
Talk about your idea to as many people as possible
You will get feedback, challenges, referrals, unexpected connections
22
Great ideas have lonely childhoods.
The more disruptive your idea, the less people will understand it.
23
Good ideas can look terrible at the beginning
ex: Facebook was a social network for moneyless students
24
Copycats kill excitement
25
Don’t worry too much about your company’s name. You grow a name.

What does Amazon, Google or Apple mean anyway.
IDEA
Where and when
26
27
Every new technology is an opportunity: look for gaps between
how things have been done and how they can be done
28
Every asleep industry is an opportunity: do things
incumbents can’t or won’t do because the economics don’t
make sense ...
29
Every fringe user is an opportunity: go after those who are
already behaving like everybody will behave in the future
30
Crisis are full of opportunities
Necessity is the mother of invention (and entrepreneurship).
Great startups are born a...
IDEA
Vision vs feedback
31
32
“It’s not the customer's job to know what they want”

Steve Jobs
33
“If I had asked people what they wanted,

they would have said faster horses.”

Henry Ford
34
Finding balance in feedback vs vision
In absence of vision rely on feedback

With a clear vision you can ignore feedback
35
Conscious feedback (survey) < unconscious feedback (data)
What people say they do < what people really do
36
Friends & family might not give you truthful feedback
Beware of asking your friends whether they would pay for your ser...
TEAM
37
TEAM
38
How many founders?
1 founder hard

2-3 co-founders best

4+ co-founders complicated
39
manager ≠ leader
You need leaders and managers, and usually can’t be both. Make sure
you and your co-founders complemen...
40
If you’re not comfortable giving equity to
someone, they shouldn’t be a co-founder
41
Clarify everything (cap table, salaries) on day one, especially if
you’re working with friends
42
Define on day one what happens if a co-founder leaves
TEAM
CEO duties
43
44
No need to know everything.
Surround yourself with people who know what needs to be known. 

You are the head coach, no...
45
Founders duties: vision, fundraising, evangelisation, hiring and managing
TEAM
Recruitment
46
47
Paul Graham: “People can become formidable, but it’s hard
to predict who”
Recruiting is one of the hardest thing there ...
48
First employees are as important as co-founders
49
Bad recruits can kill your project in the early days
50
Hire people who are better than you
51
Hire people who you would feel comfortable reporting to
52
Choose employees like you choose your friends
53
Go for attitude over experience
vice.com recruits people coming out of schools with no experience,
because they have no...
54
What you need to succeed in startups is not an expertise in startups.

It’s an expertise in clients
55
Hire people who have options
Good people will always have multiple options on the table.
Convince them that you provide...
56
Look for people with no ego getting in the way
57
Retaining is less expensive than recruiting
58
Have an extremely high bar, hire slowly
59
Use trial periods for what they are: trial periods
60
Fire people who are bad are their jobs, create politics, are negative
61
Fire fast
You will always take too much time to fire your first employee
62
Beware when you become a trophy employer.
You will start attracting people who want to help
themselves more than they w...
63
Money is just one factor in employee motivation
Others: experience, meaning, impact, network, etc
64
4 things that lead to better performance:
Fairness: knowing that you're being paid a reasonable amount
for your work so...
TEAM
Managing yourself
65
66
You are your most important ressource. Take care of yourself.
67
Behind every entrepreneur is a solid partner / family / assistant
68
Seek support from people who have been / are entrepreneurs
Your friends working at large companies won’t be able to rel...
FUNDRAISING
69
FUNDRAISING
70
Never ask investors to sign NDAs
Sends a message you don’t trust them. Don’t send your pitch to people
you don’t trust ...
71
Raise only what you need, as late as possible
72
Be honest about your past. Good investor will say “if you’re smart,
those mistakes you made won’t happen again with my ...
73
Dumb investor: money

Smart investor: money + network + visibility + experience
74
Fundraising is a milestone, not a success
75
Be confident, not arrogant.
When asked how he recognises good founders, this is what Y Combinator
president Sam Altman ...
EXECUTION
76
EXECUTION
77
Work hard
78
A startup CEO’s challenge is to define what’s
the Most Important Thing (MIT)
79
You can’t decide how long it’s going to take
They say it’s usually 10 years
80
Do every possible job, especially the client facing ones
The founder of Craigslist is still doing user support. Steve
J...
81
Focus is one of the most important thing there is
82
Opportunistic ≠ strategic
You can either pursue every opportunity - in which case you’re not really
deciding where you’...
83
Employee effort ≠ entrepreneur effort
Running 16h a day working for yourself is less tiring than
spending 8h on a chair...
EXECUTION
Growth
84
85
Either you fail, or growth becomes your number one problem
86
“In many ways the startup journey is a downhill spiral of the CEOs quality
of life by adding constraints - users, custo...
87
Let people control the ressources and priorities. 

Let them know how success is measured
88
Make people feel like they are in startups inside a larger organization
89
Recreate diversity inside teams (designers + writers + programmers)
90
Make sure people don’t have to grow into leadership roles
Large companies are filled with specialists who got promoted
...
MARKET
91
MARKET
Peter Thiel: “You want to be the last mover, not the first”
Google is the last search engine. Facebook is the last social
...
93
Find a small market inside which you can have a monopoly
Amazon started with books, expanded to commerce in general. Le...
94
There are more opportunities now than ever (finance, health,
insurance, industry, transportation, logistics). The digit...
95
Don’t be ahead of your time.
Answer a simple question: “why now?”
COMPETITION
96
COMPETITION
97
Competition means there is a market
Rejoice!
98
Worry about a competitor only when they have a superior product
99
Don’t worry about competition from big companies

They are not reactive, slow, and complicated.
101
“Google/Facebook/Amazon/Apple could do this in 5 minutes”
True. Just didn’t happen with Airbnb, Uber, Zenefits, Dropbo...
102
“Google/Facebook/Amazon/Apple will launch a similar service and kill you”
Google buzz (2010) to compete with Twitter (...
103
Even young companies can get complacent quickly

(Skype should have been Whatsapp)
104
“No candle-maker has become a bulb manufacturer, no
carriage-maker has become a car producer, and the post
office did ...
105
The real problem is standing out
106
Build the right media mix
107
Evolve your mix over time
Paid
Owned
Earned
t = 0
Paid
Owned
Earned
t = 1
Paid
Owned
Earned
t = 2
108
MONEY & RISK
109
MONEY & RISKS
110
People who don't pay you will treat you like shit

People who pay a lot will show a lot of respect
111
Don’t disregard money.
Money is a form of validation.
112
Money can’t buy happiness.

But it can buy freedom to pursue your projects
113
Entrepreneurs have more job security than employees
The 85k employees company I was working for in 2001 shut down in
o...
114
21st century job security = network + reputation
115
time
money
employee
entrepreneur
Employees laughing
Entrepreneurs laughing
Employee vs (successful) entrepreneur - sal...
SUCCESS & FAILURE
116
SUCCESS & FAILURES
117
Success is multidimensional

Money

Fulfilment

Experience

Independence

Impact

Status

Network

Family

Legacy
118
Money is a consequence, never the objective
119
Zuckerberg could have sold Facebook 500 times. His motivation is not money.
Facebook has had countless offers: an unna...
120
Media buzz is completely disconnected from success
Journalists just don’t have time to look at the real numbers.
121
People always underestimate the role of luck
122
123
Life is a marathon, not a sprint
124
The only way to last is to be ethical and respectful
125
Compromising with your values is dangerous
126
You won't be good when you go against what you like
127
Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn
128
Good decisions come from experience

Experience comes from bad decisions
129
The point is the journey
TOOLS
130
131
132
133
Gain Creators
Describe how your products and services create customer
gains.
How do they create benefits your customer...
135
136
“The best way to predict the future is to invent it”.
Alan Kay
137
Thank you:
Sam Altman, how to start a startup

http://startupclass.samaltman.com/
Hugh MacLeod, cartoons drawn on the ...
Get in touch
@laurenthaug

ch.linkedin.com/in/laurenthaug
138
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133
Gain Creators
Describe how your products and services create customer
gains.
How do they create benefits your customer expects, desires
or would be surprised by, including functional utility, social
gains, positive emotions, and cost savings?
Do they…
Create savings that make your customer happy?
(e.g. in terms of time, money and effort, …)
Produce outcomes your customer expects or
that go beyond their expectations?
(e.g. better quality level, more of something, less of
something, …)
Pain Relievers
Copy or outperform current solutions that delight
your customer?
(e.g. regarding specific features, performance, quality, …)
Make your customer’s job or life easier?
(e.g. flatter learning curve, usability, accessibility, more
services, lower cost of ownership, …)
Create positive social consequences that your
customer desires?
(e.g. makes them look good, produces an increase in power,
status, …)
Do something customers are looking for?
(e.g. good design, guarantees, specific or more features, …)
Fulfill something customers are dreaming about?
(e.g. help big achievements, produce big reliefs, …)
Produce positive outcomes matching your
customers success and failure criteria?
(e.g. better performance, lower cost, …)
Help make adoption easier?
(e.g. lower cost, less investments, lower risk, better quality,
performance, design, …)
Rank each gain your products and services create according to
its relevance to your customer. Is it substantial or insignificant?
For each gain indicate how often it occurs.
Describe how your products and services alleviate customer
pains. How do they eliminate or reduce negative emotions,
undesired costs and situations, and risks your customer
experiences or could experience before, during, and after
getting the job done?
Do they…
Produce savings?
(e.g. in terms of time, money, or efforts, …)
Make your customers feel better?
(e.g. kills frustrations, annoyances, things that give them
a headache, …)
Fix underperforming solutions?
(e.g. new features, better performance, better quality, …)
Put an end to difficulties and challenges your
customers encounter?
(e.g. make things easier, helping them get done, eliminate
resistance, …)
Wipe out negative social consequences your
customers encounter or fear?
(e.g. loss of face, power, trust, or status, …)
Eliminate risks your customers fear?
(e.g. financial, social, technical risks, or what could go
awfully wrong, …)
Help your customers better sleep at night?
(e.g. by helping with big issues, diminishing concerns, or
eliminating worries, …)
Limit or eradicate common mistakes customers
make?
(e.g. usage mistakes, …)
Get rid of barriers that are keeping your customer
from adopting solutions?
(e.g. lower or no upfront investment costs, flatter learning
curve, less resistance to change, …)
Rank each pain your products and services kill according
to their intensity for your customer. Is it very intense or
very light?
For each pain indicate how often it occurs. Risks your
customer experiences or could experience before, during,
and after getting the job done?
Products & Services
List all the products and services your value proposition is
built around.
Which products and services do you offer that help your
customer get either a functional, social, or emotional job
done, or help him/her satisfy basic needs?
Which ancillary products and services help your customer
perform the roles of:
Buyer
(e.g. products and services that help customers compare
offers, decide, buy, take delivery of a product or service, …)
Co-creator
(e.g. products and services that help customers co-design
solutions, otherwise contribute value to the solution, …)
Transferrer
(e.g. products and services that help customers dispose of
a product, transfer it to others, or resell, …)
Products and services may either by tangible (e.g. manufac-
tured goods, face-to-face customer service), digital/virtual
(e.g. downloads, online recommendations), intangible (e.g.
copyrights, quality assurance), or financial (e.g. investment
funds, financing services).
Rank all products and services according to their
importance to your customer.
Are they crucial or trivial to your customer?
Gains
Describe the benefits your customer expects, desires or would
be surprised by. This includes functional utility, social gains,
positive emotions, and cost savings.
Which savings would make your customer happy?
(e.g. in terms of time, money and effort, …)
What outcomes does your customer expect and what
would go beyond his/her expectations?
(e.g. quality level, more of something, less of something, …)
How do current solutions delight your customer?
(e.g. specific features, performance, quality, …)
Pains
Customer Job(s)
Describe negative emotions, undesired costs and situations,
and risks that your customer experiences or could experience
before, during, and after getting the job done.
What does your customer find too costly?
(e.g. takes a lot of time, costs too much money, requires
substantial efforts, …)
What makes your customer feel bad?
(e.g. frustrations, annoyances, things that give them a
headache, …)
How are current solutions underperforming
for your customer?
(e.g. lack of features, performance, malfunctioning, …)
What are the main difficulties and challenges
your customer encounters?
(e.g. understanding how things work, difficulties getting
things done, resistance, …)
What negative social consequences does your
customer encounter or fear?
(e.g. loss of face, power, trust, or status, …)
What risks does your customer fear?
(e.g. financial, social, technical risks, or what could go awfully
wrong, …)
What’s keeping your customer awake at night?
(e.g. big issues, concerns, worries, …)
What common mistakes does your customer make?
(e.g. usage mistakes, …)
What barriers are keeping your customer from
adopting solutions?
(e.g. upfront investment costs, learning curve, resistance
to change, …)
Rank each pain according to the intensity it represents for
your customer.
Is it very intense or is it very light.?
For each pain indicate how often it occurs.
Describe what a specific customer segment is trying to get
done. It could be the tasks they are trying to perform and
complete, the problems they are trying to solve, or the needs
they are trying to satisfy.
What functional jobs are you helping your customer
get done? (e.g. perform or complete a specific task, solve a
specific problem, …)
What social jobs are you helping your customer get
done? (e.g. trying to look good, gain power or status, …)
What emotional jobs are you helping your customer
get done? (e.g. esthetics, feel good, security, …)
What basic needs are you helping your customer
satisfy? (e.g. communication, sex, …)
Besides trying to get a core job done, your customer performs
ancillary jobs in different roles. Describe the jobs your
customer is trying to get done as:
Buyer (e.g. trying to look good, gain power or status, …)
Co-creator (e.g. esthetics, feel good, security, …)
Transferrer (e.g. products and services that help customers
dispose of a product, transfer it to others, or resell, …)
Rank each job according to its significance to your
customer. Is it crucial or is it trivial? For each job
indicate how often it occurs.
Outline in which specific context a job
is done, because that may impose
constraints or limitations.
(e.g. while driving,
outside, …)
What would make your customer’s job or life easier?
(e.g. flatter learning curve, more services, lower cost of
ownership, …)
What positive social consequences does your
customer desire?
(e.g. makes them look good, increase in power, status, …)
What are customers looking for?
(e.g. good design, guarantees, specific or more features, …)
What do customers dream about?
(e.g. big achievements, big reliefs, …)
How does your customer measure success and
failure?
(e.g. performance, cost, …)
What would increase the likelihood of adopting a
solution?
(e.g. lower cost, less investments, lower risk, better quality,
performance, design, …)
Rank each gain according to its relevance to your customer.
Is it substantial or is it insignificant? For each gain indicate
how often it occurs.
strategyzer.com
The Value Proposition Canvas
Value Proposition Customer Segment
The makers of Business Model Generation and Strategyzer
Copyright Business Model Foundry AG
Produced by: www.stattys.com

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