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7 Lessons That Would Have Made Me a Better Entrepreneur

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Rand's presentation from INBOUND 2018

Publié dans : Business
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7 Lessons That Would Have Made Me a Better Entrepreneur

  1. Rand Fishkin | Founder & CEO 7 Lessons that Would Have Made Me (and will make you) a Better Entrepreneur
  2. A) This is Rand’s personal experience. Disagreement welcome. Caveats
  3. B) The following is intended to apply to early stage companies (0-200 employees, $0- $50M in revenue) Caveats
  4. C) These are merely patterns. Counter- examples of successful companies doing the opposite of all these exist. Caveats
  5. D) I do not define success as $billion+ outcome. Success to me is building a business that survives, that you love, that you’re proud to work at. Caveats
  6. The Environment We’re In Shapes Our Thinking.
  7. One Thing > Many Things #1
  8. Becoming Well-Known is a Cheat Code For both individuals and brands
  9. And It’s Far Easier to Be Known For One Thing
  10. Known People & Brands: #1: Have an easier time attracting attention & press #2: Earn links, rankings, & traffic organically with far less effort #3: Have lower ad costs & higher clickthrough rates #4: Every visit is more valuable b/c of higher conversion rates #5: Benefit from a powerful network & low friction, high response outreach efforts
  11. What Do These Brands Do/Make?
  12. How About These?
  13. How About These? All of them started by doing one thing well!
  14. Simpler Products = Easier to Market High Med Low ImpossibleDifficultEasy Tricky ProductComplexity Ease of Building BrandAssociations
  15. My Worst Mistake at Moz?
  16. Moz’s Most Successful Products Simple Obvious Does One Thing Well
  17. Quality & Complexity Are Inversely Correlated in Early Stages High Med Low TortuousConvolutedSimple Tricky ProductComplexity Ease of Producing a High Quality Product
  18. Story > Tactics #2
  19. For a Long Time, I Believed the Classic Advice Big Markets > Small Markets Execution > Ideas Low CAC + High CLTV > Products People Love Better Product > Better Marketing These aren’t all wrong, they’re just not the whole story
  20. Imagine If… Better Taxis! (*please ignore the ugly externalities & rampant sexism)
  21. Slimfast for techbros!
  22. Regus, but with a hipster aesthetic!
  23. Product reviews with affiliate links!
  24. A Great Story Covers Many Sins
  25. Stories Build Memories Far Better Than Features or Benefits Via Quartz
  26. Great Stories Make Great Startups Settings & Characters Climax New Normal
  27. Before, Things Were Like This Our Company is the Solution Here’s How Most startups exist BECAUSE of a story
  28. Features. Meh. Via UTires
  29. Benefits > Features. Meh. Via AdsOfTheWorld
  30. Emotions > Benefits > Features Via Ohio.com
  31. Before, Things Were Like This Here’s How The problem triggers a negative emotion The resolution triggers a positive emotion Our Company is the Solution
  32. To Craft Your Story: Start with the most emotionally resonant problem you solve Center the story on individuals, not groups Tell the story in a way that triggers your own emotions Practice the story over and over, with different variations, learning which styles and bits resonate most
  33. Audience That Cares > Big Market #3
  34. Relative Difficulty Level: Insane Build for an audience that you don’t have any connection to (other than a belief that they have $$ and a problem) Chase a market that’s big enough to have billion $+ outcomes by pursuing broad, mainstream appeal Serve a hot, growing market that dozens or hundreds of other well- funded companies are also pursuing
  35. Relative Difficulty Level: Low Build for people who already know, like, and trust you Earn amplification from a group of passionate, raving fans Serve a market that’s underserved because others don’t believe it’s “big enough” Avoid competing against firms with millions in funding
  36. easier to reach harder to reach Know you personally (& would happily meet for coffee) Know of you, like you, & follow your work closely Are already connected to you via email Already follow you on social media channels Have visited your website at least once Have heard of your company (and can recall it) Are in your target audience/reachable via FB+GG ads
  37. Mark didn’t start Facebook with… Oh dang… He totally did.
  38. Dharmesh & Brian Didn’t Start Hubspot with… Oh dang… They totally did.
  39. Brian & Joe didn’t start AirBnB with… Oh dang… They totally did.
  40. Jeremy didn’t start Yelp with… Oh dang… He totally did.
  41. easier to reach harder to reach Know you personally (& would happily meet for coffee) Know of you, like you, & follow your work closely Are already connected to you via email Already follow you on social media channels Have visited your website at least once Have heard of your company (and can recall it) Are in your target audience/reachable via FB+GG ads Pro Tip: Having a lot of target customers in your personal network makes EVERYTHING about starting up easier.
  42. MVPs ≠ Launchable Products #4
  43. The MVP Via Varteq
  44. The Problem A lot of people who want this are gonna be very disappointed by these
  45. An Alternative Impressive Basic Pathetic MassiveDecentHarmful Minimal ProductQuality Attention & Evangelism Incredible Many products launch here If you have an audience, wait until you’re here
  46. Beta test MVPs w/ a small, private group; Launch EVPs when your testers are raving Don’t let your brand be associated with these
  47. Long Hours < Fewer, Higher Quality Hours #5
  48. Glorifying Hours Worked is Just Dumb “Be extremely tenacious and then just work like hell. You just have to put in 80 to 100 hour weeks every week.” “If other people are putting in 40 hour workweeks and you’re putting in 100 hour workweeks, then even if you’re doing the same thing … you will achieve in four months what it takes them a year to achieve.” -Elon Musk Via Vator.tv
  49. Productivity Over Time 40 30 20 0-20 QuantityofOutput PerHourWorked Number of Hours Worked/Week 50 10 0 21-35 36-50 51-60 61-80 81+ The first ~35hrs we work each week tend to be the most productive After 60+hrs, we’re not just getting less (& lower quality) work done, we’re eating into next’ week’s potential productivity
  50. Via Harvard Business Review What the @#$%?!!!
  51. Founders’ Most Important Job #1: Make good decisions #2: Everything else
  52. Via PubMed Central <8 Hours Seriously Harms the Quality of Your Decisions
  53. Hiring Right People < Not Hiring Wrong People #6
  54. People Often Rapidly Improve Knowledge, Output, & Work Quality Strong Rand’sSEOSkills& Knowledge Top Notch Crap 2002 Decent 2004 2006 2008 2010 Mediocre
  55. People Rarely Improve Affinity for a New Set of Values, Beliefs, & Culture Strong Rand’sCulturalFitforLater- Stage,LargerCompanies Top Notch Crap 2002 Decent 2004 2006 2008 2010 Mediocre
  56. Hire for Culture. Train for Competence. Via Lost and Founder (img credit: Dawn Shepard)
  57. Via NYTimes & Google (2016)
  58. Via First Round Capital
  59. Tiny Odds of Becoming a Unicorn < Decent Odds of Being a Zebra #7
  60. The Odds of Being a “Success” Drop Massively the Day You Raise VC Via Gil Ben-Artzy
  61. Bootstrap vs. VC is a False Dichotomy Via Twitter
  62. All of these are on the table: Self fund Bootstrap Revenue loans Smallbiz loans Friends &family Angel $ Conv. debt Crowd- funding VentureAccel- erators Exit Requirements 5+ Year Survival Rate 10X+$$$ orbust 5%+YoYis totallycool <10%50%+
  63. All of these are on the table: Self fund Bootstrap Revenue loans Smallbiz loans Friends &family Angel $ Conv. debt Crowd- funding VentureAccel- erators We need to stop worshipping & amplifying only these And start telling stories, and elevating all the rest of these
  64. Entrepreneurs can build Zebras, Unicorns, or anything in between! Via Zebras Fix What Unicorns Break
  65. You Don’t Have to Follow Anyone Else’s Path Ask Yourself: What do I want to create? What am I seeking professionally? What level of risk is acceptable? What level of reward is enough? Why that? Is it for me? Or someone else?
  66. Rand Fishkin | Founder & CEO Thank You!

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