Your #1 enemy: Accepted wisdom -
You don’t have to have been in the business world for long to come across accepted wisdom in its many forms. It often takes the form of blanket statements that begin with “No one”
2011 Blogging Roadmap: “Zero to product/market fit” -
I’m going to try to start blogging again!
It’s been a long time since I was in a good blogging rhythm, and I’m going to try to start doing it again In preparation for this, I put together an outline of an output-driven set of milestones around product, that takes you from zero to a P/M fit product thats ready to scale on marketing/tech/etc.
As far as I can tell, this is all standard fare for companies in Silicon Valley. My desire to write these posts is ultimately about documenting what’s working for people and spreading the knowledge beyond Palo Alto, CA All of these topics are ultimately derived by both my own projects as well as my advisory roles at venture-backed startups. (Some of these are listedhere)
If you like the outline and want to stay up to date, just subscribe and follow me on Twitter.
Without further ado, here’s the outline- I hope to write at least a post or two per week:
After the Techcrunch bump: Life in the “Trough of Sorrow” -
The life of a startup
A few years back at a YCombinator dinner, Paul Graham and the other partners drew a great diagram depicting the life of a new product. The main discussion is here: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=173261. It captures a viscerally truthful thing about the life of a new company- first you’re excited, then you’re not, and if you stick with it, you just might make it work. It could take years. But you may fail too, you never know until you do it.
The Startup Curve -
an oldie, but a goodie:
Many people think startups are up and to the right all the time. But more services exhibit this “startup curve” than any other growth pattern. Of course, some never get past the trough of sorrow. But many do. Mostly by staying focused on the problem they are trying to solve and working diligently to get to the promised land.
Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling -
These rules were originally tweeted by Emma Coates, Pixar’s Story Artist. Number 9 on the list - When you’re stuck, make a list of what wouldn’t happen next – is a great one and can apply to writers in all genres.
Hooked: The Psychology of How Products Engage Us by Nir Eyal
Ang Lee and the uncertainty of success -
In 1993 I interviewed film director Ang Lee before the US premiere of his second movie, “The Wedding Banquet,” at the Seattle International Film Festival (at the time I was editor of the International Examiner and we were one of their media sponsors). At the time, Lee was an unknown in the U.S., an anomaly as a Taiwan-born immigrant director in the United States, mostly notable for having been the NYU classmate of the more famous director Spike Lee.
What Hasn’t Changed: The Internet Keeps Getting Bigger. -
Recent articles by the WSJ, Fred Wilson, & others are noting a shift in investor interest to enterprise and away from consumer. If true, this is a huge error… at least for entrepreneurs, angels, and smaller funds. There is no better time than the present to build cheap & scalable software-based businesses that make money. And while there is lots of new potential for using consumer marketing techniques in the enterprise, let’s not be too hasty in digging an early grave for the Interwebs, shall we?
What Has Changed -
As I read this post in the WSJ about the changing nature of VC funding of consumer web companies, I thought that we may be looking at the symptoms and not the disease. As the WSJ notes, VC funding of consumer web and mobile companies is down 42% in this first nine months of 2012 (vs the first nine months of 2011). And the big falloff is not in seed rounds, which are still getting done, but in follow-on rounds, which are not.
2012 KPCB Internet Trends Year-End Update