On Oct 20th, I was invited to give a talk at NYU Stern as part of the Entrepreneurship Speaker Series. Below is a video of the talk, key takeaways and my slides. Enjoy.

Video


Key Takeaways

  • Investment and tech talent is earned not given.  What can you do to further your idea on your own?  How can you validate your idea and demonstrate traction without spending a huge amount of time and effort building product?
  • Pick an idea in an area where you have strong domain experience, know the problems and have the connections to sell.  Look for markets that are big, have growing user bases and have rapidly changing technologies/distribution channels.  Love the problem space.
  • An idea is an assumption.  Turn that idea into a series of questions and figure out what’s the easiest way to find out an answer.  (examples: Skillshare, TheLadders, Zappos, Groupon, Seamless, Dropbox, SinglePlatform).
  • Fake it till you make it, delay complexity (Ghetto testing examples: Aardvark, Zynga)
  • Defining a minimum viable product – What are your biggest questions/assumptions about the product?  Identify those and devise and execute tests.  Will people use your product (and come back)?  Will they tell their friends?  Will they pay for it?
  • Launch Early
  • Don’t do a big launch.  Find a few people who feel the problem you are trying to solve most acutely.  Get them using your product in the way you want them to.  Then expand your audience.  Communicate with them openly and honestly.
  • Personal development: Everyone who is aspiring to be a tech entrepreneur should be: developing a strong online presence, comfortable with html/css/js/hosting/dns, understand online marketing (apply for Google Grants and manage SEM campaign for an NGO), understand web analytics (read Web Analytics 2.0), read The Lean Startup, attend OHours, Meetups, Skillshares.

Slides

Related posts:

  1. Why it’s Important to Share your Startup Idea
  2. The Top 6 Mistakes Idea Stage Entrepreneurs Make