How to Take your Start-Up to the Next Level
How to Take your Start-Up to the Next Level from Carsonified on Vimeo.
What is it about?
Aaron Patzer, founder of mint.com, talks about how he got from an idea to $170 million in just three year.
What can I learn?
Don’t be secretive: Aarons first idea was a goal setting software. Instead of building it in stealth mode, he decided to talk to people. Only about one in eighty of these people found this idea appealing, so he discarded it. Later he hasn’t gone secretive. He showed mint’s UI to lots of people and optimized it over time.
Build a prototype: If you are raising money, looking for customers or hiring people, a prototype is real advantage. People can actually see your idea in action, click around and feel the experience. Would you rather listen to a 10 minutes sales pitch or playing around 10 minutes with a new software?
Leverage your success: If you are once in the news, try to stay there. Mint got a pretty clever idea. They gave away free mint mojitos at the Techcrunch 40 and were eventually elected as people’s choice. Then they talked to other journalists if they won’t want to interview the people’s choice winner. And so on.
What is it about?
Just for the clarity, a Micro ISV is a small software vendor. Bob Walsh writes about the complete process from finding the idea, to founding a company, to actually selling the software.
Search for pain points: Ask people in a industry that interested you, how you can help them. In general, you will find a lot of problems that arise but haven’t be solved yet.
Building your product is easier than selling it: Bob Walsh interviewed a lot of people in this book and most people agreed with this statement. If you are a professional, you know how to solve problems in your area but often founders underestimate the part of marketing and sales.
Niche, Niche, Niche: One interesting observation was that most people built products for the mass market. Today, nearly none of them still exists. The others chose a niche and are still running. Why? If your market is too big, big players becoming your competitors. If you market is small, all your competition is small.
This book was written in 2005 and is a bit outdated. It doesn’t really cover internet marketing besides writing a blog and Google Ads and it’s heavily focused on Windows development. However, the interviews were interesting and stimulating.