Saturday, March 11, 2006

Notes on Marc Hedlund's tuturial: From Coder to Co-Founder: How to Move from Engineering to Entrepreneuring

Robert Kaye took some excellent notes on Marc Hedlund's tuturial at the O'Reilly ETech 2006 conference entitled "From Coder to Co-Founder: How to Move from Engineering to Entrepreneuring". Here are just a few of the topics Marc discussed:

  1. On average, entrepreneurs fail three times before they succeed.
  2. Building to flip is building to flop.
  3. Be prudent and talk to people, but don't go so far as to put off starting your business.
  4. Momentum builds on itself.
  5. Pay attention to the idea that wont leave you alone.
  6. If you keep your secrets from the market, the market will keeps it's secrets from you.
  7. Give people what they need, not what they say what they need.
  8. Your ideas will get better the more you know about business.
  9. 2 or 3 founders should get along and share a vision. 4 founders can't make a decision to save their lives.
  10. Work only with people you like and believe in you, naturally. If you're going to work with people for a few years, make sure to do it with people that mutually believe in and like each other.
  11. Great things are made by people who share a passion, not by those who have been talked into a vision.
  12. If they are not ready, don't push people.
  13. Cool ideas are useless unless people are willing to pay for them.
  14. Build the simplest thing possible (race to a working product) -- let people start using it NOW. This is great for getting feedback and convincing VCs that you have a real product and not just a shaky idea.
  15. Solve problems, not potential problems.
  16. Test everything with real people -- watching users is torture and it will motivate you.
  17. The best pitches are plainspoken and entertaining (not in that order).
  18. For investors, the product is nothing. If your pitch has 11 slides on the product, 1 on the business/team, you'll be shown the door. You need to talk about the company and the overall vision.

Please read Robert's notes for his more-detailed commentary as well.

-- Jack Krupansky


At 1:05 PM EST , Anonymous Dharmesh Shah said...

Great list and very useful.

I especially like the reference to watching "real users" being torture. Its always painful -- but also very, very useful.


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