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:
- On average, entrepreneurs fail three times before they succeed.
- Building to flip is building to flop.
- Be prudent and talk to people, but don't go so far as to put off starting your business.
- Momentum builds on itself.
- Pay attention to the idea that wont leave you alone.
- If you keep your secrets from the market, the market will keeps it's secrets from you.
- Give people what they need, not what they say what they need.
- Your ideas will get better the more you know about business.
- 2 or 3 founders should get along and share a vision. 4 founders can't make a decision to save their lives.
- 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.
- Great things are made by people who share a passion, not by those who have been talked into a vision.
- If they are not ready, don't push people.
- Cool ideas are useless unless people are willing to pay for them.
- 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.
- Solve problems, not potential problems.
- Test everything with real people -- watching users is torture and it will motivate you.
- The best pitches are plainspoken and entertaining (not in that order).
- 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.