How to think like a startup
Loic Le Meur
How do startup
find ideas?
“In the beginner’s mind there are many
possibilities, but in the expert’s mind
there are few”
- Shunryu Suzuki
Meditation and mindfulness is popular in
Silicon Valley and now in Davos
Provide benefit to the customer - anything else
is a waste
Learning to see waste and then systematically
eliminate it
“I am still learning.”
- Michelangelo, at age 87
Airbnb started because of a shortage of hotel rooms in San Francisco
Uber started because of a shortage of cabs in Paris
Ryan Hoover,
Product Hunt
Started just from an email list
Gathered a small community of
people addicted to new
Naval Ravikant,
Angel List
Weekly email of curated angel
Craig Newmark,
Request and Gives from Craig’s
Jamie Siminoff,
Tried 3 different ideas in his garage
Struggled to find initial funding
Now approaching 1,000 employe...
The Ring founding story
Create an environment for creativity - Further future
Create an environment for creativity
Create an environment for creativity
Create an environment for creativity
Create an environment for creativity
Millennials don’t
want to own
anything and care
about improving
the world
Improve the world
“I just wanted
more electric cars
on the road”
- Elon Musk
“Make the world better”
“All business
should make the
world better”
- Leila Janah
They don’t care about copying
...and making it better
Instagram stories
and Snapchat
Snap's Spectacles are the beginning of
camera-first future
SV entrepreneurs surround themselves with
investors who provide more than $
Teams are remote, own the business and
don’t feel like employees
Mix of highly experimented professionals and very creativ...
SV entrepreneurs
launch their
product really
"If you're not
embarrassed by
the first version
of your product,
you’ve launched
too late"
- Reid Hoffman
Entrepreneurs iterate quickly
break the rules
Travis Kalanick and Uber got sued
non stop but kept going
Uber and Airbnb were illegal from
Entrepreneurs make everything transparent
Even your own company is rated
Entrepreneurs acknowledge issues and respond quickly
Elon Musk turns a tweet into a company wide change in 6 days
Elon Musk turns a tweet into a company wide change in 6 days
#1 Advantage
of a start up...
“We’re going in
full throttle. That
ought to keep
those fighters off
our back.”
- Luke Skywalker
Speed is the #1 competitive weapon
Rapid product beats competition
Rapid results builds team morale which leads to more su...
Always keep
- Henry Ford
The competitor to be
feared is one who
never bothers about
you at all, but goes on
making his own
business be...
Set the time, not the output
What product can I build in:
3 months? (Directhit, Xfire)
8 days? (Hot or Not)
30 days? (Jiff...
Twitter’s MVP
Linkedin’s MVP
Facebook’s MVP
Google’s MVP
How startups win
No Usability Studies
No Focus Groups
No Politics
No Endless Debates
No Board of Directors
No Bus De...
“At Google X, we
embrace failure.”
- Astro Teller
Most Startups Fail
Entrepreneurs fail fast
And pivot
Startups ranked by number of years from founding to $1 billion valuation
Flickr should have built Instagram but they
did not move fast enough
Entrepreneurs work with an ecosystem of
Twitter decided developers weren’t so
important anymore
Embrace wikipedia
style volunteer
Slush and their 2,200 volunteers
challenge the
current players by
re-inventing the
Metromile charges insurance
protection per mile
constantly reinvent
their business
Uber selling data
Tesla next?
Loic Le Meur
More on my newsletter at
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