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Startup 101, what I learned the hard way

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Startup 101, what I learned the hard way

  1. 1. Startup 101 - what I learned the hard way Pieter Eerlings (@pietereer)
  2. 2. For who? ● Thinking about starting your own business? ● Just started? ● Running a business but working hard for little money? → This presentation is for you!
  3. 3. Goal of this presentation ● Make you earn more ● Make you work less → If I knew all of this before I started, I would earn more today, and work less. → I learned most of it by making mistakes. → I'm fine with that. Bouncing your head against the wall is the best way to learn & never ever ever ever make the same mistake again.
  4. 4. About me ● Pieter Eerlings ● Founded web application and mobile agency Zorros 3 years ago (service business) ● 7 people today ● Working on some SaaS applications (product business) ● Bootstrapper ● Saxophone player ● Father
  5. 5. The mandatory emo slide to make a connection with the audience
  7. 7. If what you are doing now is not making you happy, you have nothing to lose.
  9. 9. What is your goal in your life?
  10. 10. Your business has to serve you.
  11. 11. Have a cofounder? Prepare your divorce before getting married.
  12. 12. HAVING A THE BRILLIANT IDEA FIRST $ SUPER HARD WORK An idea is worth NOTHING without execution.
  13. 13. The best way to learn to swim is to dive.
  14. 14. "Don't start a company unless it's an obsession and something you love. If you have an exit strategy, it's not an obsession" – Marc Cuban
  15. 15. Product or service?
  16. 16. Don't try to be the next... Don't try to be the next Facebook.
  17. 17. Lazer focus on a niche.
  18. 18. YAY! YOU STARTED
  19. 19. People who tell you to write a big business plan did probably not start a company themselve.
  20. 20. A mountain? A bear? A river? Lions? A big forest? Planning is guessing
  21. 21. Focus on the next small thing
  22. 22. Find your customers PAIN
  23. 23. Solve their PAIN
  24. 24. Build the minimum your customer wants to pay for. Then (try to) sell it.
  25. 25. Fail early, fail often (and cheap)
  26. 26. 1. present your solution 2. ask if clients would pay for it 3. NO? tweak your idea & back to step (1) 4. YEP? congrats, you have a business
  27. 27. "Serve average food to a hungry market." – me, just now.
  28. 28. Your job is to find a product/market fit before you run out of cash.
  29. 29. The first $ is the hardest.
  30. 30. Cash is like air. You need it, period.
  31. 31. It's about solutions, not about features
  32. 32. Keep it SIMPLE
  33. 33. How you build it is completely irrelevant. It's about the SOLUTION
  34. 34. "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up" – Thomas Edison
  36. 36. Ignore competition.
  37. 37. It is a rollercoaster.
  38. 38. Work ON your business, not IN your business
  39. 39. Don't burn your time. Outsource.
  40. 40. Investsetting up a money generating system. Don'tup your time Invest your time in your time in setting burn a money generating system. selling hours for money.
  41. 41. It takes as much time to run a crappy hamburger restaurant as to run McDonald's.
  42. 42. It takes as much time to be a full time carpenter as to run IKEA.
  43. 43. Being cheap is a great way to attract toxic and greedy clients.
  44. 44. Don't pray for unicorns. Force your luck.
  45. 45. VALUE TIME Done is better than perfect.
  46. 46. Build up recurring revenue (in), cut recurring costs (out)
  47. 47. It's a marathon, not a sprint.
  48. 48. Get 8 hours of sleep, sport and don't drink liters of coffee.
  49. 49. Wanna know more? Complaints? Gossip? Suggestions?