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Startups: What I have learned this last summer!

30 Oct

For those of you who already don’t know, I spend a weekend in Boston with StartupWeekend and it was a hoot and half! I probably was one of the older people there and the only academic and one of the few in financial industry. I have to admit I never put much stock in new age lingo of the startups, but after spending a weekend with an energetic, unbelievably driven crowd, I was put to shame! I was lucky to have my idea go all the way to the presentation stages, which means we had to build a prototype page and try to convince the investors that we’re worth a shot. We didn’t win anything and the team kind of got scattered each doing their won thing, but I have learned a lot from the experience. I have been meaning to summarize my take on the experience but I think this recent blog summarizes the essence of what I wanted to say.

It is noteworthy that successful startups do start slowly. That is the ideas need to be tested carefully and the number of people who are involved are very few. This means a lot of sweat equity goes into this stage. The successful startups spend way less on customer acquisition in early stages. This means that in the early stages, word-of-mouth, and by extension, perceived-quality-delivered are quite pertinent in generating awareness and thus you don’t need to con people to come over your side (through expensive advertising)! It also means that you need to spend a lot of time, and not money, to get your name out there. Successful startups outsource much less in the early stage of their development: if you can’t do it yourself, you probably won’t be able to do it at all! And last but not least, if you can make the 100,000 user mark without too much lines of codes written and without a lot o money spend, then you’re probably on the right track! [You can find more about the study that generated this result at Startup Genome page].

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Posted by on October 30, 2011 in Public Finance

 

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