Realistic Strategies For Funding Product Development

Startup Professionals Musings

Angel investors and venture capitalists are looking for startups with real products and a proven business model, ready to scale. Yet I still get too many business plans that clearly are looking for money to do research and development (R&D) on a new and unproven technology.

10 Strategies To Cover New Product Development Costs

Startup Professionals Musings

The “valley of death” is a common term in the startup world, referring to the difficulty of covering the negative cash flow in the early stages of a startup, before their new product or service is bringing in revenue from real customers.

The two reasons early stage investors should be active investors

The Equity Kicker

That’s still true in less developed parts of the world, but in San Francisco and increasingly in London there are multiple sources of venture capital working very hard to find good investments and entrepreneurs sitting on quality opportunities have lots of options.

Extremely Valuable Tips for Creating a Financial Forecast During the Early Stages of an Entrepreneurial Journey

Up and Running

Things like product development, materials and packaging, performance-based bonuses, and more. The early days of a startup can be intense. In the excitement to develop a product and push it to market, an entrepreneur may overlook paying all of the necessary state and federal taxes, filing licensing paperwork and paying the appropriate fees to do so, and more. Working on a startup can be exciting, exhilarating, fulfilling and maybe even a little terrifying.

Should Early Stage Startups Move to Austin because of Competencies?

Austin Startup

My primary mission was to learn from the impressive entrepreneurial ecosystem in Austin and draw lessons for developing the entrepreneurship education program for Beetroot Academy. It follows up on my posts discussing why early stage startups should — or should not — move to Silicon Valley.

The Product Development Model « Steve Blank

Steve Blank

This product development diagram had become part of the DNA of Silicon Valley. Were startups failing because of product failures or was there some other failure mode? And even more importantly, was there any way to reduce risk in early stage ventures? That’s in stark contrast to the traditional Product Development Model where it’s expected a customer is already there and waiting and it’s simply a matter of [.]

Tech Founder Wins at Early Stage

ithacaVC

At the early stages of a startup, the founding team is probably the most important variable of success. Focusing on the early stage, the founding team typically will have a tech oriented founder and a business oriented founder. But, with one big piece of advice: once you raise money and before the company’s product takes off, the tech founder is in the driver’s seat. In essence, at this stage, product development defines the company.

Raising Money Using Customer Development

Steve Blank

Unfortunately in early stage startups the drive for financing hijacks the corporate DNA and becomes the raison d’etre of the company. The goal of their startup in this stage becomes “getting funded.” What are Early Stage VC’s Really Asking?

Essential Development Questions for Startups: The Questions Founders Need to Answer for Product Development, Web Strategy, Marketing, and More

Early Growth Financial Services

by Tony Karrer Originally published on SoCal CTO Almost every day I’m talking to early stage startup founders (see Free Startup CTO Consulting Sessions) about what they plan to do. Many of these founders have talked with several developers or development firms about their plans.

Lessons Learned: Don't launch

Startup Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Friday, March 13, 2009 Dont launch Heres a common question I get from startups, especially in the early stages: when should we launch? Announce a new product, start its PR campaign, and engage in buzz marketing activities. Marketing launch) Make a new product available to customers in the general public. Product launch) In todays world, there is no reason you have to do these two things at the same time.

5 Ways Startups Can Reduce Development Costs & Shorten Time To Market

YoungUpstarts

Two conditions that do matter to your startup’s out-year viability are the cost and length of its product development cycle. Startup founders counting the days until break-even or actively seeking outside capital must focus on streamlining their development cycles.

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Starting Up: Tips And Tricks to Getting Set Up The Right Way

Early Growth Financial Services

And when it comes down to it, founders should focus their greatest energy on product development and customer acquisition efforts — not on compliance and administrative tasks. Instead, he advises outsourcing non-core functions early. With time being a resource … Continue reading → Early Stages Did you know that 33% of small and medium-sized businesses get fined for not doing payroll correctly?

HR and Finance Checklists for Your Startup: The Essentials

Early Growth Financial Services

Rapidly growing companies have a lot to deal with—product development, customer acquisition, raising financing, user scaling issues—just to name a few. On September 17th at 10am, SharedHR and Early Growth Financial Services will co-present an hour-long, free webinar to provide an overview of the basics so you know what you need to get started from an HR and finance perspective.

Lessons Learned: The four kinds of work, and how to get them done.

Startup Lessons Learned

Another advantage of the early stages is that most dont have to juggle too many competing priorities. If you dont have customers, a product, investors, or a board of directors, you can pretty much stay focused on just one thing at a time. What is customer development?

Investors Fund Solutions Rather Than Technology

Gust

Too many entrepreneurs develop a new product without regard for market demand , then build an entire strategy based on creating a need, rather than acting on an existing market need. Temper your product with actual market and customer feedback. Measure the major pain points in time or dollars, based on feedback from intended users of your product or service. Early-stage investors won’t risk this much.

Customer Development Manifesto: The Path of Warriors and Winners.

Steve Blank

This post describes a solution – the Customer Development Model. In future posts I’ll describe how Eric Ries and the Lean Startup concept provide the equivalent model for product development activities inside the building and neatly integrates customer and agile development.

The Leading Cause of Startup Death – Part 1: The Product.

Steve Blank

Thirty years later we now realize that its one the causes of early startup failure. This series of posts is a brief explanation of how we’ve evolved from Product Development to Customer Development to the Lean Startup. The Product Development Diagram Emerging early in the twentieth century, this product-centric model described a process that evolved in manufacturing industries. We’ll look at the model stage-by-stage.

The Customer Development Manifesto: The Startup Death Spiral (part.

Steve Blank

This post describes how following the traditional product development can lead to a “startup death spiral.&# In the next posts that follow, I’ll describe how this model’s failures led to the Customer Development Model – offering a new way to approach startup sales and marketing activities. To support sales, Marketing tries to “make up a better story,” and the web site and/or product presentation slides start changing (sometimes weekly or even daily).

The Future of Startups 2013-2017

Scalable Startup

Alexia Tsotsis: Since people like me (millennials) are putting pressure on our IT departments to buy products that we can actually use and aren’t blinded by, what do you think the enterprise space will look like in the next five years? And then IBM came along and productized the mainframe, and then all of a sudden big normal companies — manufacturing companies and banks — could start to buy computers. Look, all of the products are going to keep getting better.

How to Configure Your Startup Team

Both Sides of the Table

I am fond of quoting that about 70% of my investment decision of an early-stage company is the team. Without strong PMs you build crappy products that nobody needs or that real people can’t use. Don’t listen to VCs who tell you to bring in the big guns early.

4 Chasms And 5 Customer Types That Kill Entrepreneurs

Startup Professionals Musings

In fact, it’s all about the “focus” required to get early stage technology products across the deadly chasm from early adopters to mainstream customers. Missions and products that are too broad confuse your team, your customers, and potential investors.

10 Startup Strategies To Minimize Cash Flow Disasters

Startup Professionals Musings

The “valley of death” is a common term in the startup world, referring to the difficulty of covering the negative cash flow in the early stages of a startup, before their new product or service is bringing in revenue from real customers.

When To Bet On A Startup

YoungUpstarts

by Matthew Sawyer, Managing Partner of Rocket Market Development LLC. Investors keep pouring money into startups and early stage companies. Too often startups develop a product or technology before having a clear idea of their prospective customers.

7 Guidelines For Funding New Research & Development

Startup Professionals Musings

As an advisor to new business owners, and an occasional angel investor, I see new business proposals daily, many seeking investors to fund early research and development (R&D) of a new product idea. Here are the guidelines I recommend: Recruit friends and family at any stage.

Smart Entrepreneurs Anticipate Market Segment Gaps

Startup Professionals Musings

In fact, it’s all about the “focus” required to get early stage technology products across the deadly chasm from early adopters to mainstream customers. Missions and products that are too broad confuse your team, your customers, and potential investors.

5 Tips On Becoming An Entrepreneur After Corporate America

YoungUpstarts

You can likely rattle off a long list of process or product gaps in your industry that new design or technology solutions can address well. And also, there’s a growing number of seed funds, angel investment groups or incubators who are focused on funding early stage entrepreneurs.

Crossing the Chasm is a Major Startup Challenge

Startup Professionals Musings

In fact, it’s all about the “focus” required to get early stage technology products across the deadly chasm from early adopters to mainstream customers. Missions and products that are too broad confuse your team, your customers, and potential investors.

Pre-seed investments work best when there’s a clear plan for short term value creation

The Equity Kicker

Most VCs will say that to evaluate deals they look at the market size, the product and the quality of the team. Different investors place different weights on the three elements but as a rule earlier stage investors place more emphasis on the team and later stage investors place more emphasis on the market. Some very early stage investors go as far as to say that for them team is everything.

5 Public Speaking Opportunities To Make Your Company

Startup Professionals Musings

As a mentor for aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs, I talk to a fair number who may have a great vision and a strong engineering background, but have a negative interest in the role of public speaking in business.

Learn what your best users are doing with your product

The Equity Kicker

In a good Founder’s Notebook post on setting priorities in product development Ben Yoskovitz recommends that founders: learn as quickly as you can what your best users are doing in your product.

The Maker Movement Is A New Mecca For Entrepreneurs

Startup Professionals Musings

Back in the early 2000s, the Maker Movement took hold in California, based on the emergence of such do-it-yourself (DIY) tools as 3-D printers, Google''s SketchUp and makerspaces such as TechShop, with all the tools you need to make almost anything.

Why You Should Stop Worrying About Raising VC Money for Your Tech Startup

Up and Running

An early question among potential co-founders during these discussions was always “have you raised money yet?” enabling you to expand on an already working business model), and if you’re in the extremely early stages of building your company, you still need to develop your product.

Intuit Labs Takeover

Startup Lessons Learned

This week, the Lean Startup took over the blog on Intuit Labs with original stories centered around experimentation as a method for investigating all parts of a business or product idea. On Tuesday, we interviewed Amanda Krantz of Dohje, an early-stage startup, to talk about experimenting with product development.

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Building a High-Tech Startup Team

Business Plan Blog

This is true for early stage funding as well as venture capital funding. If you have a technical background and you are focused on product development, consider a co-founder with a sales and marketing background that can focus on selling your world class product.

8 Ways The Maker Movement Turns Ideas Into Businesses

Startup Professionals Musings

In case you haven’t noticed it, the rapid evolution of do-it-yourself (DIY) facilities for developers, including 3-D printers, SketchUp and makerspaces such as TechShop , have scaled down the cost of prototypes and hardware design by an order of magnitude.

10 Keys To Evolution From A Startup To An Enterprise

Startup Professionals Musings

Early-stage entrepreneurs rightly keep their focus on creating an innovative product or service. After celebrating success at that level, they often find themselves ill-prepared to move to the next stage, for scaling their business into a high-performing enterprise.

10 Steps To Scaling Your Startup Toward A Fortune 500

Startup Professionals Musings

Early-stage entrepreneurs rightly keep their focus on creating an innovative product or service. After celebrating success at that level, they often find themselves ill-prepared to move to the next stage, for scaling their business into a high-performing enterprise.

Entrepreneurs Must Bridge Several Market Chasms

Startup Professionals Musings

In fact, it’s all about the “focus” required to get early stage technology products across the deadly chasm from early adopters to mainstream customers. Missions and products that are too broad confuse your team, your customers, and potential investors.

Startup Winner – Yip Yap

The Startup Magazine

Earlier this year at the FUND Conference in Austin, Texas, over 100 startups presented their early-stage companies in front of hundreds of investors and industry leaders. Describe the Yip Yap product/service in 10 words or less.

You Can’t Run A Startup And Fear Speaking In Public

Startup Professionals Musings

As a mentor for aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs, I talk to a fair number who may have a great vision and a strong engineering background, but have a negative interest in the role of public speaking in business.

Second Startups: Why Founders Often Struggle to Find Their Second Act

View from Seed

The surprising thing is how few of them have actually done it, or how long it has taken for them to find the right business and get early traction. 3: Re-calibrating to a new stage and time. But I find it definitely hurts to do it too early. Product & Design

Four Common Startup Issues Which Threaten Survival

Startup Professionals Musings

There are unknowns at every turn, leading product development, attracting customers, managing cash, and dealing with human resources and office politics. Stretch” goals in early-stage are not advised.

How to Avoid Innovation Theater: The Six Decisions To Make Before Establishing an Innovation Outpost

Steve Blank

These corporate Innovation Outposts monitor Silicon Valley for new innovative technologies and/or companies (as emerging threats or potential tools for disruption) and then take advantage of these innovations by creating new products or investing in startups.