Another favorite session at SXSW 2011.
Former entrepreneur, current investor and innovation community leader Charlie O’Donnell will discuss five different patterns of failure often seen in startups that don’t make it. It will cover how entrepreneurs can derisk their ideas, maintain momentum, and take advantage of opportunities early on in a company’s life cycle. Patterns of failure include: 1) Failure to zero in on a sector’s most pressing pain point. 2) Not leaving enough time or financing to iterate on an idea. 3) Failure to create short term milestones that create value. 4) Failure to capture industry attention and mindshare. – 5) Failure to build a realistic customer acquisition engine.
Here are some of the nuggets I captured from the session…
Simplify to one core idea
Focus on “inputs” & “outputs”… Rather than what’s in the middle
Narrow down features. It’s not about being comprehensive. Avoid “death by 1000 features”
Do one thing and do it well. That’s the story that gets traction.
Cultivate your power users
“If you build it, they will not come”
Marketing is not a budget but a strategy
Leave enough time for financing & take an investor’s perspective
Set milestones & present as if you’ve reached it.
Show progress regardless how small.
Make use of advisors but you have to drive the relationship