Hustle Con 2015
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- 1. WhatIlearned: Hustlecon2015
- 2. Hello! I am Jen Q. Heres what I learned from Hustle Con in April 2015. Hustle Con is a conference designed for non-technical start-up founders. You can find me at: @the_hip_hapa
- 3. Soyoudonthavetechskills: Whatdoyouneedinstead?
- 4. A degree of the cons 17 presenters:* 65% have degrees in economics, finance, or business 24% have political science degrees 1.5 avg degrees per person (range 0 to 3) *excludes Sat health workshop presenters
- 5. Independent wealth and connections help too. Like, a LOT. You can grow connections through old-fashioned networking and accelerators like Y Combinator. Money well, thats a little harder. You may need a day job for a while.
- 6. A note on gender: only 17% of presenters were female. ALL female founders had graduate degrees: Only 2 of the male founders went to grad school. Schools females attended included Duke, MIT, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, and Carleton.
- 7. Okay, enough demographics What did they SAY? Get a technical cofounder Focus on your products identity. It should be clear and easy to explain. Create a core set of values for your product, and your team. The words purpose, clarity, and focus were used a lot.
- 8. MONEY Summary: it may not come fast. I owed $500,000 and maxed out 11 credit cards. 20 people worked for me for free for 2 years, and I was sued by 5 of them. -Tim Westergren, Pandora founder I sold my car to fund my move to the Bay Area, got a $500 studio in El Cerrito in the home of a retired dentist. And then the bottom dropped out of the economy. - Arram Sabeti, ZeroCater founder
- 9. MONEY,Part2 To get funding, youll have to pitch. A LOT. Dealing with rejection is tough. Get used to it. Westergren pitched Pandora 340 times. Funding is not the goalpost Funding you raise is not a predictor of how much your company will be worth. Ebay raised $11M and is now valued at $420B It doesnt count until its in the bank Adam Draper of Boost VC warned of yes-men wholl say yes to funding in pitch meetings and then never send you a check.
- 10. The product you launch with will almost certainly NOT be the product that finds market fit. -Walker Williams, founder of TeeSpring KillerInsight#1
- 11. TEAM Your team is paramount. Qualifications are fine, but its better to find the right personality fit with the right attitude. Our biggest SEO successes were team members. - Tim Chen, NerdWallet Arum Kang, founder of Coffee Meets Bagel warned against hiring contractors: They dont have accountability or stake in your company. Soinsteadofmakingmoney,whatshouldIfocuson? TIME This is your most precious resource. Founder time = freakin solid gold. So automate as much as possible. Assemble a good team. Be agile. Dont solve problems until they exist. Most importantly: dont get burnt out.
- 12. howtogetyourfirstusers IRL Matt Brimer, founder of General Assembly says you gotta meet people in real life before theyll become first users. Do 1 on 1 coffees. Dance. Talk. Pitch early and often. Karma Give karma, get karma. Be as useful as possible. Introduce people to each other. Give advice. But dont give away your product for free. Convert Your first users will ideally become your champions. First 100 people on Matt Brimers email list, he had met in person. Be open But balance your membership. Get the balance between being clubby and full of randos. Time It will take a significant amount of time and effort to bring in your first users and thats okay, - Walker Williams, TeeSpring Small Small is good. It means youre nimble. You can pivot on a dime. Grow at scale, dont worry about growth hacking. Just worry about the next step, not step 10.
- 13. Gettingpress/seo Heidi Zak, founder of Third Love PR firms are good at fashion OR tech OR consumer: they will not do all 3 well. Even if they say they do. They cant. Ask around before hiring a PR firm. Ask former clients how they liked their experience with a firm. Feel free to say NO to press if youre not ready: just ask for a rain-check later. Tim Chen, founder of NerdWallet - Talking to journalists is really hard. Theyre busy. - SEO is a slog and will take years of work - LifeHacker mention only garnered $5,000 in revenue - If you want to reach journalists, hire a former journalist
- 14. KillerInsight#2 The biggest existential risk to your start-up is you quitting. -Arram Sabeti, founder of ZeroCater
- 15. techtips
- 16. SEO:LearnhowtheGoogleAlgorithmworks (becauseitsalwayschanging) FromjamesbesharaofTilt: Usebraintree,stripe, companiesthatwilltakecareofsomeoftheregulatory issuesforyou. findouttherules,thenbreakthemtoworkin yourfavor http://www.businessinsider.com/the-linkedin-hack-that-turned-a-penny-into-100000-2015-4
- 17. Getsometechskills:Anyonecancutand pastefromstackoverflow Talktoyourusers!Theywilltellyouwhatyouredoing wrongandwhatfeaturesyouneed. TryoutTwilio,useboomerangforgmailtotrackemails, mailtrack.andcheckoutthenewstuffonproducthunt.
- 18. KillerInsight#3 When youre small its a knife fight: learn what your competitors are up to and crush their output. -Tim Chen, founder of NerdWallet
- 19. distill Jessica Scorpio of Getaround: Killing features is a good way to focus your business. MAKE BOLD CHOICES.
- 20. to-dolist + Find a technical co-founder + Create a solid proof-of-concept that is a pain-killer for users, not a vitamin. + Validate the concept and change as necessary + Congeal a distinct brand, set of principles that define the product + Assemble a kick-ass team of smart people I really like spending time with and can talk openly with + Get a small version of product up and working as soon as possible + Recruit users IRL, listen to them, change the product, make users into champions and evangelists + Start creating content around product + Prepare for the rollercoaster that is pursuing funding + Pitch continuously until funding is secured (if needed) + Talk to users + Investigate press and outreach if ready + Start solving problems as the product grows and changes + Talk to users + Determine if there are any tools that can get rid of regulatory hurdles for you + Empower the team, keep them motivated, invest in them + Talk to users + Keep on hustlin
- 21. Thanks! Any questions? You can find me at: @the_hip_hapa firstname.lastname@example.org
- 22. Credits Special thanks to all the people who made and released these awesome resources for free: Presentation template by SlidesCarnival Photographs by Unsplash
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