Mittwoch, 3. Oktober 2007

How NOT to start your StartUp

i prepared the following notes for the oktober barcamp
in vienna. unfortunately a flu was keeping me away. so here are the notes, i am looking fortward to discuss that @ the next barcamp.


++ 70% of companies fail because of internal reasons
(KSV, 2006 Insolvenzstatistik)

++ Out of 100 applying 10 get "aws Seedfinancing" funded,
5 survive the next 10 years

++ --> 7 of the 140 techchrunch40 conf will survive

++ youtube owners made 1,65B$ in 21 month

++ 12 year old co-founder gets 6,5M$ investment (playspan)

++ Full disclosure: i work at
investment manager ict high-tech startups
quite an portfolio
quite a while


++ What you want (maybe)
Stay alive (personally, company)
Keep old & make new friends
Make people happy
Have fun
Change the world with your vision in mind
Do good & talk about
Earn money

++ What you do NOT want (maybe again)
Heart Attack before floating on the stock market
Loose friends
Make people unhappy
Be frustrated
Give up
Keep it secret
You and your friends/family/fools get bankrupt


++ "Recommendations"

+++ *Tech Founder*
Cross out Life in life-work balance
live on coke, pizza and sweeties until you overtake "super size me"
friends/family/partner shall only be important if it helps your company
never leave the net/phone/... for more then 1 hour
do not delegate
Insist, believe and act upon:
know everything better then your co-founders and (potential) customers & investors
The customers will come by themselves,
as soon as they realize that you are a genius and
that your product is "the" product

+++ *Marketing/Sales/Finance/Operations/Quality/you name it*
Who needs any of those?
Therefore do NOT build a complete team
so you do not have the problem, that:
someone knows about it
anyone shall ever buy your product/chrossing the chasm
invest in your company + knowing when you run out of cash
actually ever deliver and service your product
have a satisfactory working product

+++ *Product*
Leave "under the radar screen" before you have something to show and say
Release first public version before core functionality is there
Do not keep your alpha/beta community interested by
rolling out new functionality every 2 weeks
respecting their feedback and maintaining the forums alive
Announce ambitious release schedules and never keep them
Focus on features, not your on the (product) core (vision) or even customer benefit


++ Others
- Never prepare your pitch
regardless of your audience, be it sales guys, techies, any customers, finance people
neither adapt to "their" interest or specific questions on language
nor prepare, as your genius will always bring you through
no presentation under 50 slides
- Use consultants for everything
without selecting them according to their proven (reference calls) success for
your specific requirement
without keeping them under strict control (topic wise, timeline, hours they want you to
sign of) this will help you to keep your cash burn rate high


++ Links
Do NOT look at those financing opportunities:
finance mindmap @

Do NOT read any of those:
founders at work, jessica livingston
the art of the start, guy kawasaki
the startup company bible, michael stathis
crossing the chasm, geoffrey a. moore
guerilla marketing, jay c. levinson

And NEVER ever look at this one:
einführung in die allgemeine betriebswirtschaftslehre, lechner/egger/schauer

NOR listen to the podcast:

For the ones which want/can make the crossover from military strategy to start.up business
do NOT look at:
the art of war, sun tzi

Finally do NOT read this Start.up guide:
The Pmarca Guide to Startups, part 1: Why not to do a startup
(link thanks to brundo haid,

++ What would you NOT do?