When most people speak about a Startup’s funding approach as “bootstrapping”, they often are referring to the Founders putting some time and capital into the company. This is actually an incorrect use of the term in Startup “speak”, as that Founder input is still an investment. And though it’s usual that Founders put some cash into their companies or minimally defer taking anything out, it’s still actually investment. Just not an external investment. It is a type of Seed Funding.
Building a startup team based on skills is a lot like the casting activity in the film industry. Those responsible for casting a movie will look at the character in the plot, and try to find actors that they know have the ability to play the role. Though there is also a secondary look at how these actors look together on film, their onscreen chemistry. So the casting activity is actually a casting of the ensemble, not just the individual actors.
The reason writing the Value Proposition in terms of the benefits to customer is gets stressed so much is because most products do start as the idea or creation of an expert, and experts find this task of defining their creation outside of their expertise to be very difficult.
Startup is a phase. Eventually a company will and should grow out of that phase. Normally in 2-3 years. To remain in Startup mode is actually to invite atrophy. A company that has emerged to a point where they have a loyal customer base and a viable business model does need to adopt some traditional customer facing processes for sales, marketing, delivery and after-sales services. Otherwise, they risk losing that customer base.
When we think of the word vision, rather than idea, we think of something much larger. Like a diamond, rather than a zirconium. Where an idea is often flat or two dimensional, a vision is multi-faceted. A vision is complete – not in the terms of meaning it is finished – but in terms of meaning that it is whole. In in the Customer Development methodology recommends using the Business Model Canvas to articulate this initial vision. Which covers many aspects of the business, not just features and benefits.
This week I went to a Girls Raising event in Toronto. The group’s premise is: if companies which include female founders are often more successful than less diverse companies, let’s support companies that include women founders, and give them an opportunity to hone their message and receive effective feedback.