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Ideas for entrepreneurs
Serial entrepreneurship is constant learning. Here's what I found impacting.
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Why consumer product metrics are all terrible

Why consumer product metrics are all terrible | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it
The reality of consumer products I’ve never met an entrepreneur who’s happy with their metrics. Whether you’re talking about sign up rates, retention rates, or how often your users create content – on face value, the metrics always seem terrible. The secret is, almost everyone’s consumer product metrics are horrible, so once you start to …
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

It's a messy world out there...


If you're stats are crap, don't worry: hurry up.

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Raising seed capital in the EU vs. US - or before / after YC?

Raising seed capital in the EU vs. US - or before / after YC? | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it

Mathilde Collin shares her view on the difference between raising early-stage capital in the US compared to Europe, based on her own experiences.

Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Mathilde Collin is the CEO & Co-Founder of Front App and she gives a great perspective from her experience raising in the US after having tried in Europe - a question many European entrepreneurs have.


Now, what she writes is awesome and full of insightful points but I also couldn't help thinking that this is more a post about raising before YC vs raising after Y Combinator (Front was in the last batch). Due to its amazing track-record, YC has become a super strong "buy signal" to the VCs here in SV who, as she points out, are more concerned about missing the next Facebook than losing a marginal amount of their ever bigger funds.


Of course, you can argue that the mere existence of Y Combinator itself is a sign of how the ecosystem is more organized in the US than in Europe. 


But if I were trying to raise seed right now, regardless of where I am, I would conclude one thing from her post: apply to YC.

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Silicon Valley has evolved -- it’s not about startups anymore

Silicon Valley has evolved -- it’s not about startups anymore | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it
The Valley is no longer about startups; it's about scale-ups.
Guillaume Decugis's insight:
Absolutely! And one of the things I keep repeating to many entrepreneurs who wonder whether they should come here or not. It's way easier to start in the rest of the world but Silicon Valley remains the best place to scale and dominate the world.
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The Meteoric Acceleration in Series A Valuations

The Meteoric Acceleration in Series A Valuations | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it
What a difference a few quarters make! In the past nine months, Series A valuations have skyrocketed. In fact, 2014 Series A pre-money valuations have surpassed Series B valuations from 10 years ago, accounting for inflation. The same is true for Series B valuations exceeding median Series C valuations a decade before.
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Or as Ben Narasin wrote back a few months ago, the Series A is the new Series B.

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How much equity should you give to an advisor? How to structure the relationship?

How much equity should you give to an advisor? How to structure the relationship? | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it
Mistakes entrepreneurs should avoid when finding startup advisors and the reason it's so important to formalize an advisor agreement with equity.
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

I've often had that question and the above table is useful (and so is the template agreement that FounderDating put together here). Without going through too much complexity, formalizing (a little) helps making sure everyone is committed and aligned.

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Oliver Durrer's curator insight, October 21, 4:15 PM

How much equity to allocate to an advisor is a tricky topic, especially when you are a first time entrepreneur or you did not need to pay with your equity before. The same holds for taking on venture capital. I wonder whether these rules of thumb vary regionally? What are your experiences?

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Steve Blank on Teaching Entrepreneurship to K-12 Students

Steve Blank on Teaching Entrepreneurship to K-12 Students | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it
The famed entrepreneur says we should teach the next generation to build scalable startups using the Lean LaunchPad methodology.
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Still think entrepreneurship can not be taught? Steve Blank disagrees with you and he's not talking about MBA's...

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Michel CEZON's curator insight, October 1, 7:05 AM

Teaching is one part of the job, mindset is what it takes to succeed :-)

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5 Startup Hiring Mistakes That Can Crush Your Culture

5 Startup Hiring Mistakes That Can Crush Your Culture | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it
Taking on culture debt is risky and has a high interest rate. Here are 5 mistakes to avoid when hiring. (RT @ianetwork: 5 #Startup Hiring #Mistakes That Can Crush Your Culture !

Via Blue Deer
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Spot on.


I've recruited 150 people in 18 months back when Musiwave was in hyper growth mode and I've had to learn how to recruit in Silicon Valley.


I think I made all these 5 mistakes myself...

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Oliver Durrer's curator insight, October 21, 4:19 PM

Absolutely rock solid and spot on advice. Hubspot truly feels like a great company to work for. Their culture is inspiringly human.

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How to Start a Startup

Sam Altman and Dustin Moskovitz start off the How to Start a Startup Course. Sam's topic is "Ideas, Products, Teams and Execution, Part I" and Dustin's is "Why to Start a Startup".

Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Can't make it to Stanford? Here's the first lecture by YC Combinator's Sam Altman on entrepreneurship.


As he says in his introduction, entrepreneurship can not be taught 100% but a good part of it can and that's what he does in this lecture series which is just brilliant. 

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François Lanthier's curator insight, September 24, 3:55 PM
Really intesting, merci @Guillaume Decugis for sharing
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Can startup growth be taught? Yes says Andrew Chen.

Can startup growth be taught? Yes says Andrew Chen. | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it

First and foremost, this lecture series will be for people who love and work on products, and in particular, software products.

This is who might benefit the most from this content:

  • Entrepreneurs, early startup employees, and PMs for big established products
  • Product managers, marketers, growth, and execs
  • … working on mobile apps, websites, enterprise/SaaS, and desktop software
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

If you think startup growth happens just because of luck or "learn by doing", you're probably missing out. Yes, it's not an exact science and it never will be. But there's a lot of rationalization that has been brought to the field in the past few years as we've had new methodologies based on experimentation and data such as the Lean Startup one. 


Andrew Chen is certainly one of the most prominent contributors to the field with very clear, inspiring and practical essays on andrewchen.co.

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The 5 Traits Successful Entrepreneurs Have In Common

The 5 Traits Successful Entrepreneurs Have In Common | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it
Truly successful entrepreneurs are survivors. They failed but still kept moving forward. It takes not only passion, but knowledge of self.
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

I love the "likeable... enough". 

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Michel CEZON's curator insight, August 29, 6:20 AM

Another attempt to identify entrepreneurs' key success factors:

1. They Have Passion

2. Ability to Bounce Back From Failure

3. They Are Just Likable Enough

4. They Know Their Strengths and Weaknesses

5. They Are Serial Innovators

 

Well, basically, they are doers and failure is just a valuable part of the game !

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How Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe hacked Metcalfe’s Law

How Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe hacked Metcalfe’s Law | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it

Or, why even genius-level marketing gets no respect in Silicon Valley.

Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Beyond the sexual harassment story, the Tinder lawsuit revealed another interesting part of the startup culture in Silicon Valley: the myth that great products built by awesome engineers don't need marketing. Here's why it's wrong and why doing unscalable things early on to bootstrap usage or sales is critical to a company's success.

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Startups Find It Easier To Get From A to B

Startups Find It Easier To Get From A to B | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it
The Series A may be the new Series B, but as first round venture fundings have flat-lined over the past year, investors are increasing their bets on B rounds. Indeed, the dollar value of Series B r...
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Series B crunch? Not really according to this data by CrunchBase which tracks most of the funding rounds. While Series A have leveled off over the past few quarters (at lest in number of transactions), Series B have kept increasing both in volume and amount.


Interestingly the Series B to Series A ratio is now above 50%.


Find product / market fit to get Series A and you' re (relatively) safe then?

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The Marketing Math Behind Scaling a SaaS Salesforce (and align objectives)

The Marketing Math Behind Scaling a SaaS Salesforce (and align objectives) | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it

A terrific SaaS VP of Marketing once told me, "If the sales team is focused on hitting this quarter's revenue target, then the marketing team ought to be focused on next quarter and the following quarter."

Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Do your marketing people know how many leads they need to generate for your sales team to be on target? Here's a quite straightforward but useful way to build the model up for Saas startups.


And define objectives for everybody.

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The Economics of a Small VC Fund

The Economics of a Small VC Fund | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it
Two years ago I started a fund. For the fund to be viable, it had to be at least $5 million, but ...
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Still think VC's are rich tycoons with big cigars? Read this.


You're not the only entrepreneur in the room...

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Michel CEZON's curator insight, May 15, 2:01 AM

Starting a VC fund is also a startup business :-)

Same problems, same rewards !

 

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The biggest risk is to not take any.

The biggest risk is to not take any. | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it

This was going to end badly.My boss screamed at me in front of my colleagues. I had done something wrong of course. I had sent a product to the client without debugging it thoroughly. It was my fault.

Guillaume Decugis's insight:

James Altucher might have Woody Allen style neurotic accents but he makes a lot of good points in there. Bottom line is that the "safe" career path that worked for your parents or grandparents is a thing of the past. 


Time to think seriously about that startup project.

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Real Engines Of Growth Have Nothing To Do With Growth Hacking

Real Engines Of Growth Have Nothing To Do With Growth Hacking | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it
Imagine you're a 17-year-old girl at a well-to-do high school in Los Angeles, and you just discovered Snapchat. Until that moment, every time you thought..
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Very interesting analysis debunking the myth that one single growth hacker could fix any startup's lack of growth. The secret of LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat? A deep understanding of their users' psychology and motivations. Plus a perfect execution to make it frictionless and simplement to understand and tell. 

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Does your startup story stick to your RIBS? The Best PR Advice You’ve Never Heard

Does your startup story stick to your RIBS? The Best PR Advice You’ve Never Heard | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it
“Imagine you’re sitting across from a reporter at lunch. You’re telling them what you do, your story, why they should care about your product. You have to convince this reporter to not only write about you, but that what you’re doing matters.
Guillaume Decugis's insight:
One of the common myths in Silicon Valley is that startups don't need marketing. But as shown by this long but excellent series of insights by Caryn Marooney, Head of Technology Communications for Facebook and co-founder of OutCast - the prominent SV PR agency, this couldn't be less true.
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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, March 14, 9:15 PM

Very detailed, step by step self inquiry test for your startup. Highly recommended.

I took her advice and created a tagline while reading it: "Know how to get funded". It's on my site now at www.Business-Funding-Insider.com

BroadbandBreakfast's curator insight, October 13, 3:39 PM

Some useful thoughts on social sharing.

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Why There's Never Been a Better Time to Found a SaaS Startup

Why There's Never Been a Better Time to Found a SaaS Startup | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Consumer Apps used to be all the rage and WhatsApps + Instagram and others showed it was justified. But SaaS could be the new black and with consumerization of IT, there are interesting models to explore.


When 10M users is the new 1M users in consumer Web, 11x revenue valuations are definitely worth considering.

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Numerogeek's curator insight, March 12, 11:57 AM

Toutes les stats montrent que les temps n'ont jamais été aussi propices pour lancer un produit en mode SaaS.

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Forget about the technical co-founder (and don't learn how to code)

Forget about the technical co-founder (and don't learn how to code) | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it

Over the years I’ve heard and read a lot of advice on how to get a technical co-founder. Having a mostly non-technical background myself, I’ve been facing the issues of having a “great” startup idea without having the technical chops to build it myself.

Guillaume Decugis's insight:

This is an interesting response to Elizabeth Yin's post on why you can't find a technical co-founder that she wrote on Andrew Chen's blog.


She claimed your best chance was to learn to code and build your MVP on your own: this will not only ensure your MVP will be an MVP but also that you learn from it and in the process be more credible to and respected by your future CTO. Thomas Kjemperud doesn't disagree with the second part but claims there's no need to learn to code to do so: with all the open API's and existing tools out there, you should be able to build something semi-automated without even having to learn to code.


He's got a good point: to get 50 users to really love your service or product, do you really need a completely automated piece of software? Or do you need tools that let you deliver the value prop and makes sure it makes those 50 people happy?


It probably depends but the important thing is that you have to learn from these 50 before you do anything else anyway.

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Startup Metrics, a love story.

Everything you need to know about Startup Product Metrics.

Guillaume Decugis's insight:

I've seen many decks on startup metrics including Dave Mc Clure's very rough but great 'startup metrics for pirates' but this deck by Andreas Klinger is juts awesome. It is comprehensive, precise and actionable. Plus there are tons of great benchmarks in there. 


Read it and I'm sure you'll find at least a couple of things you'll want to immediately experiment with to make your startup product better. 

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Oliver Durrer's curator insight, October 21, 4:26 PM

Comprehensive and actionable. A great guideline.

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How the AppStore model made WhatsApp's valuation possible

How the AppStore model made WhatsApp's valuation possible | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it

From zero to $19B of business value in five years; WhatsApp's sale to Facebook is an important moment in the history of the consumer web. The deal proves distribution, reach and large user bases aren't the competitive moats they once were. Apple's App Store and Google Play have leveled the playing field to such an extent that a startup can command 10% of the market cap from a $200B company.

Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Interesting point of view of Tomasz Tunguz on what the AppStore model had to do in WhatsApp's massive valuation.


I'm not sure I agree with everything he writes though. Yes, the AppStore is very competitive and the old tricks don't work there. Yes, increased competitions and a short-tail distribution means higher outcomes and rewards for those who make it. But I'm not sure the model is that virtuous:


- first, I'm not sure it favors innovation that much: web sites are optimized on a daily basis (or actually often multiple changes per day) while Apps need to go through approval processes and tests, etc...


- second, as Andrew Chen pointed out, this hit or miss market the AppStore is means that mobile startups are failing without a second chance to iterate and come out with the right product. 

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Guillaume Decugis's curator insight, February 24, 9:52 PM

Interesting point of view of Tomasz Tunguz on what the AppStore model had to do in WhatsApp's massive valuation.


I'm not sure I agree with everything he writes though. Yes, the AppStore is very competitive and the old tricks don't work there. Yes, increased competitions and a short-tail distribution means higher outcomes and rewards for those who make it. But I'm not sure the model is that virtuous:


- first, I'm not sure it favors innovation that much: web sites are optimized on a daily basis (or actually often multiple changes per day) while Apps need to go through approval processes and tests, etc...


- second, as Andrew Chen pointed out, this hit or miss market the AppStore is means that mobile startups are failing without a second chance to iterate and come out with the right product. 

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How to nail your seed round

Primer on raising seed capital for first time and experienced startup founders and employees.

Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Lots of very useful insights in that must-see very detailed slideshare by Steve Schlafman from RRE Ventures.


I wish it described a little more the conditions that a startup need to reach to become interesting for VCs. To build on slides 58-60, I would add:


1. Team: there's little hope in seeing seed VC's with the hope they'll help you complete it.


2. Growth model: traction is cool but mean different things to different people. I'd rather talk about a growth model that explains how the company will grow fast and that is backed by min 8-12 weeks of solid data. 


3. Market ambition: while business plans are mostly useless at seed stage, it's important in my opinion to show there are adressable markets within reach if #2 works well to justify raising from VC's and providing them with a return.

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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, February 4, 4:54 PM

This is a great deck including all the steps of raising seed funding for a startup. It's very detailed, and presented by a venture capitalist. It's the most complete step-by-step guide that you'll find. Of course, guidelines like this are not going to create it for you, but at least, you get some idea of the process and what it involves.



Read more about funding at www.Business-Funding-Insider.com

  • Tools and articles to help get funded
  • Free Listing of your Investment Proposals & Crowdfunding Campaigns
  • Learn what investors are looking for
  • Deal Flow
  • Free Business Plan Template
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What I Learned Building Medium (So Far)

What I Learned Building Medium (So Far) | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it

We’re now eight months into building Medium, having started in earnest in February of this year (...) We haven’t opened up, tried to grow, or, certainly, proven we have product/market fit (...) Still, it’s been educational. Here are some of my observations this time around.

Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Are you guaranteed success when you have unlimited resources and luxuries from being one of the most successful startup founders of these past 10 years? 


No.


These insights are a great answer to all those who think that they key to success is just getting funded or having a track record.

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Why Startups Should Care about Building Community | 500 Startups

Why Startups Should Care about Building Community | 500 Startups | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it

I know, it’s a bold request to ask a startup to focus on anything other than their product and growth. I know, I’m a startup founder myself. I know that time is our most limited resource and that you have to say no to a lot of things in order to maintain your focus, and sanity. So why am I writing a post telling you to focus on community? Because I’ve seen first hand, and in the example of many other startups, the power that community can wield even at the earliest stages of your growth.

Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Excellent post by David Spinks who's the founder of Feast and former community manager of LeWeb. Startups are not just about products - they're about people around them too. If you're not convinced yet, here are 7 good reasons to include community management as part of your early marketing strategy (and yes you need one). 

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Terrence Bristol's curator insight, March 14, 1:22 PM

I think this should apply to any business especially when in early phases of starting.  A community helps you get over those rough spot when your doubts are high and confidence is low.

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4 lessons every VC should know before investing in pivoted startups

4 lessons every VC should know before investing in pivoted startups | Ideas for entrepreneurs | Scoop.it
We all know about the perfect pivot, but what about participating in a "pivot" round?
Guillaume Decugis's insight:

Not all startups or startup teams are meant to pivot. I went through a pivot myself and I found this list of criteria pretty insightful. 

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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, January 18, 4:00 PM

Good advice, makes a lot of sense.

Good read for startups to be aware of this option.

Marshall Van Fleet's curator insight, January 19, 3:12 PM

Good Advice For The Start-up Entrepreneur As Well

Curated by Guillaume Decugis
Co-Founder & CEO @Scoopit. Entrepreneur (Musiwave, Goojet). Skier. Gamer. Blogging without blogging here: http://scoop.it/u/gdecugis

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Reach Escape Velocity through Lean Content Marketing Marketing

Getting Traction Lightning Talk #12 Startup Product Summit San Francisco

Guillaume Decugis's insight:

I've been asked by Cindy Solomon, the founder of the insightful Startup Product Talks to talk about the difficult relationship between product building, marketing and getting traction. I've often found a lot of people were confused about the following questions:


- how do I launch a product to make an impact?


- should I advertise? 


- should startup not do any marketing?


There are myths around these questions, particularly in Silicon Valley which is still a very engineering-driven culture ("build it and they will come"). But while advertising can be crack for startups, marketing is a must-have as I'm glad prominent SV figures like Marc Andreesen clearly states. 


So what type of marketing then? Well, among other things like product marketing, community management, user support which are all essential, I wanted to take the opportunity to introduce the new concept of Lean Content, an approach to content marketing that we've started to discuss during our meetup groups since the end of last year. I believe startups can efficiently build their brands through content and here are some examples showing how.

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