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Curated by Marc Kneepkens
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How we grew our startup to an early revenue stage

How we grew our startup to an early revenue stage | Pitch it! | Scoop.it


If you are a very early stage entrepreneur, then the next 10 minutes reading this post will probably save you weeks of time that you plan to invest in customer acquisition and UI optimization strategies.

Like you, we started out with just a vision in our heads and little experience in running a SaaS business. Most of the time we had little clue of what we needed to do to convert traffic into leads and leads into customers. We got some great ideas from experts in the field, but the amount of knowledge on Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) can be overwhelming sometimes, especially for early stage startups.

So we did what we like to call as ‘experiments’ on CRO rather than have ‘strategies’. Some of these experiments have worked brilliantly for us and well, some have failed miserably. So we are sharing our learnings with fellow entrepreneurs who are starting out. The idea is to share our experience with young entrepreneurs just like us and to convey the message that it is a good practice to go with your gut instinct and experiment with options. Read more: click image or title.




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

The process of growing a client base analyzed in detail and broken up in many steps. Indeed, you'll save a lot of time checking this out before starting your own.

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Michel Morvan's curator insight, May 14, 2015 4:22 PM

Very simple, concrete and useful tips that the author has tested with his own business...

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Incubated: How The 500 Startups Accelerator Helps Startups Get Noticed | TechCrunch

Incubated: How The 500 Startups Accelerator Helps Startups Get Noticed  | TechCrunch | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

It's only been around a short three years, but the 500 Startups Accelerator has already cemented its spot as one of the top programs for founders who are  looking to improve their products and reach new users. Now graduating more than 100 new companies per year, the program has historically done a great job of including international startups.

500 Startups runs four accelerator classes each year, running a 12-week program of about 30 companies in each batch. The program operates as an incubator in which startups all work together within the same office space, with access to staff and mentors to help them grow their business.

The accelerator is particularly strong in helping startups to understand their internal metrics and distribution, helping them to market their products and services more efficiently. And it’s got a strong background in helping companies about design and improving their product.

It’s also been great for international companies, many of which get their first exposure to what it’s like to operate in Silicon Valley. The program helps them to understand their audience from a global perspective, and helps them to figure out the best way to reach users around the world.

To find out more, check out the video above (link below), where I talk to partners, mentors, and some founders who have been through the program.


http://techcrunch.com/2014/07/30/incubated-500-startups/




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

First of a series of videos on incubators.

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Early Stage Valuation - Mark S. Newton

Early Stage Valuation - Mark S. Newton | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Early stage valuation is a critical step for startups. 

Early stage investors care about the market and the team.

There’s really not a lot else to go on (e.g., traction, metrics, business model, LTV, user acquisition costs, etc.) at an early stage. You can talk until you are blue in the face about how defensible the technology that you and another guy hacked together over a weekend is, but no one cares. If you can build it in a weekend, so can someone else. Save your breath and the investor’s time.

To read the full article, click on the image or title.



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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

There you have it! It's not the big idea, it's 'Execution'.

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Startup Metrics, a love story. All slides of an 6h Lean Analytics w...

Everything you need to know about Startup Product Metrics. This is a slideshare exclusive. The full 8hour workshop deck. #iCatapult Workshop - 2013-08-12 ...

Slideshare presentation.152 slides.

Click on title or image to see the full presentation.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km


Via Cédric Giorgi
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Complete, thorough, everything you ever wanted to know about 'metrics'.

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Cédric Giorgi's curator insight, March 16, 2014 5:18 AM

Definitely a must read and worth keeping not far as it is valuable for any kind of situation in the startup life. 

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Charting A Path From Seed To A Competitive Series A Round

Charting A Path From Seed To A Competitive Series A Round | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Over the past five years, there has been roughly $3 billion of capital invested in nearly 3,500 seed-stage companies, with the number of seed investments rising every year. According to CB Insights, 2014 saw the largest year of seed investing since 2009, with a record $1.3 billion of capital invested in almost 1,000 seed companies. Many of these seed founders have high hopes of raising the subsequent up rounds that can lead to a defining moment for their team, investors and advisers: an attractive acquisition or an IPO.

The reality is that raising seed capital is only the beginning of a long and sometimes turbulent journey of startup experimentation, and only a small percentage of seed companies will emerge from the gulf of experimentation to reach a Series A round....


...

Companies that reach highly competitive Series A rounds typically have systematically reduced their company’s product, market and execution risk during the seed stage. The founders of these companies use their seed capital to efficiently orchestrate a process-oriented set of experiments that culminate in evidence of product-market fit.

From a product perspective, their product teams are characterized by product, technical, and/or domain experts who can build compelling products that address concrete market needs. These teams study the engagement of their users/customers, and discover how users/customers are interacting with their products and the value customers are deriving. These companies have multi-talented, growing, and disciplined product teams that sometimes execute against a product roadmap that has feedback loops to help inform product development.

Read more: click image or title.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

Great info. Loving your business plan template, makes writing a plan almost fun.


Craig Heppell
Nambour, Queensland

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Must read article for every founder who is serious about building a great business and wants/needs to think beyond the seed funding stage.

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Marianne Naughton's curator insight, May 20, 2015 12:40 PM

Developing seed techs ... 

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How to Ruin Your Company with One Bad Process

How to Ruin Your Company with One Bad Process | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Marc Kneepkens's insight:
Here's The Number One Mistake That Kills Startups, According To Ben Horowitz

"I am a giant advocate for technical founders running their own companies, but one consistent way that technical founders deeply harm their businesses is by screwing up the budgeting process. Yes, the budgeting process. How ridiculous is that? How does it happen and why is it particularly problematic for engineers?

I'll begin by describing how I screwed it up in my company. Our sales were growing so fast that the biggest problem that we faced was that we literally could not handle all the customers that wanted to sign up for Loudcloud. To combat this and enable us to grow, I worked diligently with my team to plan all the activities that we needed to accomplish to expand our capacity and capture the market before the competition. Next, I assigned sub-goals and activities to each functional head. In conjunction with my leadership team, I made sure that each goal was measurable and supported by paired metrics as well as lagging and leading indicators. I then told the team to figure out what it would take to accomplish those goals and return with their requirements for headcount and program dollars. Finally, I made adjustments to their requests based on industry benchmarks (mostly reductions) to get to a plan that I thought made sense.

Here’s the basic process:"

To read the full article, click on the title or image.




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Viral Growth and Analytics: What does a growth hacker do on a day to day basis? - Quora

This is a great Quora question with a bunch of really cool answers.


A growth hacker's job is to find a scaleable, repeatable way to grow a metric - be it signups, invites, or a certain action (eg - endorsements on LinkedIn). To that end, she looks at the data, finds a baseline and does whatever she can to increase a the desired variable. In order to do this, growth hackers come up with hypotheses and test their hypotheses out.


To read the full text, click on the title.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km




Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great information from some expert people. Some of the answers are very detailed.

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Actionable Metrics - Say Hello to Cohort Analysis

Actionable Metrics - Say Hello to Cohort Analysis | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

First, what is an actionable metric?

An actionable metric is one that ties specific and repeatable actions to observed results.

The opposite of actionable metrics are vanity metrics (like web hits or number of downloads) which only serve to document the current state of the product but offer no insight into how we got here or what to do next.

In my last post, I highlighted the importance of thinking in terms of Pivots versus Optimizations before product/market fit.

Pivots are characterized by maximizing learning while Optimizations are characterized by maximizing efficiency.

This distinction carries over to metrics too. As we’ll see some metrics matter more than others depending on the stage of the company but more importantly, it’s how these metrics are measured that make them actionable versus not. I’ll share my 3 rules to actionable metrics, derived from Lean Startup principles, and specifically focus on what metrics I measure and how I measure them.

To read the full article, click on the title.


Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Good practical metrics are necessary when building a product/service for a startup, or a company launching a new product. This is good information.

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