Monday, May 10, 2010

How to build a successful software company: vision, pivot, team harmony, tight feedback loop.

“A startup is a human institution designed to deliver a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty.” (Eric Ries

Most Internet consumer startps fail! (over 95% of them :( ) Imagine the process: get an idea, passionately find co-founders and recruit a team, start building a product, start engaging with customers, build business plan, financial reports, establish a company, bootstrap your way, somehow financial getting by while keep on passionately believe in the vision and pump it up to the team, pivot all the time from the original plan believe in your to gut feeling and team feedback's... then raise seed funding, then maybe round A and then FAIL :( ... like most startups... include 2 great success stories, videos and more more...

We need a lot of successful startups, we need more investments in the Internet consumer sector, so how can we try to fail less and succeed more? Check the movie below by Eric Ries and the study case of Xobni.  They way i see it:
1. helping one another, even if its a potential competitor - his success is your success!
2. build the right echo system of founders who can balance one another, and drive the sheep towards its lighthouse... (Inspired by Yaron Galai lighthouse methphore)
3. Pivot / Mind flexibility- and the maturity to make the right decisions (hard ones) if its fit with the team and product and customer echo system.
4. Tight feedback loop with users and customers - build what they want and need, solve them a real pain. as Venture hacks say (page 16 on pitching hacks by venturehacks): "The product doesn't need to be great; it just has to basically work.  And, the market doesn't care how good the team is, as long as the team can produce that viable product. Customers are knocking down your door to get the product; the main goal is to actually answer the phone and respond to all the e-mails from people who want to buy."

Check this Lessons Learned movie by Eric Ries:

I often use the ship heading to its direction as a metaphor (Inspired by Yaron Galai lighthouse methphore): A team of people on a ship heading to a lighthouse far far away, one that is not seen. the team navigate with the stars alone, in the ship there are different people with different abilities and different responsibilities, working in Harmony to get the ship running towards the right direction. There are a lot of unexpected challenges, underline currents, storms, clouds and wind, but the ship keep on sailing forward, pivot from time to time till it reach its destiny, a lighthouse that was there all along, waiting for a ship to arrive :)

Case study: Xobni "The 5 stages of Xobni's growth; 5 pivots along the way":


Mike said...

Good post, man.
I enjoyed Xobni's presentation. It's always interesting to read stories of startups. They are never alike.

SharelOmer said...

Thank you my friend, we can and should learn from other people experiences :)