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How to think like a startup
Loic Le Meur
How do startup
entrepreneurs
find ideas?
“In the beginner’s mind there are many
possibilities, but in the expert’s mind
there are few”
- Shunryu Suzuki
Meditation and mindfulness is popular in
Silicon Valley and now in Davos
Provide benefit to the customer - anything else
is a waste
Learning to see waste and then systematically
eliminate it
“I am still learning.”
- Michelangelo, at age 87
Airbnb started because of a shortage of hotel rooms in San Francisco
Uber started because of a shortage of cabs in Paris
Ryan Hoover,
Product Hunt
Started just from an email list
Gathered a small community of
people addicted to new
products
Naval Ravikant,
Angel List
Weekly email of curated angel
investors
Craig Newmark,
Craigslist
Request and Gives from Craig’s
friends
Jamie Siminoff,
Ring
Tried 3 different ideas in his garage
Struggled to find initial funding
Now approaching 1,000 employe...
The Ring founding story
Create an environment for creativity - Further future
Create an environment for creativity
Create an environment for creativity
Create an environment for creativity
Create an environment for creativity
Millennials don’t
want to own
anything and care
about improving
the world
Improve the world
“I just wanted
more electric cars
on the road”
- Elon Musk
“Make the world better”
“All business
should make the
world better”
- Leila Janah
LXMI
They don’t care about copying
...and making it better
Instagram stories
and Snapchat
stories
Snap's Spectacles are the beginning of
camera-first future
SV entrepreneurs surround themselves with
investors who provide more than $
Teams are remote, own the business and
don’t feel like employees
Mix of highly experimented professionals and very creativ...
SV entrepreneurs
launch their
product really
fast
"If you're not
embarrassed by
the first version
of your product,
you’ve launched
too late"
- Reid Hoffman
Entrepreneurs iterate quickly
Entrepreneurs
break the rules
Travis Kalanick and Uber got sued
non stop but kept going
Uber and Airbnb were illegal from
...
Entrepreneurs make everything transparent
Even your own company is rated
Entrepreneurs acknowledge issues and respond quickly
Elon Musk turns a tweet into a company wide change in 6 days
Elon Musk turns a tweet into a company wide change in 6 days
#1 Advantage
of a start up...
Speed
“We’re going in
full throttle. That
ought to keep
those fighters off
our back.”
- Luke Skywalker
Speed is the #1 competitive weapon
Rapid product beats competition
Rapid results builds team morale which leads to more su...
Always keep
momentum.
- Henry Ford
The competitor to be
feared is one who
never bothers about
you at all, but goes on
making his own
business be...
Set the time, not the output
What product can I build in:
3 months? (Directhit, Xfire)
8 days? (Hot or Not)
30 days? (Jiff...
Twitter’s MVP
Linkedin’s MVP
Facebook’s MVP
Google’s MVP
How startups win
No QA
No Usability Studies
No Focus Groups
No Politics
No Endless Debates
No Board of Directors
No Bus De...
“At Google X, we
embrace failure.”
- Astro Teller
Most Startups Fail
Entrepreneurs fail fast
And pivot
Startups ranked by number of years from founding to $1 billion valuation
Flickr should have built Instagram but they
did not move fast enough
Entrepreneurs work with an ecosystem of
developers
Twitter decided developers weren’t so
important anymore
Entrepreneurs
Embrace wikipedia
style volunteer
collaboration
Slush and their 2,200 volunteers
Entrepreneurs
challenge the
current players by
re-inventing the
model
Metromile charges insurance
protection per mile
Entrepreneurs
constantly reinvent
their business
Uber selling data
Tesla next?
Thanks!
Loic Le Meur
More on my newsletter at
leade.rs/loicnewsletter
facebook.com/loic
twitter.com/loic
loic@leade.rs
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How to think like a startup

  1. How to think like a startup Loic Le Meur
  2. How do startup entrepreneurs find ideas?
  3. “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few” - Shunryu Suzuki
  4. Meditation and mindfulness is popular in Silicon Valley and now in Davos
  5. Provide benefit to the customer - anything else is a waste Learning to see waste and then systematically eliminate it
  6. “I am still learning.” - Michelangelo, at age 87
  7. Airbnb started because of a shortage of hotel rooms in San Francisco
  8. Uber started because of a shortage of cabs in Paris
  9. Ryan Hoover, Product Hunt Started just from an email list Gathered a small community of people addicted to new products
  10. Naval Ravikant, Angel List Weekly email of curated angel investors
  11. Craig Newmark, Craigslist Request and Gives from Craig’s friends
  12. Jamie Siminoff, Ring Tried 3 different ideas in his garage Struggled to find initial funding Now approaching 1,000 employees
  13. The Ring founding story
  14. Create an environment for creativity - Further future
  15. Create an environment for creativity
  16. Create an environment for creativity
  17. Create an environment for creativity
  18. Create an environment for creativity
  19. Millennials don’t want to own anything and care about improving the world
  20. Improve the world “I just wanted more electric cars on the road” - Elon Musk
  21. “Make the world better” “All business should make the world better” - Leila Janah LXMI
  22. They don’t care about copying ...and making it better
  23. Instagram stories and Snapchat stories
  24. Snap's Spectacles are the beginning of camera-first future
  25. SV entrepreneurs surround themselves with investors who provide more than $
  26. Teams are remote, own the business and don’t feel like employees Mix of highly experimented professionals and very creative millennials Matthew Mansfield Dami Dina Kevin Wolf Jean-Jacques Borie “We’re too slow and too old in this company”
  27. SV entrepreneurs launch their product really fast
  28. "If you're not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late" - Reid Hoffman
  29. Entrepreneurs iterate quickly
  30. Entrepreneurs break the rules Travis Kalanick and Uber got sued non stop but kept going Uber and Airbnb were illegal from day one in many places but kept operating
  31. Entrepreneurs make everything transparent
  32. Even your own company is rated
  33. Entrepreneurs acknowledge issues and respond quickly
  34. Elon Musk turns a tweet into a company wide change in 6 days
  35. Elon Musk turns a tweet into a company wide change in 6 days
  36. #1 Advantage of a start up... Speed
  37. “We’re going in full throttle. That ought to keep those fighters off our back.” - Luke Skywalker
  38. Speed is the #1 competitive weapon Rapid product beats competition Rapid results builds team morale which leads to more success Rapid results generate more interest Rapid results increases valuation (NFX Guild)
  39. Always keep momentum.
  40. - Henry Ford The competitor to be feared is one who never bothers about you at all, but goes on making his own business better all the time.
  41. Set the time, not the output What product can I build in: 3 months? (Directhit, Xfire) 8 days? (Hot or Not) 30 days? (Jiff) 1 month? (Meerkat) (NFX Guild)
  42. Twitter’s MVP
  43. Linkedin’s MVP
  44. Facebook’s MVP
  45. Google’s MVP
  46. How startups win No QA No Usability Studies No Focus Groups No Politics No Endless Debates No Board of Directors No Bus Dev Deals No PR No Marketing Spend No Budgeting Process (NFX Guild)
  47. “At Google X, we embrace failure.” - Astro Teller
  48. Most Startups Fail
  49. Entrepreneurs fail fast
  50. And pivot
  51. Startups ranked by number of years from founding to $1 billion valuation
  52. Flickr should have built Instagram but they did not move fast enough
  53. Entrepreneurs work with an ecosystem of developers
  54. Twitter decided developers weren’t so important anymore
  55. Entrepreneurs Embrace wikipedia style volunteer collaboration Slush and their 2,200 volunteers
  56. Entrepreneurs challenge the current players by re-inventing the model Metromile charges insurance protection per mile
  57. Entrepreneurs constantly reinvent their business Uber selling data Tesla next?
  58. Thanks! Loic Le Meur More on my newsletter at leade.rs/loicnewsletter facebook.com/loic twitter.com/loic loic@leade.rs
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