Sketchnote: ENT101 Lived It Lecture–Kunal Gupta, Polar Mobile

Update Jan 17, 2013: Added video!

I sketchnoted this live at the free MaRS Entrepreneurship 101 series (webcast and in-person session every Wednesday). Click on the image for a larger version of sketchnotes.

20130109 ENT101 Lived It Lecture - Kunal Gupta, Polar Mobile

Feel free to share this! You can credit it as (c) 2012 Sacha Chua under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Canada licence.

Here’s the video:

Lived it Lecture with Kunal Gupta of Polar Mobile ― Entrepreneurship 101 2012/13 from MaRS Discovery District on Vimeo.

Find more details on MaRS Discovery District’s blog. Check out my other ENT101 sketchnotes, or other sketchnotes and visual book notes!

Text:

MaRS ENTREPRENEURSHIP 101
Jan 9, 2013 #ENT101
Lived It Lecture
KUNAL GUPTA, POLAR MOBILE

Focusing less on entrepreneurship and more on the ENTREPRENEUR

Our story:
While we were studying at Waterloo: iPhone App store, still

one year away
Inspired by mobile experience in Hong Kong: Watching TV!

The great thing about Co-op was that I learned I don’t want to

work for anybody. So we started a company!

Nobody knew what apps were. (Huh?)

Prototype of magazine on Blackberry

meeting:
Why would anyone use this?
Where are the ads?
How do we get content in?

Q: Finding talent?
A: Referrals, events
Q: Pricing?
A: Listen. “How would you like to pay for this? -> Model neg.

Go out there and talk to customers
even big companies!

Nobody knew what I was talking about! (What’s an app?)

We’ll think about it. (3-6 months..)

We could’ve given up. We didn’t.

10 weeks, 9 phone calls… BUSINESS!

Professional persistence!

We launched 6 months before the App store
Went after US market in between exams

Q: Negotiation
A: Put off pricing -> validate problem first
Early days – no one expects you to have a rate card. As a

supplier, you want to use your own agreements eventually.
Q: Explaining ideas to people who pass it on
A: 1. Keep it simple. 2. Ask if they understand 3. Don’t need

to sell in first meeting.
Q: Small startup e-mailing/selling big companies.
A: Short, links at bottom. Put yourself in their shoes. Would

I reply to this?

We graduated and went full-time.

There’s so much noise about the difficulty of getting FUNDING.

THE REAL CHALLENGE
/ Is there a proven market?
/ Do you have a product or service of value? Can it SCALE?
/ Do you have the TEAM you need?

Singapore is an AMAZING country. They always shoot for gold.

Learn from lots of places around the world.

Q: Future of mobile?
A: Amount of consumption -> 30% of traffic now mobile, will

cross 50%.. mobile-first. Changing the way people interact.

Manufacturers – what are people buying? Investments? Growth?
Q: Deciding between do and delegate?
A: What’s the most important thing for your business at this

time? That guides your time.
Q: Managing cofounders
A: Transparency -> trust. Expectations, concerns. Alignment.

How did we get Time Warner?
E-mailed the president!

What’s a little Canadian company doing in New York?
Blackberry -> made in Canada

9 months to get to a deal
rollercoaster

I was so stubborn I insisted on having Sports Illustrated as

part of the deal

What we thought this would take

What it took

TEAM:
Hire for aptitude and attitude, train for skills
What should we do?
You know more about this than I do
Oh!

Alignment is important but hard

New vision

Ex: BANANAS
People become more similar…

When you’re starting out, you need to keep REALIGNING

Chief Everything Officer } It’s not the right thing to do! You

can’t scale

Guarantee: You’ll make more mistakes than your team. Get over

yourself.

Your body
barometer for business: stressed? focused?
Hey, is everything all right? You seem a little off.

Should I finish school?
Yes. Learn how to do things you don’t want to do.

You have to learn how to make tough decisions.

Toronto: Great place to start!

customers
talent
listen and develop product

Vancouver: Happier?
REMEMBER: HAVE FUN!

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