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.
Here’s the video:
Find more details on MaRS Discovery District’s blog. Check out my other ENT101 sketchnotes, or other sketchnotes and visual book notes!
MaRS ENTREPRENEURSHIP 101
Jan 9, 2013 #ENT101
Lived It Lecture
KUNAL GUPTA, POLAR MOBILE
Focusing less on entrepreneurship and more on the ENTREPRENEUR
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
Why would anyone use this?
Where are the ads?
How do we get content in?
Q: Finding talent?
A: Referrals, events
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!
We launched 6 months before the App store
Went after US market in between exams
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
I was so stubborn I insisted on having Sports Illustrated as
part of the deal
What we thought this would take
What it took
Hire for aptitude and attitude, train for skills
What should we do?
You know more about this than I do
Alignment is important but hard
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
Guarantee: You’ll make more mistakes than your team. Get over
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!
listen and develop product
REMEMBER: HAVE FUN!