Tags: entrepreneurship

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

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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!


Jan 9, 2013 #ENT101
Lived It Lecture

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

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.

/ 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

New vision

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


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!

listen and develop product

Vancouver: Happier?


Visual book review: The Art of Pricing: How to Find the Hidden Profits to Grow Your Business–Rafi Mohammed

| visual-book-notes

Setting a price for products and services seems like a black art. The Art of Pricing covers strategies that you can use to come up with differentiated prices, versioned products, or segment-based approaches.

Click on the image for a larger version of the sketchnote.

20121229 The Art of Pricing

The Art of Pricing has some tips for entrepreneurs who are trying to figure out the right price for their first product or service (see the value decoder on p99). It has more tips for business owners who have established a few profitable offerings and are trying to figure out how to tweak the levers for more profit or expanded markets.

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


Visual book review: Running Lean–Ash Maurya

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If you’re starting a technology business – or other kinds of businesses – you’ll find many tips in Ash Maurya’s book, Running Lean. In particular, he provides step-by-step guides for conducting problem interviews, solution interviews, and MVP interviews, all great ways to validating your business assumptions and make sure you’re on the right track.

Here’s a sketchnote that summarizes the key points from the book. Click on the image to see a larger version.

20121228 Book - Running Lean - Ash Maurya

The business model canvas in Running Lean is released under the Creative Commons Sharealike Licence, so this image is as well. Enjoy!

Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works, Second Edition (O’Reilly). (affiliate link) Copyright 2012 Ash Maurya, 978-1-449-30517-8. Recommended for startup founders and early employees.

If you like this, you might want to check out:


Sketchnotes: #ENT101 Meet the Enterpreneurs: Social Innovation – Izzy Camillieri, IZ Adaptive; Kaela Bree, AussieX; Dessy Daskalav, Greengage Mobile

| sketchnotes

This sketchnote was captured live during the free MaRS Entrepreneurship 101 series (webcast and in-person session every Wednesday). Feel free to share this! You can credit it as (c) 2012 Sacha Chua under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Canada licence. Click on the image for a larger version of the sketchnotes.

20121212 ENT101 Meet the Enterpreneurs - Social Innovation - Izzy Camillieri, IZ Adaptive - Kaela Bree, AussieX - Dessy Daskalav, Greengage Mobile

Check out my other ENT101 sketchnotes, or other sketchnotes and visual book notes!


Dec 12 2012
Izzy Camillieri, Iz Adaptive
Kaela Bree, Aussiex @theaussiex
Dessy Daskalov, Greengage Mobile

Izzy Camillieri, Iz Adaptive

doll dresses -> friends -> models
now: clothing for people with disabilities

There weren’t many options for people out there.
Determination. Also, walk before you run.
coat. aha! seated position
I feel HUMAN again.

My “waitressing” jobs -> reduces stress, enables growth

Working from home
cut-off times
leave as needed

Changing lives

Next opportunities?
Aging population

Don’t lose sight of the goal.
Sometimes experience helps. (oh I see..)
Learn the industry.

pick up the phone
be involved

Kaela Bree, Aussiex @theaussiex

O-ring bracelet -> actress -> working with kids

physical activity for kids, employees
Aussie rules football

Working from home
change clothes/space
try coworking

CASH is king
Understand your finances!

HR is complicated and important.

Partners must be aligned in terms of values. -> get external validation?
due diligence
different strengths

Funding: Data and track record

Think BIG and start small.
ask for help

Contacts: Persistence and determination

user stories
Be grateful for the Journey

School for Social Entrepreneurs

Vision: transform physical education in school
3-5 a day
movement and stillness

Choosing opportunities

ex: 3 months
then evaluate

1. Have a go.
2. Good on ya mate.
3. Have a ripper.

Industry contacts and Board of advisors

Have FUN.
Laugh once in a while.

Dessy Daskalov, Greengage Mobile

sustainability contests -> mobile



Surround yourself with great people and ask for help

Can be safer to raise money and get yourself on a good TRAJECTORY.

Business partners

Choosing opportunities

Pace of change
curious minds

Working from home
pair up (partner or other freelancers)

Don’t wait to be READY. Jump in.

Global vision

Contacts: What can you offer them?

Getting started
Experience and contacts
Network at events


Sketchnotes: Lean Startup Day

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Update: Watch the videos / view the slides!

Sketchnotes from all the talks at Lean Startup Day 2012 (MaRSDD local content in Toronto + livestreamed talks from San Francisco!)

You can view or copy these notes from Dropbox or browse through the gallery below. Feel free to share the images under the Creative Commons Attribution Licence!

What people said:

Interested in Lean Startup? Check out the Lean Startup Conference or my other sketchnotes too. Other notes from around the Web: community notes, Trevor Lohrbeer.

Visual learner? Check out my other sketchnotes and visual book notes!

Event organizer or conference organizer? I’d love to help you help your attendees remember and share key points. Talk to me about sketchnoting your next event!


Sketchnotes: Angel Hack Toronto pitches!

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Sketchnotes from today’s pitch afternoon – 62 2-minute pitches from the different teams in Angel Hack Toronto. Lots of great stuff! Feel free to share these visual summaries under the Creative Commons Attribution License.

20121202 AngelHack 1 20121202 AngelHack 2 20121202 AngelHack 3 20121202 AngelHack 4

See the AngelHack Toronto presentation list for links to short descriptions.

Like this? Check out my other sketchnotes for business- and technology-related visual summaries. Want me to draw for you? Get in touch!


Sketchnotes from #ENT101: Business Model Canvas–Mark Zimmerman

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This talk is part of the free MaRS Entrepreneurship 101 series (webcast and in-person session every Wednesday). Feel free to share this! You can credit it as (c) 2012 Sacha Chua under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Canada licence. Click on the image for a larger version of sketchnotes.

20121128 ENT101 Business Model Canvas - Mark Zimmerman

Check out my other ENT101 sketchnotes, or other sketchnotes and visual book notes!

Text for searching:

MaRS ENTREPRENEURSHIP 101. NOV 29, 2012 : # ENT101

Not a static business plan
Learn – Idea – Build – Code – Measure – Data

Business Model Canvas

1. Who do you serve <- specific, self-referencing

2. What problem do you solve? Value proposition

3. How do people find you? Channels

4. What types of relationships do you have w/customers?

5. How do you get paid ? Revenue streams

6. What things do you do? Key activities

7. What resources do you need? key resources

8. What else do you need? key partners

9. What does it cost to operate this model? –> key levers, not all costs; Cost structure

Single-serve coffee cups
1970 invented
1976 patented
1986 launched
1988 … flopped

machine from coffee

Was wildly successful

Made Sold Sales Training Coffee Sales
3rd parties Independent retail Nespresso Direct to consumer

30% compound annual growth rate! –> 20 billion capsules!

Business idea

Read the Lean Startup: Innovation accounting

Great way to communicate with your team, too. Whiteboard!
Take pictures!
What did we do before? Colour-coded Post-its

Draw this & test your assumptions,
box by box
falsifiable hypothesis


Coffee machine makers
brand patents factories
Marketing production logistics (NEW)

Restaurant quality espresso at home

Retail Nespresso call centre boutiques

High end households

Distribution and sales

Capsule sales
hardware sales

Fit your value proposition on a Post-It
Whiteboard + Post-Its = awesome

Great for talking to other people
(potential team members, cofounders, staff)

When you’ve got it mostly figured out, make it visual!
but don’t let pretty pictures
stop you from changing it!

Books to Read
Business Model Generation (& lean startup)
Running Lean

Q: Business plan vs model?
A: Depending on investor. Concise summary / outline in business model canvas + spreadsheets, plan.
Q: Shortcomings?
A: Lean canvas may be better for some. Defensibility not particularly called out in the canvas
Q: Nespresso pivoting?
A: Customer research, etc.
Q: Very general?
A: Most startups aren’t killed by competition –> usually other reasons. Try making for competitors too?
Q: Evaluation tips?
A: Validate each of the boxes. Canvas can’t tell you if something is a good idea or not
Q: Updating?
A: Be objective about what you put on the business model canvas. change after experiments
Q: Reminder why you’re doing this value?
A: Yes, that’s part of it! Jolts you out of =(