Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Agile Entrepreneurs do it by Osmosis

Entrepreneurs learn best by Osmosis

We need role models we can emulate.
Entrepreneurs we can relate to in Scale, Time, and Context.

Scale

We need people who have succeeded at what we're attempting, but not to such an extent that there's a daunting chasm between us.

It's easier to see how we can emulate the success of a peer than that of Steve Jobs.

Time

The success has to be recent for it to be relevant. - because everything changes: technology, market, consumers, investors, the economy.

Many of my advisors who were successful entrepreneurs over a decade ago are now relearning these lessons themselves, - the hard way, while pursuing their next startups.

Context

If the success is derived from a context foreign to us, it's hard to see how we can emulate that.

Factors contributing to success are often either downplayed or exaggerated, for effect. You need to know the story behind the story.

Don't get me wrong- I'm sure some of you will figure out the right lessons to learn at the right time, and eventually succeed.

But for many of us, it's really about the hard grind - day to day, week to week, month after month, for years together. Before you know, it's been 2 years since you started - with not much to show for it.

Persistence is good, but it means nothing if you're not making reasonable progress. I speak from the experience of spending a decade amongst bootstrapping entrepreneurs in the Silicon Valley:

And that's why Agile Entrepreneurs was created - to help entrepreneurs learn from each other. Osmosis formalizes & facilitates this learning process in a structured way.

Each week
  1. We pick a Topic that's narrowly scoped
  2. Invite a Role Model (AE member or outside entrepreneur) to speak
  3. Entrepreneur shares their experience
  4. We discuss the relevance of their experience to our situation
This last part is what makes Osmosis - and Agile Entrepreneurs - really stand out as an effective tool to minimize the risk of failure and increase the probability of your success.

Sample Topics:
  • Selling your company
  • Getting a Co-Founder
  • Product Management - Going from Requirements to Launch
  • User Acquisition
  • User Growth
  • Monetizing your users
  • Getting your first reference customer
  • Getting money out of closing your first major customer deal
  • Managing cash flow - staying positive
  • Marketing - SEO
  • .. the list is endless

1 comment:

Is the world upside down?

Is the world upside down?
It's a topsy-turvy world out there!