Posted by austin under Entrepreneurs
Last month while in the Valley for the Game Developers Conference I dropped in to attend Dave McClure’s Startup2Startup dinner. It’s a great gathering of entrepreneurs and investors. Dave brings in a speaker each month to help share expertise among the attending startups.
Steve is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of dot.com success story E.piphany. His book, 4 Steps to Epiphany - Successfull Strategies for Products that Win on Customer Development & Product Strategies is a great resource for anyone thinking about building successful products.
Eric Reis is also a serial entrepreneur and the advocate of the lean startup model. Eric’s blog Startup Lessons Learned should be required reading for any entrepreneur (and frankly at all Engineering & computer science Universities who in Canada do a piss poor job of teaching our graduates anything about building successful products).
Here is the talk from last evening.
Dave continues to be a mitzva machine (Mr. Karma generator) by sharing all the Startup2Startup videos online & broadcasting the event publicly. (Not the first from Dave, which also includes Startonomics, Pirate Metrics for Startups).
I’ve learned a lot from watching Dave. In speaking with him recently, I’m going to be copying some of his examples for events & initiatives we do to support the Canadian entrepreneurial technology scene.
One of the reasons I am a firm believer that it is one of the best times to be an entrepreneur is the incredible amount of freely accessible learning tools at our disposal. When I started my career as an entrepeneur (very early in life) I had to go to the public library to find articles in Byte Magazine that gave me any insight into the early stories of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mitch Kapor and how they started their companies.
There was no attention by the regular business press, no Internet to search, no podcasts, online video or Slideshare to get good information.
It wasn’t until after my first few failures and one success in 1996 that I began to see books written about the experiences of technology entrepreneurs with stories about raising venture capital and the way different companies organized things like product marketing, product management. (Jerry Kaplan’s Startup a Silicon Valley Story was one of the first books of this type).
Any aspiring entrepreneur now has the world of rescources, learning, advisors, blogs and rich information on every aspect of building a company waiting on the other side of the browser. If you have a computer, broadband and an iPod you can literally earn an MBA in startup history, theory & take advantage of more then a billion dollars of mistakes & lessons paid for by other entrepreneurs who are now willing to share what they learned. There is no replacement for hands on experience but most of the entrepreneurs I coach run into the same problems and the answers to how to avoid them are often already out there.
For those interested, Eric Reis is doing an O’Reilly Webcast on How to Build a Lean Startup - A Step by Step Guide Philosophy at 1pm EST today (May 1, 2009). It’s a free webcast, but requires pre-registration.