Reflections on Startup Conference 2014 in Redwood City

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Community of Practice, Events, Rules of Thumb

“Not everyone who is worth knowing is famous.
Not everyone who is famous is worth knowing.
You meet your community of practice,
those who can help you see the adjacent possible,
in line waiting for the famous.”
Sean Murphy (inspired by Elia Freedman’s “Accidental Meetings“)

The conversations I had with individual entrepreneurs were the best part people of the Startup Conference 2014. 2,000 entrepreneurs, VCs, and met in Redwood City on, May 14, 2014. I talked to a number of folks and had several conversations that were far better than any of the presentations I sat through.

I came away with a couple of thoughts on networking.

  • Focus first on understanding the other person’s situation and what they are trying to accomplish. This enables you to share useful and directly relevant information and to ask for insight and assistance that they are more likely to be able to offer.
  • Trust develops over time: smiling helps, listening closely can require effort in a crowd but by giving someone your clear attention you encourage them to have a serious conversation.
  • Make a note to jog your memory of the conversation. I often use either a their business card or a 3×5 card, use your smartphone or tablet if that’s easier.
  • You can only make connections if you first listen carefully and understand their story.
  • If you meet someone at an event don’t skip talking to them if you have the opportunity. Serendipity is always at work but is only possible if you make the effort to have a conversation. It’s hard to predict where things will lead.
  • If you intend to talk to a speaker rehearse what you want to say and get to the point in 15-20 seconds. Exchange cards if you want to follow up. Especially if there is a line get to the point and limit yourself to 30-60 seconds. If a minute leaves you with the strong impression that they would like to talk more go back to the end of the line and let others have a chance to talk briefly before engaging in an extended conversation.

“All great work is preparing yourself for the accident to happen.”
Sidney Lumet

What is Lean? Lean Innovation 101 on May 27, 2014

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Customer Development, Events

Linked-CXO-Forum-LinkedInSean Murphy is honored to speak at Linked CXO Forum on Tuesday, May 27th, 2014 at Haworth Showroom in San Francisco, California. Linked CXO provides networking for senior executives – “Bosses Need Professional Development, Too.”

“Lean” provides a scientific approach for creating a product and developing new businesses. Teams can build products or services to meet the needs of early customers by adopting a combination of customer development, business-hypothesis-driven experimentation and iterative product releases.

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

11:30am-1:30pm, San Francisco, California

RSVP is required.  SIGNUPbutton

 

Key Takeaways:

  •     Why more and more companies are using Lean
  •     What is Lean; What it is Not
  •     Rules of thumb for successful lean innovation

Key concepts:

  •     Get out of your BatCave
  •     Use an initial product (MVP) as a probe to explore the market
  •     Build-measure-learn
  •     When and how to pivot

Speaker: Sean Murphy, CEO of SKMurphy, Inc., offers customer development services for technology entrepreneurs. SKMurphy’s focus is on early customers and early revenue for startups. Sean is an early and active member of the Lean Startup group and has been a workshop presenter and mentor at Lean Startup Conferences. SKMurphy’s clients have offerings in electronic design automation, artificial intelligence, web-enabled collaboration, proteomics, text analytics, legal services automation, and medical services workflow. Sean holds a BS in Mathematical Sciences and an MS in Engineering-Economic Systems (Management Science) from Stanford University.

Mentor at B2B Startup Weekend

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Events, Silicon Valley, Startups, Workshop

Startup Weekend logoCome share ideas, form teams, and launch startups. … Come join us for weekend-long, hands-on experience where you will learn what it takes to launch a startup, meet others with the same shared passion for entrepreneurship, and maybe even create a new business! Sean Murphy is excited to be a mentor at the event.

June 6-8 in San Francisco, CA

 LEARN MORE IMAGE

Use promo code SFB2B10

During this Startup Weekend, entrepreneurs will be empowered to pitch, build teams and transform their B2B based ideas into Minimum Viable Products (MVPs).


Update Sat-May-17 from Sean Murphy: I am grateful to Scott Sambucci of SalesQualia for recommending me as a mentor and glad that I was able to suggest that Emily Tucker of TaroWorks and Liz Fraley of Single Sourcing Solutions take part as mentors.

Tristan Kromer’s May Workshops Promise To Help You Reframe Your MVP

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Events, Workshop

Tristan Kromer offers a great workshop on taking your big idea and break it into a series of small steps to test.

Your MVP Sucks! – How to crush your dreams and embrace reality

  • Monday, May 5, 2014 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (PDT)   more info
  • Tuesday, May 20, 2014 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (PDT) more info

You should attend if:

  • Have an understanding of lean but are looking for a deep dive;
  • You do not currently have Product / Market Fit;
  • Keep running experiments but either aren’t making progress or can’t tell if you’re making progress.

 

Recap of “How To Give a Great Demo” at CoFounders Club Wed-Apr-16-2014

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Demos, Events, skmurphy

Do The Last Thing First I had a great time at the Cofounder Club last night. Dea Wilson, founder of  Lifograph and organizer for the Meetup, invited me to talk about “Giving a Killer Demo.”  We had  a lively discussion upstairs at Procopio: starting with some introductions and then short demos by the attendees, then I gave a formal recap of the Great Demo methodology and how to apply it.

The key to a Great Demo is to “Do the Last Thing First” and get to the point immediately about the critical results that your software will deliver to the prospect. This is counter to many entrepreneur’s inclination to build up to a big finish after 15  or 30 minutes or longer.

Introduce / Illustrate / Do It / Peel It Back / Q and A / Summarize But by starting with a illustration of the key deliverable and then demonstrating in as few steps as possible how to achieve this result, you ensure that senior decision makers are still in the room when you get to the “Ta Da!” They can ask questions about other capabilities that they are interested in or start a conversation about how they can get started.

The second most important element of a Great Demo is appropriate preparation and a specific and detailed understanding of your prospect’s situation:

  1. Job Title and Industry: this provides a context for understanding how they are measured, likely objectives, and what examples or illustrations may be relevant.
  2. Critical Business Issue: What is the major problem he/she has?
  3. Reasons: Why is it a problem or what is the problem due to?
  4. Specific Capabilities: What capabilities are needed to address the problem?
  5. Delta: What is the value associated with making the change?
  6. Date: Is there a customer critical date or event that needs to be met?

If you are selling software to businesses, consider attending one of the two Great Demo! workshops we have scheduled in 2014 in San Jose

Register Now May 21&22, 2014 “Great Demo!” San Jose, CA

Register Now October 15&16, 2014 “Great Demo!” San Jose, CA

See also

Silicon Valley Robot Block Party 2014

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Events

Recently, I attended the silicon valley robot block party. Like a mini-makers faire, it was a lot of fun.  Folks were there with business robotics, home robotics, toy and entertainment robotics, and homemade robotic products by hobbyists and students.

Some of the robots showcased.

puzzlebox_orbit_helicoper

source: http://toyology.co.uk and orbit.puzzlebox.info

source: Techykids.com

source: Techykids.com

NASA

NASA

club project

Anki DRIVE

source: Anki.com

Robot Dog

pneubotics robots

source: Otherlabs

Romibo

source: Romibo

SRI Taurus

SRI Taurus

 lawn mover

Early this year, I interviewed the organizer of the event, Andra Keay, about the opportunities and challenges she sees in the robotic community. She is an Managing Director at Silicon Valley Robotics, and  Co Founder at Robot Garden

More coverage of the Silicon Valley Robotic Block Party

 

 

Learn How to Market Your Expertise March 25 in Sunnyvale

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Events, skmurphy

Getting More CustomersWhether you are a software startup or a consultant you have to convince prospects that you have the expertise to solve their problems by what you say, what you write, and what others say about you. This three hour workshop will outline a mix of proven marketing techniques for generating leads for your business. Attendees will select one or two that best fit their style, present them in a roundtable discussion format for refinement, and leave with a ninety-day action plan for incorporating them into their business.

When/Where:  March 25, 2014 9am-12:30pm in Sunnyvale, CA
Cost: $90 includes lunch

Register Now

IEEE CNSV Mastermind 2014

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Consulting Business, Events

Mastermind GroupsWe wanted to let all of you know that IEEE-CNSV has a new benefit for its members. You have a chance to join and participate in a formal Mastermind (Peer Support) Group. This group is much different from our regular meetings. We will meet for a fixed set of four weeks about every other week starting on April 3, 2014. Group members will make a commitment to come to all of these four meetings, and to keep what is discussed in confidence. So, that means the members really get to know each other, and work on what is keeping their businesses from higher levels of success.

All attendees MUST have a CNSV profile (here is information on how to join CNSV). The group size will be limited to 12 attendees, so sign up right away if you to participate.

  • DATES:  Thursdays in April & May — April 3, April 17, May 1 and May 15 of 2014
  • TIME: 4-6pm
  • LOCATION: Hobee’s at 800 W Ahwanee Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94085 (just off Mathilda Ave at 101)
  • COST: Free, but agree to purchase something from the restaurant, so they will reserve this room for us. This set of four meetings would normally cost $200, so this is a real bargain.

REGISTER: http://www.meetup.com/BayAreaMastermind/

WHAT MIGHT BE DISCUSSED IN A MASTERMIND MEETING?

Mastermind meetings allow you do share ideas as to what areas you are considering for the growth of your business, or your business and life balance. You will get feedback from your peers on how to resolve the concerns.

Areas that could be discussed:

  • Business Plans for 2014
  • How to get more business
  • ow to handle the stress of too much business at one time
  • How to get out from under Brokers
  • How to keep up with changing technologies
  • Whatever concerns or challenges you might be having

Video from Lean Innovation 101 Talk at SF Bay ACM Nov-20-2013

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in 1 Idea Stage, 2 Open for Business Stage, 3 Early Customer Stage, 4 Finding your Niche, Events, Lean Startup, skmurphy, Video

The video from my “What is Lean–Lean Innovation 101” talk is up:

Here is the description for the talk

“Lean” provides a scientific approach for creating a product and developing new businesses. Teams can iteratively building products or services to meet the needs of early customers by adopting a combination of customer development, business-hypothesis-driven experimentation and iterative product releases. This talk covers:

  • Why more and more companies are using Lean
  • What is Lean, what it is not
  • Key concepts
  • Get Out Of Your BatCave
  • Use an initial product (MVP) as a probe to explore the market
  • Build-Measure-Learn
  • When and how to pivot
  • Rules of thumb for successful lean innovation

I want to thank Alex Sokolsky for his outstanding effort on behalf of SF Bay ACM doing the video capture and editing.

IEEE-CNSV Panel Explores Engineering in Japan vs Silicon Valley Mon-Mar-3

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in 1 Idea Stage, Events, Silicon Valley, skmurphy

I am helping to moderate a panel 7pm Mon-Mar-3 at IEEE-CNSV on “Innovation: Work and Life of the Engineer in Japan and Silicon Valley” The event takes place at Agilent Technologies, Inc. in the Aristotle Room, Bldg. 5 located at 5301 Stevens Creek Blvd., Santa Clara, CA 95051. There is no charge to attend and the event is open to the public.

The event is organized by Takahide Inoue, the Global Outreach Director for the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society at UC Berkeley.

The panel members are:

  • Takashi Yoshimori, Toshiba Semiconductor
  • Laura Smoliar, Independent Consultant, Signal Lake Venture Capital
  • Tom Coughlin, IEEE Region Six Director-Elect, CNSV member and Independent Consultant
  • Kim Parnell, Past Chair, IEEE Santa Clara Valley Section, CNSV member and Independent Consultant
  • Brian Berg, Past Chair, IEEE Santa Clara Valley Section, CNSV member and Independent Consultant

Here are some of the questions I hope the panel is able to address:

  • What are innovation lessons from Silicon Valley?
  • How does Silicon Valley do so many innovations?
  • What are innovation lessons from Japan?
  • How do Japanese engineers sustain their interest in a topic to achieve mastery instead of moving on to the “new hot thing” or next “bright shiny object?”
  • What makes an innovative culture? What can other areas do to create an innovative culture?
  • In Silicon Valley, we tend to celebrate the individual over the group. For Silicon Valley engineers how do you give back to your  community?
  • The Japanese say that “the nail that sticks up gets hammered down.” For Japanese engineers, how do you disagree constructively with your peers to foster innovation?
  • What advice do you have for engineers for finding an idea that can inspire them to work on for several years before it becomes a reality?
  • How do you see the work of the engineer changing in the next five to ten years?

I hope you can join us tomorrow night. Here are some background material on Silicon Valley’s innovation culture you may find relevant.

Here are five related blog posts about Silicon Valley it’s entrepreneurial culture

Finally Tom Wolfe wrote “The Tinkering’s of Robert Noyce” about the founding and early culture at Fairchild and Intel for Esquire in December of 1983 and updated it for Forbes ASAP fourteen years later as “Robert Noyce and his Congregation.” (Aug-25-1997).


The text of California Historical Marker 836:

PIONEER ELECTRONICS RESEARCH LABORATORY – This is the original site of the laboratory and factory of Federal Telegraph Company, founded in 1909 by Cyril F. Elwell. Here, Dr. Lee de Forest, inventor of the three-element radio vacuum tube, devised the first vacuum tube amplifier and oscillator in 1911-13. Worldwide developments based on this research led to modern radio communication, television, and the electronics age…California Registered Historical Landmark No. 836..Plaque placed by the State Department of Parks and Recreation in cooperation with the City of Palo Alto and the Palo Alto Historical Association, May 2, 1970

Getting More Customers Workshop on March 25, 2014

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in 1 Idea Stage, 2 Open for Business Stage, 3 Early Customer Stage, 4 Finding your Niche, 5 Scaling Up Stage, Events, skmurphy, Workshop

Getting More CustomersLet’s face it, finding customers can be quite a challenge. In this interactive workshop, we will cover a variety of proven marketing techniques for growing your business: attendees will select one or two that fit their style and develop a plan to implement them in their business in the next 90 days.

  • Speaking – small groups, large groups, conferences, …
  • Writing – blogging, newsletters, articles, …
  • What Other People Say About You – referrals, testimonials, case studies, …
  • Getting Found When and Where Prospects are Looking: adwords, Craigslist, trade shows, SEO/SEM, …

March 25, 2014 9am-12:30pm
Sunnyvale, CA
$90 includes lunch

Register Now

“This workshop provided great material to bounce off of. SKMurphy created a fertile space for me to think about my business and plan a concrete step forward. Thank you.” Paul Konasewich, President at Connect Leadership

Semifore Execs Share Bootstrapping Lessons and 2014 Scaling Up Plans at Jan-17-2014 MVP Clinic

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in 4 Finding your Niche, 5 Scaling Up Stage, EDA, Events, skmurphy

Semifore , Inc. was founded in 2006 by Richard Weber based on his system design experience at several startups and some larger systems firms. All of them struggled with the need for  tools and methods to keep the hardware architecture in sync with software architecture and to ensure that the development and customer documentation was up to date. He developed an application that worked from a common specification to generate high level hardware description language specifications, software source code, and human readable documentation for the memory maps and configuration/control register behavior. Semifore has bootstrapped growth since 2006 and has seen their offering adopted at a number of major semiconductor firms. and system houses.

  • What: Semifore Execs Share Bootstrapping Lessons and 2014 Scaling Plans
  • MVP Clinic Format: Webinar with shared note taking in a PrimaryPad
  • When: Fri-Jan-17-2014 10am PST
  • Cost: No Charge
  • Register: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/251287126
Register Now

We have two members of the Semifore executive team joining us 10AM PST on Fri-Jan-17-2014 for a discussion of what they have learned about their success so far as a niche player in the Electronic Design Automation space and their plans to scale up in 2014. You can register to take part in the conversation at

  • Rob Callaghan, COO of Semifore Inc.
    Rob was previously  Vice President of Operations for sales and technical support at Magma Design Automation. Prior to Magma, he was Group Director of Business Development as well as Director of Sales Operations at Cadence Design Systems. He has worked with other large electronics firms such as L.M. Ericsson, Amdahl Corporation, and Memorex Corporation in the functions of Product Marketing, Field Operations, Finance and Accounting. His expertise includes strategic and operational planning, operations management, market research, and financial operations for organizations such as direct sales channels, product marketing, R&D operations, corporate business development, corporate mergers and acquisitions and strategic investments. He has a BS in Finance from the Menlo School of Business and a MBA from Golden Gate University.
  • Herbie Winsted, Vice President of Business Development and Customer Care
    Herb is a veteran of over 26 years in the EDA and Semiconductor industries. He has held positions of Director Business Development and Director IC Implementation and various individual contributor assignments at Cadence Design Systems. He has also assumed management responsibilities for CAD teams and IC layout groups at National Semi, GEC Plessey, and AMD. Herbie has also lead hundreds of multi-discipline automated layout projects in different roles at Silicon Valley Research (Silvar-Lisco) working with major Semiconductor companies worldwide. He has excelled at team building and establishing both business and personal relationships at every level of the organizations he has serviced. He has wide experience in creating marketing messaging, training, and sales collateral. He has always put customer requirements as his highest priority and excels at finding practical solutions that satisfy all parties concerned.

Background for discussion

Semifore Inc. is a software startup in Palo Alto Ca. The company provides a software product platform that automates and manages the register information for the Hardware / Software interface during the definition, specification, implementation and verification phases of the ASIC and/or FPGA design process. The company is privately held and has no external investors. It was founded in 2006 by Richard Weber who is currently the CEO of the company.

Currently the company has over a dozen paying  customers which are using the platform to deliver their chip sets to customers. Logo’s such as Altera, AMCC, Microsoft, and other large firms have embraced the tool and associated design methodology to reduce their design cycle time and improve their product functionality.

Semifore’s products are used by Systems Architects and designers, Verification Engineers, Software Development Engineers, and Technical Publications teams inside of Semiconductor companies.

The company has been funded via “bootstrapping” and is operated solely from operating cash flow. This has provided sufficient funds to get through the product development and early customer engagements that allowed Semifore to market, test, and refine the technology to a state of high reliability and functionality with low post-sales support requirements. The product does what we say it does and once it’s installed the product often goes viral.

The company has relied on trade show attendance and word of mouth to secure additional sales leads to qualify and move to a product demonstration. The customers for this product, are for the most part, currently internally developing their own solutions in this space.

Market / Customer Challenges (Lessons Learned 2006-2013)

  1. Internal solutions are viewed as “free” and they get the job done today. The cost is buried across many functions within the customer and the time hits they take are part and parcel of the “design silos” in most organizations.
  2. The teams that have “created” the internal solution often have a vested interest in keeping them alive.
  3. The currently employed internal “methodology” touches many organizations that may not be the purchasing entity or the driver for the decision or have the ability to overrule and drive a central technical solution throughout the organization. Many large customers have several different of internal solutions in this design space.
  4. This design problem is very niche and eclectic and often is not highly visible to upper engineering management. It’s noise to them. Education at all levels is required for buy in on this kind of tool.
  5. Internal solutions tend to be limited to file transforms and depend on rigid input formats to produce useful results. Very little true design intelligence for detecting correct semantics and interface capability to other tools or standards.
  6. There is considerable confusion regarding the status and capabilities of the “standards” that support this particular design methodology that adds to the tendency to “wait and see “ before making buy decisions.

Key Goals for 2014

  1. Expand the adoption by existing customers who have embraced the tools and succeeded using them in production.
  2. Build on current success to add new customers, large and small.
  3. Determine level of participation in existing standards committees and explore offering our proprietary language as a standard with endorsement from existing customers.

Update Fri-Jan-17: here is the audio for the event.

Join Us Tonight For A Mastermind Open House To Kick Off 2014

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Events, skmurphy

We have been facilitating Mastermind groups in Silicon Valley for three years now and have  an open houses scheduled tonight in Sunnyvale from 6-8pm.

  • When: Mon-Jan-13 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM in Sunnyvale
  • Where: Tonight at Roundtable Pizza 1220 Oakmead Parkway Sunnyvale, CA 94085
  • Cost: No Charge for event but regular meetings are two hours long twice a month and cost $100/month
  • Register at http://www.meetup.com/BayAreaMastermind/events/154047882/

As we start the new year, we want to take stock and evaluate what will impact our bottom line. Join us tonight: bring your 2014 plans and let’s get a start on making it your best year ever!

 

SKMurphy Mastermind Groups SKMurphy Mastermind groups have a unique high-technology focus and are limited to eight qualified members. We guide a small group of peers to brainstorm and critique your critical business issues. Our use of ‘workout buddies’ provides a level of feedback and joint accountability that will help you to become more effective. Entrepreneurs have the opportunity to present their businesses issues, share referrals, and advise one another in a confidential, supportive environment during two meetings a month.

More information http://www.skmurphy.com/services/startup-advisor/

Lean Startup Conference 2013 Roundup

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Customer Development, Events, skmurphy

Update Thu-Jan-23: more articles and blog posts are coming out so I will continue to update this for another month or so, I am also adding a section for the workshops as many presenters are publishing their slides.

This post curates content and commentary related to the 2013 Lean Startup Conference: videos, blog posts, slides, articles, etc.. I will continue to update it until about mid-February 2014 as videos, slide decks, blog posts and articles related to the 2013 Lean Startup Conference are published. If I have overlooked a post or other content you found useful or insightful please leave a comment or contact me. Here are my roundups for the last three years of Lean Startup Conferences:


Main Program Mon-Dec-9-2013

State Of The Lean Startup

When Lean Startup Arrives in a Trojan Horse–Innovation in Extreme Bureaucracy

Experimenting on Experiments–Bringing Lean Startup to Scientific Research

Using Lean Startup to Do Plenty with Very Little

How You Can Start the Next Zipcar

An Interview with Matt Mullenweg

What Works in Silicon Valley Doesn’t Work Everywhere–Why Localizing Lean Startup Strategies Is Critical for Your Community

Build a New Product, Infect a Whole Organization

Toyota: From Lean Manufacturing to Lean Startup

Jazz Engineering

Risk, Information, Time and Money (in 20 Minutes)

Interview With Reid Hoffman

Jazz Engineering–the Deep Dive

How Two Startups Used a Google Doc to Plan Their User Interface

Rapid Iteration for Mobile App Design

Make More Meritocratic Decisions

Beyond Landing Pages: Five Ways to Find Out if Your Idea Is Stupid

Running a Successful Innovation Center at a Fortune 50 Company

Engaging Your Team in Continuous Improvement

Evolving and Growing with Lean Startup

Overcoming Biases to Make Better Decisions

How Validation and Vision Co-exist

Institutionalizing Innovation

Keep Your Executives Close to Your Customers

The Biggest Implementation of Lean Startup on Earth

Main Program Tue-Dec-10-2013

Acquiring Your First Users Out of Thin Air

How to Build the Product When You’re Not the User–and You Don’t Even Know Anybody Who’s the User

Building a Technology Company with No Engineers

Funding for Lean Impact

Preparing for Catastrophic Success

Evidence-based Entrepreneurship

Using Kickstarter to Run an MVP

Learning to Be an Organization that Pivots

Continuous Change at Scale

Lean Startup–From Toyota City to Fremont to You

The Medium Is the Message

Lean Leadership Lessons

Integrating Development, Design and Product Management to Deliver Great Products

Frame Before You Build, Measure, Learn

Seriously Advanced A/B Testing

Alleviating Poverty One Iteration at a Time

The Big Ideas Behind Lean Product Development

Getting Customer Feedback When Your Product Doesn’t Live on the Web

Working Closely With Customers on the Other Side of the Earth

Jump-starting Product Strategy in a Startup

Transitioning Teams to Lean

Lean Startup in a Regulated Environment

Crossing the Concierge Chasm

Using Lean Startup Principles to Close the Digital Divide

Cultivating Lean Startup Teams When People Don’t Know What It Is (or Are Hostile to It)

Can Lean Startup Advocates and Grizzled Veterans Work Together?

An Interview with Marc Andreessen and Chris Dixon

Workshops Wed-Dec-11-2013

Lean Analytics for Intrapreneurs

Other Roundups and Commentary

If I have overlooked a post or other content you found useful or insightful please leave a comment or contact me.

Peer Advisors

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Events, skmurphy

Game Plan: Where Are We?Mastermind groups complement our Bootstrapper Breakfasts, they are for entrepreneurs who want to meet with a smaller group of the same people on a regular basis and really get to know each others’ businesses. In addition to the four Bootstrapper Breakfasts in Silicon Valley we facilitate three Mastermind groups. Napoleon Hill coined the Mastermind term, which he defined as follows:

“Coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.”

This Friday, December 6, we have an open house in Cupertino at Noon if you are interested in learning more see Silicon Valley Mastermind Open House for E-Commerce Firms

We are starting a new On-Mastermind group in 2014 and will have two on-line meetings for entrepreneurs who are interested in taking part:

For Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who cannot attend this Friday we will have another Silicon Valley Mastermind Open House Monday January 13 6pm PST in Sunnyvale.

SKMurphy Mastermind GroupsIn our Mastermind groups, entrepreneurs have the opportunity to present their businesses issues, share referrals, and advise one another in a confidential, supportive environment during two meetings a month. Our groups have a unique high-tech focus and are limited to eight qualified members. All of the Open House events are no charge and will allow you to meet other members and potential members of our Mastermind groups.  The regular meetings run two hours and are held twice a month; the cost is $100 per month.

Where To Find Us in December 2013

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Events, skmurphy

Compare notes with entrepreneurs who eat problems for breakfast.The regular schedule for the Bootstrappers Breakfasts® fit nicely with the holidays this December. One around the table question we will ask at all three December breakfasts is, “What did you learn in 2013 that will make you more effective as an entrepreneur in 2014?

Here are some other Silicon Valley and on-line events we will be taking part in during December:

A Preview of some January events

Two Mastermind Open House Events in November and December

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Events, Silicon Valley, skmurphy

SKMurphy Mastermind Groups SKMurphy Mastermind groups have a unique high-technology focus and are limited to eight qualified members. We guide a small group of peers to brainstorm and critique your critical business issues. Our use of ‘workout buddies’ provides a level of feedback and joint accountability that will help you to become more effective. Entrepreneurs have the opportunity to present their businesses issues, share referrals, and advise one another in a confidential, supportive environment during two meetings a month.

SKMurphy Offers Two Upcoming Mastermind Open House in November and December of 2013

Both events are no charge and will allow you to meet other members and potential members of our Mastermind groups.  The regular meetings run two hours and are held twice a month; the cost is $100 per month.

As we approach the new year, we want to take stock and evaluate what will impact our bottom line. Join us for the upcoming Open House. Bring your 2014 plans and let’s get a jump-start on making it your best year ever!

More information http://www.skmurphy.com/services/startup-advisor/

 

Chris Christensen of BloggerBridge At Bootstrappers Breakfast Tue-Nov-19

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Events

Compare notes with entrepreneurs who eat problems for breakfast.Join other entrepreneurs for serious conversations about growing a business based on internal cash flow and organic profit at a Bootstrappers Breakfast®. Chris Christensen of BloggerBridge.com will offer a seven minute briefing on “Podcasting For Bootstrappers” and answer questions from other attendees at the Tue-Nov-19 breakfast in Sunnyvale. Chris’ briefing will be followed by our regular roundtable discussion format.

When: 7:30am to 9:00am Tue-Nov-19-2013
Where: Coco’s Restaurant 1206 Oakmead Parkway Sunnyvale, CA
Cost: $5 RSVP, $10 at door (order your own breakfast).
Please RSVP

Chris Christensen Join fellow bootstrapper and like serial entrepreneur, Chris Christensen, owner of BloggerBridge.com, a new startup connecting bloggers and industry contacts. He is the host of the Amateur Traveler. The Amateur Traveler is a popular online travel show that focuses primarily on travel destinations. It includes a weekly audio podcast, a video podcast, and a blog. He will share podcasting tips and tricks.

Chris has worked for years in technology startups in Silicon Valley. He was formerly the Director of Engineering for TripAdvisor’s New Initiatives group and was the EVP Engineering at LiveWorld where his team built and ran online communities and events for companies include eBay, HBO, TV Guide, Expedia, Marriott, A&E, History Channel, the NBA, NBC, ABC, Disney, Microsoft, WebTV and American Express.

Lean Innovation 101 at SF Bay ACM Nov-20-2013

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Events, skmurphy

I am trying out a new talk on “What is Lean? – Lean Innovation 101” at the SF Bay ACM on Wed-Nov-20-2013. Here is a brief description:

“Lean” provides a scientific approach for creating a product and developing new businesses. Teams can iteratively build products or services to meet the needs of early customers by adopting a combination of customer development, business-hypothesis-driven experimentation and iterative product releases.

What I will cover:

  • Why more and more companies are using Lean
  • What is Lean, what it is not
  • Key concepts
    • Focus on determining and delivering what the customer values
    • Get Out Of Your BatCave
    • Use an initial product (MVP) as a probe to explore the market
    • Build-Measure-Learn loop
    • When and how to pivot
  • Rules of thumb for successful lean innovation

Speaker Bio: Sean Murphy, CEO of SKMurphy, Inc., offers customer development services for technology entrepreneurs. SKMurphy’s focus is on early customers and early revenue for startups. Sean is an early and active member of the Lean Startup group and has been a workshop presenter and mentor at Lean Startup Conferences. SKMurphy’s clients have offerings in electronic design automation, artificial intelligence, web-enabled collaboration, proteomics, text analytics, legal services automation, and medical services workflow. Sean holds a BS in Mathematical Sciences and an MS in Engineering-Economic Systems (Management Science) from Stanford University.


Note: It’s a new talk and I am looking for a few chances to do a dry run. If you are interested in walking through a rough version for 30-45 minutes on skype or GoToMtg and providing some feedback please contact me.

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