Elena Krasnoperova on “Learning Hacks for Bootstrappers” Fri-Dec-2

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Events, skmurphy

BB_logo(r)Elena Krasnoperova has been a regular attendee at the Silicon Valley Bootstrappers Breakfasts® for more than three years and I was delighted when she accepted my invitation to be a featured attendee and talk about her entrepreneurial journey.  She plans to share some heuristics for learning faster than your competition and immediately applying your knowledge in ways that further improve your startup’s performance.  Elena’s briefing will build on her experiences getting two PhD’s (the first is in Psychology from Stanford and was earned several years ago; she jokes that the second is much more recent: it’s in Entrepreneurship from the School of Hard Knocks), working as an executive at several high technology firms, and bootstrapping two startups in the “family tech” space: SimplyCircle and Calroo,

Elena Krasnoperova on “Learning Hacks for Bootstrappers”

Bootstrappers don’t have the financial resources or staff to established or venture-backed firms. A solo entrepreneur or a small founding team has no choice but to be generalists, a “Jack–or Jane–of All Trades.” Bootstrappers must learn quickly–at least enough to be dangerous–and immediately apply it to challenges facing their startup.

In this briefing, Elena Kransoperova will discuss “learning hacks” for bootstrappers. She will suggest ways to make time for learning when there is always something urgent you need to do. She will introduce her AAA (Acquire, Absorb, Apply) learning framework and offer learning hacks for each stage.  She gave me a brief preview of coming attractions:

  • Why is it important to be constantly learning – why it matters for your company, and for you personally
  • The different learning styles – what’s yours? (as you know, I have a Stanford Ph.D. in Psychology, so I know a bit about this :-)
  • My personal AAA framework for learning
    • Acquire – how to acquire new knowledge / skills
    • Absorb – how to internalize / process new knowledge / skills
    • Apply – how to apply what you learn to your company
  • “Gotchas” to avoid as you become a lean, mean learning machine

Elena KrasnoperovaAbout the Presenter

Elena Krasnoperova is a former executive at eBay, PayPal, Zong and oDesk, the founder of two bootstrapped companies in the “family tech” space: SimplyCircle and Calroo, and a Limited Partner at 500 Startups. She started her career at the Boston Consulting Group after earning a Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University. Elena is a lifelong learner of all things business and entrepreneurship and is passionate about helping parents be better parents. SimplyCircle.com is an online parent communication portal that helps schools, classrooms, and PTAs increase family engagement. Calroo is a new mobile app for busy families that combines a shared family calendar, to-do list, and messaging.

When, Where, and How to Register

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David Telleen-Lawton Presents at Lean Startup Conference 2015

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Customer Development, Events, Lean Startup, Partner, Tools for Startups

Lean Startup Conference logoIf you missed  The Nitty Gritty of Setting Up Customer Discovery Meetings by David Telleen-Lawton at The Lean Startup Conference 2015, he shared the down and dirty details of setting up meetings for Customer Discovery. Having set hundreds of B2B and B2C discovery meetings over the years, Telleen-Lawton tells how to reach out and set these meetings.

Hotels Near Great Demo Workshop 2015

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Events

Attending the Great Demo Workshop 2015? The two day workshop is held at Domain Hotel which several past attendees have stayed at and enjoyed.

Domain Hotel 1085 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale, CA 94087 (408) 247-0800 – special discount rate for “Great Demo Group”

However the hotel does normally sell out. So here are a couple of our favorites hotels that are nearby listed in increasing distance from the from the workshop:

Best Western Santa Clara
4341 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95051 (408) 244-3366

Corporate Inn – Sunnyvale
805 E El Camino Real  Sunnyvale, CA 94087

Hilton Garden
10741 North Wolfe Road, Cupertino, CA 95014 -(408) 777-8787

Moorpark Hotel
4241 Moorpark Ave San Jose, CA 95129

Embassy Suites Santa Clara

2885 Lakeside Dr  Santa Clara, CA 95054
4200 Great America Pkwy Santa Clara, CA 95054 (408) 235-8900

Woodcrest

5415 Stevens Creek Boulevard, Santa Clara, CA 95050 (408) 446-9636

1217 Wildwood Ave Sunnyvale, CA 94089 (408) 245-5330

Cypress Hotel
10050 S. De Anza Blvd. Cupertino, CA 95014 (408) 253-8900

Larkspur Landing Campbell

550 W Hamilton Ave Campbell, CA 95008  (408) 364-1514

 

How to Keep Cash Flow Positive Fri-Mar-27 at Mtn View BB

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Events

BB_logo(r)I can still remember Steve Hogan’s first visit to a Bootstrapper Breakfast at Red Rock Coffee in Mountain View in early 2011. A recent transplant from Boston he had worked as an executive in technology startups and as a turnaround specialist for more than two decades. He had an infectious warmth that made you feel comfortable immediately and is stories contained the kinds of insights about what can go wrong that you only gain by being “in the room” as things are going sideways.

Bootstrapper Breakfast: Real Recognizes Real

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Events, skmurphy

I had a great conversation with a first timer after today’s Bootstrapper Breakfast in Sunnyvale. He was a serious entrepreneur who had been bootstrapping for two years and he said, “Real recognizes real, this is the first entrepreneur Meetup I’ve been to where I have been able to talk about my challenges and get practical advice. Also, the other entrepreneurs weren’t just pitching, they were trying to help.”

Thanksgiving 2014

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Events

We did something different for Thanksgiving 2014: we held a Bootstrapper’s Potluck and hosted a dinner for a dozen people or so with our family. It was a chance for my sons to meet some real entrepreneurs and give folks who were new to the area or far from family a nice Thanksgiving. We supplied the turkey and some sides and folks brought many flavors of  pie, miso soup, raw vegetables, wine, hors d’oeuvres, jambalaya, sausage and cheddar fondue, and rice.  There was enough left over that everyone was able to leave with one or two meals (or a pie) for the weekend, such is the miracle of a potluck.

Chris Yonge on 3D Printing: Past, Present, Future

Written by Max Murphy. Posted in Events, Video

The following is a guest post by Max Murphy, a mechanical engineering student who is interested in the implications of  3D printing or positive manufacturing for  mechanical design, its synergies with animation, and potential for fostering new opportunities for entrepreneurs. Max is an intern at DreamWorks and returns to his sophomore year in college this fall. 


3D Printing: Past, Present, and Future

I attended a great talk by Chris Yonge on “3D Printing: Past, Present, and Future” on Monday August 18 at Sandbox Suites in Sunnyvale that was sponsored by the Silicon Valley Startup: Idea to IPO group. It was a fantastic presentation that communicated a practical understanding of several different types of 3D printing processes with videos that highlighted the theory of operation for each type of printer. Chris also offered a list of useful open source tools for mechanical design, animation, and 3D printing that is available at  http://www.studiocruz.com/downloads/studio-cruz-open-source-guide-20130115.pdf

Here is Chris’ bio from the talk (links added):

Chris Yonge is qualified as an architect and a product designer who founded StudioCruz.  He has been involved in 3D design and production for twenty years. He holds a number of published patents, the latest being for VariCruz a mechanically-linked continuously variable gear, and uses 3D printing in metal and plastics as part of the development process. Chris is a lecturer at the University of California, Santa Cruz School of Engineering.

Unfortunately a recording was not made of the talk but here are two others he has done that are quite good.

3D Printing Is Fostering Four Quiet Revolutions

Yonge outlines “four quiet revolutions” that 3D printing or positive manufacturing will likely bring about:

  1. How we make:  Machine shop equipment was traditionally subtractive: grinding, cutting, drilling based on linear or rotary motion.
  2. How we design:  Three-dimensional printing is enabling us to go from a three-dimensional model in my mind to recording it and communicating and editing it on a computer and then making it.
  3. How we communicate:  One of the oldest cave drawings known condenses three dimensions plus time (and related emotions) into a flat two dimensional drawing. Our ability to communicate was unchanged for 149 centuries until motion pictures added time, 3D computer models allowed for a third dimension, and now we can make what we visualize with 3D printing.
  4. How we finance:  Open source recipes are going unlock a tremendous amount of creativity. Kickstarter models will enable many new products and companies to be launched via crowdsourcing.

Animation & 3D Printing Add New Dimensions to Creativity

A video with synchronized slides of one his Santa Cruz Engineering lectures is available at
https://slideslive.com/38891762/computer-animation-and-3d-printing-new-dimensions-to-creativity

Chris Yonge has a YouTube Channel with more than 50 videos at https://www.youtube.com/user/chrisyonge/videos

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Ilya Semin on “Bootstrapping DataNyze to $1M/ARR” Sep-5-2014 in Palo Alto

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Events, skmurphy

Compare notes with entrepreneurs who eat problems for breakfast.Ilya Semin, founder of Datanyze, joins us at the Palo Alto Bootstrapper Breakfast 7:30am on Fri-Sep-5-2014 at Hobees in Palo Alto. Ilya will share what he learned bootstrapping Datanyze to $1M+ ARR and 9 employees. DataNyze provides competitive intelligence for Web analytics, Widgets, CDN, DNS, and related firms. It can answer questions like “Who are my competitor’s biggest customers?” and “Which customers are evaluating one of my competitors?”

Where: Hobees, 4224 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA
When: 7:30am to 9am Friday, September 5, 2014
Cost:  is $5 in advance and $10 at the door plus the cost of your breakfast, tax, and tip.
Register: http://www.meetup.com/Bootstrappers-Breakfast-SV/events/198423522/

Limited Seating please register in advance.

More On Ilya Semin and DataNyze

  • August 26, 2014 John Koetsier in VentureBeat: “Google of Sales and Marketing Raises $2M
    Knowing who uses your competitors’ products can be a huge competitive advantage. Knowing when potential customers start a trial of your competitor’s product could be a lifesaver. Datanyze trawls the web for scraps and pieces of code that reveal what software-as-a-service products companies are using on their website, announced today that it has raised a $2 million seed round from investors such as IDG Ventures, Google Ventures, and Mark Cuban. And that it’s been growing at the astonishing rate of 25 percent per month all this year.
  • January 20, 2014 John Koetsier profiles Datanyze for VentureBeat in “This Startup Tells You When Companies Try Your Competitor’s Software
    A tiny San Mateo startup that has taken no angel money, no venture capital, and no outside funding of any kind is growing at the torrid rate of 25 percent per month and luring away key employees from hot growing companies like KISSmetrics.
  • Ilya Semin on the Value of the Great Demo Workshop

Join Us For An Independence Day 2014 Bootstrapper Breakfast In Palo Alto

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Events, skmurphy

Compare notes with entrepreneurs who eat problems for breakfast.The first Friday in July falls on the 4th so we are going to hold our “First Friday Palo Alto Bootstrapper Breakfast” at 8am at Hobees. We are meeting on July 4 (we have done it twice in the last 7 years) but we are pushing the start time back to 8am if you want to sleep in. I got a short email from Miles Kehoe of New Idea Engineering who asked “I am signed up but is Hobee’s OPEN on the 4th? A lot of people call that a ‘holiday.’ Of course most of those are people we do NOT call ‘entrepreneurs’ I suspect.” I replied that I had gotten a call from Jose Valencia, the general manager for Palo Alto, asking me to confirm that we wanted the back room since they would be open on July 4 for breakfast. I told him we were coming.

This is a chance to check us out if you are normally tied up in the morning and still have time for picnics and barbecues and fireworks in the afternoon and evening. Two topics we may explore are managing the “work/work” balance between a “day job” or other “keeping the lights on” work and launching your startup and managing the transition from day job or freelancing and working full time on your startup.


If you live in or near Midland Michigan, consider stopping by the MidMichigan Innovation Center at 2007 Austin Street, Midland, MI on Wed-Aug-13 at 8:30am in for the kickoff of the Midland Michigan Bootstrapper Breakfast. Chris Moultrup, Program Director at the MidMichigan Innovation Center was inspired by Travis Johnson‘s success with a Bootstrapper Breakfast in downtown Detroit and has volunteered to moderate breakfasts in Midland.

Matt Oscamou of Frontier Bites on the value of the Bootstrapper Breakfast

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Audio, Events, Founder Story, skmurphy

Compare notes with entrepreneurs who eat problems for breakfast.Matt Oscamou, the founder of Frontier Bites, talked about lessons learned getting a food startup off the ground at the April 15 Bootstrapper Breakfast in Sunnyvale. Here is a short recording of his introduction, the benefits the Bootstrapper Breakfast® has offered him, and how he came to bootstrap Frontier Bites with his brother and persevere after his brother passed away in a rafting accident.


Download: http://traffic.libsyn.com/skmurphy/Oscamou-Intro-BB140415.mp3
A transcript of his introduction is available at Matt Oscamou talks about founding Frontier Bites, recap from April 15, 2014

Matt Oscamou: I have a food company in Silicon Valley, bucking the tech trend. I was over at Red Rock Coffee working in the downstairs area and I saw “Bootstrappers Breakfast” on the calendar so I figure I would try to find out what that was. This was right when I was getting going. It’s been a helpful group ot bounce some ideas off of. My attendance has been relatively sporadic based on the needs of the business. It’s been good.

I started the Bootstrapper Breakfasts in Sunnyvale in October of 2006. I was fed up with attending events where the only focus was on how to raise money from investors and where aspiring entrepreneurs would talk about what they would do once they raised money but not what they were doing to move their startup forward now.

One of the things that surprised me in the first year was that people would come for a variety of reasons. Some would attend regularly, others would come only once and a large fraction would attend when they had issues that they wanted to discuss. I thought Matt captured that neatly in his intro.

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