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

Written by Sean 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 traditionaly subtractive: grinding, cuttting, 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

Related Blog Posts

 

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

Thought Leadership: A Briefing For San Bruno Rotary

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

I gave a talk on “How to Give a Great Demo” in April at the Co-Founders Club and met Elijah Angote, founder of “The Best Notary” who arranged for me to speak at the Rotary Club of San Bruno today. So I have him to thank and the audience knew who to blame. I really enjoyed the talk and felt very at home with the group. Here is the audio for the core of the talk (I have cut intro and and about ten minutes of Q&A)


Or download from http://traffic.libsyn.com/skmurphy/ThoughtLeadership140806c.mp3

Here is a handout from the talk.


Thought Leadership

A Briefing for San Bruno Rotary, Aug-6-2014 by Sean Murphy, SKMurphy, Inc.

  1. What is thought leadership?
  2. Why will it bring you more business?
  3. How do you get started?

Thought Leadership: Discern the important events and trends at work in the present, predict their likely effects, and offer perspective and actionable advice in time to have an impact.

Thought Leadership In Action

  • Advise prospects and customers on how to overcome their most pressing problems
  • Customers bring you their hard problems, prospects ask you for insight on options

How Does It Bring You More Business?

  • A reputation for expertise means that you get called first
    • You can compete on more than price:  expertise acts as a differentiator
    • Encourages current customers to bring you new challenges
      • May lead to new opportunities and even new offerings for emerging needs

Key Practices for Thought Leadership

  • Careful observation, questions, networking
  • Writing and speaking to build influence

Build a Communication Strategy

  • Identify audience / Understand their needs  / Position your message / Promote
  • Measure success: website traffic, mailing list size, inquiries, customers

Execute: Your 90-day Plan Should Address:

  1. What other people say about you
  2. What you say
  3. What you write
  4. Getting found when people are looking

Topics You Can Always Talk About

  • Change: what’s waxing and waning
  • Significance of recent events
  • Checklists to identify or resolve problems

“The future is an abstraction, all change is happening now.”
Marcelo Rinesi

You can only take action in the present.

“I have gradually come to appreciate that the really important predictions are about the present. What is happening right now, and what is its significance?”
Robert Lucky

What Is The Current Situation / What Is Significant About it?

  • Before you can make predictions you have to understand what’s happened.
  • The easiest predictions are based on the “acorns” already planted in the present

Checklists:  Develop A Coachable Perspective

  • Teach customers and prospect to diagnose problems from symptoms
  • Teach prevention and self-service so that they call you for high value problems

Thought Leadership Brings Business

  • You get called first
  • Compete on more than price
  • New opportunities
  • New offerings

About SKMurphy, Inc.: We help you find leads and close deals

Bootstrappers Breakfast www.bootstrapperbreakfast.com

If you are looking or a speaker for your Silicon Valley business group please contact us. I enjoy giving highly interactive presentations to groups  of 12 to 40 people.  I am happy to talk to larger groups but I prefer where there are opportunities for real audience participation.  I also do a number of interactive webinars and workshops for groups who are not based in Silicon Valley so if that’s of interest please feel free to contact me as well.

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 live tine 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.

Related posts:

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.

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