Dorothea Brande wrote “Becoming a Writer” in 1934. The book remains in print today and offers valuable tips for both writers and entrepreneurs.
Your value hypothesis is your best theory for why customers will pay for your product or service in preference to the status quo or other alternatives available to them. One of the key challenges entrepreneurs face in launching a new offering is understanding the value it offers a target customer in addressing a need or solving a problem. Our February 2017 newsletter explores the challenges of crafting and testing your value hypothesis.
I collect quotes for entrepreneurs from a variety of sources and tweet them on @skmurphy about once a day where you can get them hot off the mojo wire. At the end of each month I curate them in a blog post that adds commentary and may contain a longer passage from the same source for context. Please enter your E-mail address if you would like new blog posts sent to you.
The following is an edited transcript of Elena Krasnoperova‘s “Learning Hacks for Bootstrappers” briefing at the Bootstrapper Breakfast on Fri-Dec-2-2016. She had a “cheat sheet” she handed out that is interleaved here in her remarks. We have added hyperlinks where they help to clarify or elaborate on her remarks.
I ran into Shane Reiser (@ShaneReiser) at the Intrapreneur Conference in Silicon Valley and was impressed by his new startup (Your Ideas are Terrible) with cofounder Carie Davis to bring lean thinking to corporate innovation. What follows is a Q&A we conducted over email with hyperlinks added for context.
There are a lot of misconceptions about finding early adopters of a new product or technology. It’s a question that comes up often in early market exploration: this post is a summary of my experience and current best thinking.
A collection of quotes of interest and use to entrepreneurs: these quotes for entrepreneurs were identified in December 2016. You can follow @skmurphy to get these quotes for entrepreneurs hot off the mojo wire or wait until they are collected in a blog post at the end of each month. Enter your E-mail address if you would like have new blog posts sent to you.
Some thoughts on Christmas Day 2016: “peace on earth, good will to all men.”
We can grow apart from friends and family we don’t see that often. Christmas Eve 2016 is a chance to reconnect with family and see friends.
Theresa Shafer came up with a clever reconceptualization of a common logo for Wifi as a Christmas tree for the OpenSensors holiday greeting: “Have a Holly Jolly IoT-Enabled Holiday.”
Some quick answers to common questions about how to protect your intellectual property (IP) and when to incorporate.
Here are some questions to ask yourself before you start negotiating a complex business relationship: for example a software license, SaaS subscription, or a reseller or OEM relationship. Entire books are written on negotiation, I am trying to highlight some questions that can get overlooked.
One of the balancing acts of entrepreneurship is when to keep control and when to delegate. Our November/December 2016 newsletter explores the challenges of creative and effective delegation.
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 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
- When: 7:30-9AM Friday, December 2, 2016
- Where: Hobees Restaurant, 4224 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94306
- Cost: $5 in advance / $10 at the door (Attendees order off regular menu are given separate checks)
- Register: https://www.meetup.com/Bootstrappers-Breakfast-SV/events/235030357/ (Limited seating, please register in advance.)
Update Fri-Dec-2: Elena Gave a Great Briefing
We had a lively conversation this morning and Elena graciously agreed to let us post her handout on the Bootstrapper Breakfast blog; see “Elena Krasnoperova’s Seven Learning Hacks for Bootstrappers.”
Related Blog Posts
- eMOBUS Acquisition: How Bootstrappers Close Deals
- Alastair Hood: Lessons Learned Bootstrapping Verdafero
- Ilya Semin on “Bootstrapping DataNyze to $1M/ARR”
- How to Keep Cash Flow Positive Fri-Mar-27 at Mtn View BB
- Matt Oscamou of Frontier Bites on the value of the Bootstrapper Breakfast
- Geva Solomonovich of Fraud Sciences at Fri-Nov-4 BB
Sean Murphy will moderate a panel of three experienced startup attorneys on November 29 for a Silicon Valley Cofounder Academy event at Hacker Dojo on “Cofounder Legal Challenges and Solutions.”
A thank you on Veterans Day 2016 to all of the men and women in our armed forces who made the United States possible, in particular this Silicon Valley oasis of invention and innovation I get to call home. Some quotes to meditate on follow.
You can follow @skmurphy to get these quotes for entrepreneurs hot off the mojo wire or wait until they are collected in a blog post at the end of each month. Enter your E-mail address if you would like have new blog posts sent to you.
Ken Iverson wrote “Plain Talk” 1997 to document the management and innovation principles that led Nucor from bankruptcy to the number three position in the steel industry in the United States. Since the publication of the book Nucor has become the number one player.