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Navigating Your Way to Startup Success

Book Description

Startups, like sailing vessels, do not travel in straight lines. The wind and the waves of the real world move the ship, and your startup, in unpredictable ways. This book is designed to give you an analytical set of tools to help you navigate your startup or corporate innovation through the murky waters of real life. Every business has failures. No business succeeds without some change of plan. Navigating Your Way to Startup Success will show you how to create a startup designed to test its assumptions so those that are not worthy fail—often and fast. This book builds on modern startup management techniques like Agile and Lean to bring an analytical and quantitative framework to the most common startup failures. Navigating through those failures means finding your way to startup success.

Harlan T Beverly, PhD holds a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering, an MBA from UT Austin, and a PhD in Business from Oklahoma State University. Harlan teaches entrepreneurship at the University of Texas at Austin. He is also Assistant Director of the Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs at UT Austin, the world's first university business accelerator. Harlan has successfully launched five hardware and 15 software products including the Killer NIC, 2007 Network Product of the Year (CPU Magazine). He has raised over $30 million in venture financing in the challenging intersection of entertainment and technology.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  4. Dedication
  5. Contents
  6. Chapter 1: Introduction—Why do you want to launch a startup, anyway?
    1. Bigfoot Networks, Inc.
    2. The Launching of the Killer NIC
    3. Common Goals of Entrepreneurs
    4. Why Goal Setting Is Critical to Startup Success
    5. The Story of Memory Plush
    6. Book Organization and Your Own Goals
  7. Chapter 2: Failing to Start—What’s stopping you?
    1. Failing to Start
    2. Startup vs. Small Business
    3. Service, Small Business, Healthcare, Retail, Restaurant, Education, Entertainment, and Anything Else
    4. Failing to Start Reason Number One: You
    5. Failing to Start Reason Number Two: The Lizard Brain
    6. Failing to Start Reason Number Three: Where to Begin
    7. Failing to Start Reason Number Four: The Lawyers
    8. Failing to Start Reason Number Five: No Money
    9. The Story of Eric Packer, Inventor
    10. Conclusion: Failing to Start
  8. Chapter 3: Your Idea Sucks—How would you know?
    1. Good Ideas
    2. Validating Your Idea
    3. Validating Your Price
    4. Building a Two Page Website
    5. Getting Early Visitors to Your New Website
    6. Quantifying Success: Do Customers Like Your Idea?
    7. Degrees of Pivots
    8. The Story of Ordoro
    9. Conclusion
  9. Chapter 4: Failing to Ship—Again, what’s stopping you?
    1. The Story of the SmartPrompt Pan
    2. Minimum Viable Product
    3. Reason Number One: Being Beholden
    4. Reason Number Two: Not Good Enough
    5. Reason Number Three: Not Knowing How
    6. MVP Requirements
    7. Types of MVP
    8. Reason Number Four: Legal, Ethical, and Moral Guidelines
    9. The Real Reason You Didn’t Ship: Fear
    10. Koffie: Fresh Coffee Delivered
    11. Three Analytical Tools for Shipping
  10. Chapter 5: Nobody Cares—What can you do about it?
    1. How to Know Nobody Cares
    2. Business to Business: Customers Don’t Care
    3. Business to Consumer: Customers Don’t Care
    4. Which Customer Are You Targeting, Anyway?
    5. Pivoting on Marketing and Attracting Potential Customers
    6. Step 1: Proactive Marketing
    7. Step 2: Begin with the Customer in Mind
    8. Step 3: Measure, Measure, Measure
    9. Step 4: Offer Win Win Value
    10. Step 5: Be Understood in Understanding Customer Needs
    11. Step 6: Synergize the Message
    12. Step 7: Sharpen the Marketing Saw through Experimentation
    13. Marketing when Nobody Cares
    14. The Big Pivot
    15. The Story of Spredfast
    16. Analytical Tool: Dealing with Apathy
  11. Chapter 6: Somebody Cares—Yippee! Now what?
    1. The Startup Journey/Phases of the Startup
    2. How to Know Somebody Cares
    3. Failing to Scale or Failing at Scaling
    4. Hitting the Gas
    5. Test Advertising
    6. Scaling Facebook Advertising
    7. Scaling Google Advertising
    8. Other Advertising
    9. Non Advertising Growth and Scale
    10. Watching Out for Roadblocks, Bumps, and Crashes
    11. The Story of Burpy
  12. Chapter 7: Oops, We Ran Out of Money—Funding and finance
    1. Managing Cash
    2. Building a Financial Plan
    3. TAM, SAM, and SOM
    4. Business Models
    5. Oops, I Failed Again—Denied Funding Based on Business Model
    6. Bottoms Up Modeling
    7. How Much Funding
    8. Types of Funding
    9. Finding Investors: The “Laser Beam Shotgun” Approach
    10. The Perfect Ten Slide Presentation Deck
    11. Term Sheets
    12. Closing the Deal
    13. BeatBox Beverages
  13. Chapter 8: I Got Sued—It can happen to you
    1. Who Can Sue Whom
    2. Types of Lawsuits (and Arbitration)
    3. Avoiding Lawsuits
    4. Importance and Types of Intellectual Property
    5. Types of Intellectual Property
    6. Filing Patents and Trademarks
    7. Incorporation and the Corporate Veil
    8. Ways to Get Thrown in Prison
    9. Insurance for Companies (Liability, D&O, Key Man)
    10. Lawsuits from Investors/Founders (CEO Power)—Key Ingredient
    11. When to Sue Someone Else
    12. The Analytical Approach to Settling (or Not)
    13. Coming Back from Losing a Lawsuit (Survival)
    14. Story of Cutting Edge Gamer
  14. Chapter 9: Help, I’m Sinking—Controlling growth
    1. Failing at Growth
    2. Metrics of Growth: Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
    3. Sustaining Growth
    4. Controlling Growth
    5. Leadership vs. Management
    6. Company Culture
    7. Management Span of Control
    8. Hiring Right
    9. Investing in Growth vs. Investing in Ideas
    10. Agile Development
    11. Power of Profitability
    12. Story of Spacetime Studios
  15. Chapter 10: The Press Hates Me—Bad reviews
    1. Failing at Reviews and Press
    2. Building a Press Plan
    3. When and How to Hire a PR Agency
    4. Customer Reviews (Good and Bad)
    5. Dealing with Forums
    6. Dealing with Social Media
    7. Dealing with Scandal
    8. Product Reboot
    9. Managing Bloggers and Influencers
    10. Dealing with Media Hate
    11. The Story of Psyko Audio Labs
  16. Chapter 11: I’m Bankrupt—Saving costs and finding profits
    1. Going Bankrupt or Insolvent
    2. Taking Action on Potential Insolvency
    3. Cutting Expenses
    4. Cutting Costs: Prototyping vs. Scaling Up
    5. Renegotiating
    6. Raising or Lowering Prices and Calling in Receivables
    7. The Rapid Decline in Price
    8. Raising Additional Funds
    9. Deciding When to Go for Profitability
    10. A Quantitative Contingent Profitability Plan
    11. The Story of IngZ, Inc.
  17. Chapter 12: I Got Fired and I’m the Founder—How?
    1. How to Get Fired and Lose Your Startup
    2. Managing Boards of Directors
    3. Firing and Laying Off Co Founders
    4. Avoiding Getting Fired
    5. To Quit or Not to Quit
    6. When to Sue
    7. Negotiating Your Exit
    8. What to Expect from the Outside
    9. The Rest of the Story of Ken Cho, Spredfast, and People Pattern
  18. Chapter 13: Sold!—Now what?
    1. Acquisition Exit Analysis
    2. Earn Outs and New Golden Handcuffs
    3. Big Company Politics
    4. Quitting Again
    5. Investing Your Take
    6. Mentorship and Advisors
    7. Teaching
    8. Starting the New One
    9. The Story of Phurnace Software
  19. Index