9 comments posted · 2 followers · following 0

623 weeks ago @ Our Start Up Story - How to Fail · 1 reply · +1 points

From my--admittedly outsider--perspective, I'm not sure I'd say you focus on the short term (AKA Next Show). You've done a lot of stuff in the past year that is beyond the next show, including launching some new shows (InsideRIA / InsideMobile) and expanding the 360 Brand w/ RIAAdventure 360.

It looks like you're thinking 2-3 steps ahead, and I would assume ya'll have a roadmap for 2010.

623 weeks ago @ Our Start Up Story - How to Fail · 3 replies · +1 points

I think we can agree there needs to be a balance of sort between short and long term thinking.

I don't run marathon's either, but I think the analogy is sound. Flextras is a long term model; it only works with a lot of products under our belt. I'm striving for consistency and quality and focusing on building our customer list. As we release more components over time, we hope those early customers will come back, thus making it easier to find a customer base for "Component # 12" than it is for "Component # 1".

From an almost outsider's perspective, it seems to me that this approach has worked for 360|Conferences. Putting on a good show makes it easier to sell the next one.

623 weeks ago @ Our Start Up Story - How to Fail · 5 replies · +1 points

Regarding Number 6...

My whole life has been focused on doing things that are good for the long-term; and I don't regret it.

I agree that it would be foolish to ignore the near-term; but you will just stagnate with no consideration for the long term. With a clear long-term vision, it is much easier to make near term decisions.

As one example that recently happened to me...

The long term vision is to have a successful product company as opposed to a services company. Should I take that year long services consulting job in New York City (~2-3 hours away from home)? It will probably generate more income than I'll see from the product sales for the next 5 years. Therefore it would be a good short-term decision. Cash is king, so having more cash is good!

But it would also prevent the product side of the business from moving forward. How can anyone work 8-10 hour days, commute 4-6 hours a day and still do anything else?

The good short-term decision is not aligned with long term goals; therefore it would be a bad decision.

On the other hand, should I take the one day consulting job for a past client? Yes, it interferes with current product development and support. But, it is only one day out and will generate a small influx of cash, which will keep me in the product business for an extra two day (or more) without having any detriment effect from the customer's stand point.

632 weeks ago @ Community, Code, Rando... - 1 failed model leads t... · 1 reply · +1 points

I have the impression that the "lead people" were pushing the investors to fund the large staff, which is why they backed out.

I thought they got quite a bit of subscribers, despite not reaching the 50K number. I'm sure it could have moved forward easily with a smaller staff.

My understanding may be incorrect of course. In my version the blame is not on the investors, but the journalists.

635 weeks ago @ Our Start Up Story - Partnerships: Business... · 0 replies · +1 points

I'm always a fan of planning before acting. I've heard it said that one minute in planning saves ten in execution.

Perhaps you don't need to write a formal business plan for everything you do; but "just starting" is often a recipe for disaster.

And yes, I think you two would benefit from going through the business planning process. Getting formal company goals down on paper that you can both get behind and agree upon will bring fantastic clarity.

635 weeks ago @ Our Start Up Story - Partnerships: Business... · 2 replies · +1 points

I've had a lot of doosies. My favorite is the guy who told me 'we' didn't need a business plan because it would take too long and we need to get started in development.

"Development of what?" Asks me.
"Our Product" says he.
"Which will be?" says I.
"It will be driven by our customers" says he.
"And who are they" asks I
etc.. etc.. you get the idea.

Another was shocked I had the audacity to ask because he felt it wasn't my place to review such documents.

635 weeks ago @ Our Start Up Story - Partnerships: Business... · 2 replies · +1 points

It might make for an interesting discussion as to why consulting doesn't count. ;)

The one time I had the discussion with a friend, top of our list of "why not" was "we'll end up hating each other."

It may also help my "odd egg outness" that I've worked for a lot of small companies who had partner problems and my client has had to buy out a partner or two and/or the company went under.

635 weeks ago @ Our Start Up Story - Partnerships: Business... · 8 replies · +1 points

I must be the odd egg out.

Everyone wants to partner w/ me, and I used to get 1-2 requests a year. "Come build this for us and we'll give you a piece of the pie"

I had serious conversations with three different people about it on 3 completely different business ideas. And we attacked it from every angle, including discussing what to do when one of us leaves or what would happen when the company goes under, how to define budgets, who owns what percentage, etc.. etc..

Nothing ever came to fruition for various reasons, partially because we had these talks and worked things out and realized it wasn't a good fit.

Am I just wired differently?

Nowdays, when someone asks me to "partner" with them on their next great business idea i ask them to send me their business plan before I'll talk to them. I never hear from most of them again.

635 weeks ago @ Our Start Up Story - Partnerships: Business... · 1 reply · +1 points

Business Success doesn't have to be defined in terms of profit and/or owner's draw; although presumably that is something you'll want to consider at some point.

To address Tom's final point... if you don't have any idea what you want from yourselves or what you want from owning a business, I'd have recommended figuring that out before you try to start a business or enter into a partnership.

I'm reading 7 habits of highly effective people, and one of the points in there is to begin with the end in mind. Visualize your end point before you start and it is easier to validate your decisions against that end point.