Experience from Ale Zhu – Musical.ly (TikTok)


A Secret to Competing with Global Goliaths

TL/DR: The secret to competing with global goliaths is not to compete with them. Find the crazy, qualified people who want to build a company with you, instead, and hire them!

Source: https://fi.co/insight/a-secret-to-competing-with-global-goliaths

Does Something Feel ‘Off’ About Your Mentor-Mentee Relationship?

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Mentorship miscues that should sound the alarm

Failure could be being young and inexperienced/ being lazy and trusting.

A UPS study found that 70 percent of mentored startups examined stayed open for five years or more, while non-mentored companies survived at only half that rate.

Some more contributing factors:

1. A lack of credentials

 If your mentor is a regular at these events, proceed with caution.

Before you let someone into your world, do some research.

Ready to step back and reassess partnership if needed.

2. An appearance of no strings (or cash) attached

“Until I learned what a credible mentor looked like, I spent a long time chasing those “feeders.” “

Scott Kitun, CEO of Technori, a partner of the upcoming Chicago Founder Institute program.

3. Demands for huge changes

The plain truth is this: If an entrepreneur isn’t confident enough to lead him — or herself — then becoming a successful founder may always just be an unattainable pipe dream.


Top 18 Entrepreneurial Mistakes (Infographic)

Source: https://www.inc.com/larry-kim/avoid-these-18-entrepreneurial-mistakes-for-a-more-successful-start-up.html

Top 20 Reasons Startups Fail (Infographic)

Source: https://www.inc.com/larry-kim/top-20-reasons-startups-fail-infographic.html

8 Success Factors Even More Important Than IQ (Infographic)

Source: https://www.inc.com/larry-kim/8-success-factors-even-more-important-than-iq-infographic.html

4 Pieces of Bad Startup Advice That You Should Ignore

1. “When it comes to the markets you target, investors need them to be very big.”

2. “When it comes to raising capital, raise as much as you can and aim for the highest valuation.”

3. “Patents are crucial for technology investors.”

4. “If you are young and smart, there is no better time to take a shot and launch your startup.”


Make an App When You Can’t Code (a Step-by-Step Guide)

1. Refine your idea

2. Narrow your audience and test for demand

“Competition is great — it validates a concept. I think there’s a healthy level: Too much competition means the market’s oversaturated; not enough competition might mean that the idea is not that viable.”

Nadia Masri, founder and CEO of Perksy

Focus on solving that one problem incredibly well, and once you do that, “customers will end up basically helping you define your product road map,” says Greechan. You’ll receive requests for adding certain features, and you can use them to help chart your way forward in product development.

3. Pinpoint your audience, and test for demand

Once you’ve pinpointed a niche audience, you can start investing in it long before your app launches. If you’re creating an app for writers, for example, you could start a Meetup group, host events or even launch a podcast or blog. The aim is to build an interested community. If no one clicks on your posts or displays any interest in the events, that could be an indicator that you’re not on the right track, says Cowan. But if you do see some interest, try to quantify it. One of the easiest and most effective ways to start is by creating a landing page for your app, explaining your goal and collecting email addresses from people who are interested.

Before Biederman launched his marketplace for MBA students, he tested for user demand with a $9 landing page on GoDaddy and asked people to enter their email addresses if interested.

Options include Launchrock and Carrd. After you’ve built your landing page, get the word out — and pay attention to how many email addresses you collect to gauge interest levels. If you go on to develop your app idea, ping your audience semi-regularly with updates.

4. Make it work on the cheap (MVP)

For mobile app: ThunkableAppy Pie and AppMachine

For web app: try Bubble or Shoutem

For marketplace app: consider Sharetribe or Kreezalid

For e-commerce app: Shopify

5. Make the first version of your app

After your initial set of sketches, try pairing your design ideas with free online tools to create high-quality mockups, such as Proto.io, InVision (no coding required), Adobe InDesign

To find software developers or engineers to help you bring your idea to life, you can reach out to your network, attend networking events and Meetups, search by skills on LinkedIn or check freelancer websites like Gigster.

“Find engineers who have full-time jobs who are willing to take this on as a side project.”


Seven Dilemmas Every First-Time Entrepreneur Must overcome

“Any meaningful AND significant pursuit will involve a huge learning curve.

Entrepreneurship, however, is a largely public sport. To gain real traction, you have to touch several stakeholders in public. So, you are “exposed” from the word “Go.”

1. The lure to get back to past certainty vs the grit to persist under uncertainty

2. The choice to stretch and do it alone vs the choice get good help

Your personal growth and the growth of your ecosystem are important.

3. The question of sharing

“Seal your lips” attitude and “throw the kitchen sink” attitude.

Sharing about your startup always comes down to:

What, with whom, when, how. Why is the most important…

4. You vs Them

When you are building your first startup, you are always hungry for any kind of resources and every connection looks like a possible piece of your startup puzzle.

Reciprocation is a powerful thing and the fastest way to activate that power is to proactively reach out and help others with their quests.

5. Crafting a great story vs making something that is worthy of a great story

Without blood and sweat, you can’t create something that is worth talking about.

Balancing superb execution with flawless storytelling is a must to make something meaningful happen.

6. Going for a home run vs focusing on a series of singles and doubles

There are two schools of thought: “home run” – “backing” from serious people and the other is “singles and doubles”

There are advantages and disadvantages of both. Your goal should be able to paint a grand vision while having a “staircase to heaven” execution approach. People should be able to see the vision at the same time believe that you have a plausible execution plan.

Remember: If people don’t believe you, they rarely tell you about their disbelief. Their supporting actions after the meeting are a good indicator of how much they believe in you and your plan.

7. The signal vs the noise

Your inability to distinguish between signal and noise will cost you way more than consuming that information.


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18h00 – 06/03/2019

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