Note: This is the third installment in the Startup Team Building series. Read Part I HERE and Part II HERE. When hiring ATM Operators at a Big Dumb Company (BDC), assessing each candidate’s ability to execute predictable tasks is of paramount importance. As such, the recruitment process revolves around applicants’ resumes, which highlight what they have previously done in their professional careers. What is important at a BDC, because most duties performed at mature entities are repetitive, structured and involve minimal ambiguity. Thus, evaluating the tasks a candidate has previously performed is a valid methodology when filling job openings in relatively static organizations.
Article first published as Guerilla Marketing Fail – What I Learned From The Austin Police on Technorati. Acrobatic ninjas, the Austin Police and several livid tradeshow executives – a perfect recipe for a reality television show, but not a great combination for Seth Epstein’s startup, Social Stay. Seth discusses below what happened in Austin when he tried to rock the largest hospitality tradeshow of the year and what he learned from this humorous, but stressful experience. You can watch my interview with Seth below or on YouTube here: http://youtu.be/O9TEOY-QYhs To hear Seth verbally describe this enlightening story, watch the video. Below is a guest post in which Seth tells the story in written form. Both the video and Seth’s post are excellent primers regarding how to deal with guerilla marketing gone wrong. I suggest you check out both the video and Seth’s entertaining depiction below. Note: the story takes place in Austin, not Dallas, which I incorrectly reference in the video.
TestFlight’s mission is to reduce app developers’ pain. The company effectively leveraged this credo at Apple’s 2011 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). As Ben Satterfield, TestFlight’s CEO explains in the interview below, for the cost of some T-shirts and tacos, TestFlight was able to dominate the mindshare of many WWDC attendees. As Ben points out, successful guerrilla marketing is predicated on creativity and clever execution, not a huge budget. You can watch my four-minute interview with Ben below or on YouTube here: http://youtu.be/RzSrfTE87EY
Note: This is part II of a five part series. Access the first installment HERE, part III HERE, part IV HERE, and part V HERE. In part I of this series, I discussed how you can teach your children to make something from nothing by sharing with them Marcia Brown’s Stone Soup. There are a number of other children’s books that also serve as good platforms from which you can impart entrepreneurial values and lessons. One such book comes from a surprising source, the notoriously left-leaning Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. He inadvertently drafted the salesman’s manifesto in the form of Green Eggs and Ham, utilizing 50-different words, 48-of which are one syllable. Not only will your children understand it, it is even accessible by the average salesperson.
In Don’t Be A Grin F**ker, Mark Suster describes a concept that the two of us have discussed at various Board meetings. Startups often expend significant resources attempting to coax a relationship out of someone who smiles and says all the right things, yet whose inactions are inconsistent with their alleged intentions. Entrepreneurs who are self aware and have the Whole Package are less prone to being successfully grin screwed. However, even the most enlightened entrepreneur can unknowingly waste valuable time and energy pursuing non-qualified prospects. Thus, developing an ability to identify Grin F☺☺kers is a startup skill worth cultivating.
In the summer of 1999, Expertcity (creator of GoToMyPC and GoToMeeting, acquired by Citrix) released a free service called BuddyHelp. In the spirit of the “land grab” mentality of the day, we emphasized usage of our screen sharing technology with no thought applied to how we would convert such users into paying customers.
“You miss 100% of the shots you never take.” Wayne Gretzky Imagine how difficult it would be to score in hockey if you were required to rely on someone who is not your teammate to convince another third-party, whom you have not met, to take a shot on your behalf. As crazy as this scenario sounds, it is very similar to the “scoring process” companies engage in when they track Net Promoter Scores.
"To let the brain work without sufficient material is like racing an engine. It racks itself to pieces." Sherlock Holmes in "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle" Too many entrepreneurs stress about their competition without having enough information to make informed decisions. They need to move beyond the emotional aspects of competing and develop multiple, largely free, sources of competitive information. There is no need to hire an expensive consultant. As noted in, "Competing From the Fringe," dedicate a senior member of your team as your "Watson" (you cannot afford a Sherlock, after all). Watson's role is to diligently and consistently mine the readily available data sources noted below and periodically communicate the state of the competitive landscape to your Core Team.
"Now, I return to this young fellow. And the communication I have got to make is, that he has great expectations." Charles Dickens, Great Expectations A: You win a $20M lottery. Several days later, you learn that four other people also had the winning number and thus your actual winnings are reduced by $16M to a total of $4M. B: You win a $2M lottery. Several days later, you learn that due to an accounting glitch, your initial winnings were misreported. Your actual winnings increase by $1M to a total of $3M. In which situation would you be happier?