Pivoting for Profit

Just build a _____ profitable business!

David Heinemeier Hansson, This Week in Startups #46 (1:10:45)

My Lessons Learned - Make a Profit
My Lessons Learned - Make a Profit

Reflection

In the spirit of Agile, here’s my retrospective on when we realized the primary objective is to build a business & not to get funded.

Inflating Our Own Bubble

TechCrunch50 2009

Back in June 2009, I read about the TechCrunch50 2009 contest & while we barely had any running code, submitted an entry. My collaborators thought it was a bit of a stretch, but we all agreed it’s nice to set goals. So while trying to get a grip on what was required of us, I immersed myself in TechCrunch stuff. From what I understood, there was a common theme emerging – get funded & get out. And making it to the semi-finals only encouraged me.

I Think Our Bubble Has a Leak

Signed Copy of Guy Kawasaki's Reality Check
Signed Copy of Guy Kawasaki's Reality Check

We thought we had something that was so paradigm shifting, yet so simplistically obvious at the same time, that we’d have no trouble bringing on a CEO to help us reach Jason’s Promised Land. But it wasn’t happening like that. And as time passed, we realized that if we wanted to see our dream change the world then we couldn’t wait on someone else to make it happen.

Paradigm Shifting

That primed us for This Week in Startups #46 with David Heinemeier Hansson | ThisWeekIn.  Fast forward to 1:10:45 and there you have it.  It was paradigm shifting, yet so simplistically obvious. Just build a profitable business and the problem will be solved. Read his and Jason Fried’s Rework and you’ll get it too!

Trolling for Customer Development

The other day I was perusing Twitter when I saw Ben Yoskovitz’s

BeanSprout – a dating website for Business Development Partnerships: http://bit.ly/ivLRyf

A few tweets later, I was signed up and working with one of BeanSprout‘s founders – Artie Patel. I told him “Ideally, we’d like to hook up with someone like Localeze“. To which Artie responded; “They’re a customer of ours. Let’s see what we can do to help.”

Lessons To Learn

I’m actually planning on meeting Artie next week when they present at International Startup Festival – Montreal, Canada, July 13-15th 2011 where I’ll be volunteering for my Starving Startup ticket. Stay tuned for more details about how another startup delivered an awesome experience & whether it can help us learn to build a ______ profitable business.

(Thanks to Greg Meyer for tuning me into  experiences that @delivertheawsome.)

Related Links

Go out there and make some money!

Dan MartellTo Raise, Or Not To Raise | @MapleButter

2 Replies to “Pivoting for Profit”

  1. Hi Steven,

    I agree that the idea of ‘lean’ and ‘customer development’ are key missing links both for the Silicon Valley start-up as well as the fortune 500 companies that I’ve worked with.

    There are some interesting collaborative tools emerging to support the ‘lean startup’ methodology — ie, leancanvas.com and leanlaunchpad.com.

    I see that you’ve spent quite a bit of time with IBM’s connections team and products. Do you know of anyone out there developing collaboration tools for lean startup on IBM Connections? I think a ‘leancanvas’ solution on IBM Connections could be a great help to the fortune 500 who want to collaborate globally and want to insure greater security.

    1. Hi Jack,

      Thanks for picking one of my favorite posts! I’m a big fan & user of leancanvas.com & watched leanlaunchpad.com’s birth from last year’s Startup Lessons Learned Conference.

      To be honest, since being out of IBM, I haven’t stayed up-to-date with their offerings. I used Sametime Connect when it transitioned to Unyte but stopped there. Now I see there’s SocialBusiness. Regardless of the canvas/pad, I agree that communication is key & have even suggested to both founders they integrate with a social software platform to improve collaboration & more importantly, transparency.

      For my part, inspired by own burning needs and Carl’s comment on It was a good Dip – but a Dip nonetheless, I’ve taken my own social & referral networking lessons learned and am launching Menschenables.com – which certainly can help Startups and their entourage.

      Regards,
      Steven

Leave a Reply