Startup Lean Coffee

Startup Strategy & Execution

Published on
May 11, 2019

We had another great Startup Lean Coffee at Betaworks Studios; 16 of us enjoyed an amazing breakfast and an engaging conversation. We broke up into two groups and shared our topics and take-aways at the end of the hour and a half. The topics that we discussed included:

  • Equity-based compensation
  • How to operationalize a strategic plan?
  • Protecting intellectual property
  • How to get eyeballs amidst the noise?
  • How to stay out of the weeds and see from 36,000 feet
  • Human nature, our shadow persona
  • What was the biggest challenge you faced when getting your company up and running?
  • Keys to seed $ success
  • What will make you quit your job and be a startup founder?
  • Selling to skeptical audiences

We had some incredible epiphanies covering strategy, fundraising, and experimentation. Here are some of the highlights.

Use OKRs to operationalize strategy, and get comfortable with ignoring what you don’t need to or can’t take on at the moment. Strategy can only clarify what is important to focus on now if it also clarifies what not to worry about at the moment. Be real about what a patent gives you. Make sure options vest, even for co-founders.

Starting a company is like building and climbing a ladder of proof in which each rung demonstrates that you have mitigated more business risk. The fastest way to climb the ladder is to run experiments; to climb faster, optimize your learning cycle. You learn more from experimenting with real product and customers, so build something as quickly as you can and start experimenting. Up the ante with each cycle and start making the experiments and customers real.

To raise money, segment investors as you would segment any market, focusing your time and energy on those investors who are in a position to invest the amount you’re looking for, are interested in your category of company, and have something to offer in addition to capital. Know your non-negotiables.

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About Startup Lean Coffee

Startup Lean Coffee is a monthly gathering of founders, early employees, advisors, investors, and anyone involved or interested in joining the startup world in any capacity. Our sole purpose is to help each other improve by sharing questions and experiences. All you need to bring is your attention, curiosity, and willingness to share.

We follow a Lean Coffee meeting format, a lightly facilitated meeting where participants democratically build an agenda and discuss each topic for a fixed time, voting to continue discussion or move on to the next topic after the time runs out.

Startup Lean Coffee is graciously hosted by Betaworks Studios. Participation is free; but space is limited. We usually meet on the 4th Friday of each month, except for this month. Sign up for the next Startup Lean Coffee, which will be on Tuesday, May 21st at 9am.

I provide advisory and consulting services that accelerate your growth by streamlining strategy, marketing, sales, design, engineering, and operations.