I took this quote from Seth Godins latest micro book Tribes:
“Do you beleive in what you do? Every day? It turns out that belief happens to be a brilliant strategy”
This resonates with me because it will motivate us to find solutions that ‘non believers’ will be too inept, apathetic or bored to uncover.
Entrepreneurs ought launch something they beleive in conceptually, not just financially.
Below is an elevator pitch ‘workshop’ I gave for the ‘Agents of change‘ entrepreneurs club of Melbourne University. The video below is the one of 6 x 10 minute videos. The first (the one below) includes an ‘example’ pitch I did for rentoid – then has ‘alot’ of questions and answers. The last of the videos, workshop 6 – all of which are here has some ideas on great pitcing practice.
It’s kind of long, but the largely due to the discussion afterwards!
So the credit crunch is here. This is great news for startups. Great news because the pretenders leave the playing field and reduces the number of players in the game. They often provide flimsy excuses to themselves and us saying things like ‘It’s not a good time to spread new ideas…’
So we need to think about this:
How to win?
- How do we win when a lot of money is being locked away from SME’s?
- How do we win by investing our available funds frugally?
- How do we win by extracting the maximum value from suppliers in a contractionary market place?
In short, how do we extract more value as a ‘bootstrapping startup’ while the VC funded few fall over… scamble for more cash – and run around trying to ‘monetize’ quickly. How can we turn the fact we know how to operate on a tight budget into our advantage?
Now is the best time yet for boostrappers. Now is the time when real value investors, real value extractors and real value providers win.
Here’s a list of business bubbles you may / may not have heard of:
Tulip bubble – 1630’s tulip’s sold for more than houses!
South Sea Bubble – 1720
Bull market of 1920’s – resulted in the great depression
Japanese asset price bubble – Commercial real estate selling for US$1.5m per square meter!
Real estate bubble every 10 years or so… You’ve just lived through one!
Tech wreck (dot com)– Companies with negative cash flow valued over 1 billion!
Sub prime / hedge fund bubble 2008 – We’re yet to see all of this…
Green Marketing bubble ? – This one’s coming watch out!
Many business bubbles are focused in new industries where startups are abound.
Here’s when to get nervous. When you hear the words ’it’s different this time’, or people are overly focused on industry growth and the so called – revolution.
Here’s when there is no need to get nervous. When your business model based on basic business fundamentals like cashflow and growth in your net cash position. Startups take heed.
For 1000’s of years business and industries never grown much over 10% p.a. once compounded. Yes, there’ll be exceptions like Microsoft in the early 1980’s. But generally speaking when things are predicted to grow at rates above 20%, and valuations are more than 20 time earnings….get suspicious, very suspicious.
Footballers (or any sports person) have good form and bad form. Some are heroes and always play well…. others have fleeting moments and some are inconsistent but sometimes brilliant.
As entrepreneurs we ought aim to be like ‘the’ footballer… not just a footballer in the league… But the MVP.
It’s hard to understand why some footballers have got the raw talent, the opportunity in the big league, but never seem to reach their potential.
Chances are – we too are that person – but in business.
We’ve been told by our friends and colleagues that we’ve got the talent to make it happen. They believe in us, but we’re not there – yet. That said, we should refer to ‘that football player’ we all have in our mind already. The guy who could be an absolute hero if he just pulled it all together… The training, the preparation, the diet, the mental application, the team effort, the professionalism. (free feel to name / discuss him in the comments) It’s the same with our start up. The idea, and our potential is only part of the equation. In fact, it’s really just like getting drafted. We’ve got along way to go.
If we’re going to play, we may as well behave like the MVP. Do it all. Aim for perfection and strive to extract every ounce of the gifts we’ve been given. As we know the MVP is never the guy with the most raw talent. It’s usually the guy who maximizes their potential.
Let’s do all the stuff we know we should in order to be the best. Otherwise, what’s the point?
English football savant George Best was once asked what happened to all the money he earned as the worlds greatest player. In classic Georgie style he responded:
“I spent a lot of my money on booze, birds and fast cars, the rest I just squandered.”
If we’re in an early phase start up or we’ve just made bank, the principles don’t change. If you can control your spending, you can control your business and your life. It’s easy to justify expenditure at either end of the business spectrum. A start up can convince themselves they’re investing for growth. Likewise, a booming business with big profits can fly first class and hire private yachts to impress clients themselves.
Quite often over spending is due to a real lack of creativity and an inflated ego.
Startup blog advice is this: Cash flow is vital and by being creative we can ultimately conserve cash flow, yet generate similar results.
Start up blog mantra:
Bring forward investments
Know the difference between the two. If unsure, ask.