Hacks Hackers Connect SF

Corey Ford:

Matter is a startup accelerator focused on the future of media and journalism with a 20 week design thinking model

we help startups fail fast, get feedback, iterate on their venture to get to a demo day

matter's focus is on getting to a pitch that will get VC's to invest in your startup

we want teams that work together well, and have a functioning prototype of their project

we have a design review every month - which is a simulated demo day so you can fail fast and iterate

design review 0 is a baseline - it as an ass-kicking for you to get raw feedback for you to deconstruct

you need top down. bottom up, MVP, money strategy, growth strategy all wrapped in a story

top down is a view of big trends and how they will play out over 2 years. this is your "In a World…" intro

Bottom Up means you need an actual problem to solve for a customer

you have to do this funky dance between the super high level view and the clear problem you're solving

the top down pitch can get too abstract - when you're an entrepreneur abstraction is your enemy. start concrete

the more abstract you are in the beginning, the more people make stuff up about what you are talking about

never organise your business around ideas; organise around problems

You need a Minimum Viable Product, but it does need a way to make money and a growth hypothesis

you need to wrap it all in a story - building a venture is a multivariate challenge

what I learned from making documentary films is that a big issue is unlocked by character-driven narrative

a good pitch is a 3 act structure that has 2 character driven narratives in it

the first character is your user and their problem; the 2nd character is your team and how they resolve the problem

your job is to sell the investor on the journey that they can come on with you to the next fundable lily pad

don't confuse design review with pitch practice - a pitch sums up your current project state in a story for others

as an entrepreneur you are the leader of a tribe that is building over time

for each design review you are putting a stake in the ground and getting feedback on it

we have a series of questions for each design review:

1. does your excitement outweigh your hesitation?

2. do the top-down trends make this space worth pursuing? (whether this is the right product or not)

3. Is there a clear bottom-up user point of view? Can you imagine a user doing this

4. does the product meet that need in a compelling way? Is the user journey clear

5. Is there a clear growth hypothesis?does it grow over time

6. Is there a a clear path to making money? not necessarily now

7. is there a strtegy for sustainable competitive advantage? Network effects

8. Is the storytelling clear and compelling?

9. what are the 3 critical things for this team to do next? key thing is to focus

10. Is this the team to do it? - this is the hidden question, but investors always ask it

when an entrepreneur has been building something in stealth mode for 18 months, there is often an obvious flaw

Catherine Cheney:

Would you ever advise a team to create a non-profit rather than a venture funded company?

Corey Ford:

we are not set up for that, but this process can apply to a non-profit effort too

most businesses have multiple possible users, but you need to choose the most important user to focus on

average team size is 3, with a range of 1 to 8 (we don't like to bet on 1) - everyone is involved in everything

Catherine Cheney:

are there media companies that followed this process that you can point to as success stories?

Corey Ford:

there is always a drunken walk- you need prototyping and executing. Twitter started as a podcast company

when a team has killed something precious to them in their initial pitch, they are likely doing well

Dan Olsen:

Lean Startup is about making explicit hypotheses; testing those assumptions; iterating quickly

I wrote the "Lean Product Playbook" to make Lean Startup clearer from a product perspective

Lean Canvas is a single sheet for you to articulate your product theory on

1 customer segments 2 problem 3 unique value 4 solution 5 channels 6 make money 7 costs 8 metrics 9 unfair advantage

Product-Market Fit is a pyramid Market

the number 1 mistake with MVP is to overbuild; the number 2 is to build a layer, not a slice

my slides are online at http://www.slideshare.net/dan_o/a-playbook-for-achieving-productmarket-fit-by-dan-olsen-at-lean-startup-conference

ian kennedy:

team 1: I want a podcast discovery app for commuters

Catherine Cheney:

2. A way to encourage discussion of stories after publication

Scott Rosenberg:

5. I want a tool that makes writing once and publishing in multiple places really easy

what if we have a master editor that shows how it can work in twitter or other places it can be published to