Hacking a Business: From Project to Company (VIDEO)

In this talk for StartupMonthly‘s Demo Day I outline the analogies between hacking together software (not the malicious sort!) and hacking/founding companies.

The rundown? You need to just start, even though the road is tough and even though the beginnings may be humble. Find and keep good people everywhere you go. Know what you’re good at and not and find people to fill the holes in your capabilities. Don’t try to hide/protect your ideas – keep an idea board around. Don’t build technology for technology’s sake. Don’t get too caught up in the details and avoid moving forward (“bikeshedding”). Stay close to the money and only raise VC if it’s compatible with where you want to take your business.

Build Your Product With Empathy For The User (VIDEO)

This recorded talk comes courtesy The Founder Institute, where I am a mentor.

Many products fail to gain user adoption because they are built from the perspective of a technologist with unnecessary complexities. As I explain in the video below, it’s important to “make the main thing people do with your product as simple as possible” to attract users and give them a feeling of confidence.

In this talk from 2011’s San Francisco Founder Institute, I explain that you need to build products with empathy for the user to create something that resonates. I discuss minimalist design, how to make complex functionality discoverable, efficient product development, and user experience considerations.

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