10. July 2012 02:11
We – teamaton – are in the business of creating software. Even though I have been doing this for a couple of years already, watching the following presentation by Dharmesh Shah (founder of marketing software hubspot) still was inspiring.
Most of all I like when people let you get a climpse behind the scenes of how their startup and business model works. How have they gotten to that point? What obstacles did they face, what have they learned, what should you look out for with your own software startup?
13. February 2012 18:39
Jeff Veen, CEO and successful entrepeneur tells a story of how the team of web startup typekit managed to solve a crucial emergency with their application.
Typekit is a web application that delivers custom fonts to users and partners all over the web.
Lesson 1: Have a clear emergency response protocol
When everything falls apart a clear and structured baby-steps plan on how to get back to normal is crucial to keep everybody calm and productive. Focusing on single issues helps create an overall solution to the problem. Anybody should be able to follow this protocol.
Lesson 2: Be clear on what service you are actually providing
Jeff makes the point that before their almost break down he was not really aware that typekit was actually more than just one service – the one their customers see the most. There were apis and a whole delivery network in place. The latter was not in control of typekit and caused the problem.
Lesson 3: Grow a trusting and collaborative culture
Bad things are going to happen. Growing a culture in your team that enables you to solve these problems in short time is crucial to building a successful web startup.
Last Lesson: Start your meetings 5 minutes past the hour :)
11. November 2011 17:00
Joel Bukiewicz of Cut Brooklyn tells his story of starting his own business of making knifes. Well shot video from the series “Made By Hand”.
Stumbling into Your Passion – or Finding it
First interesting turn in the story is the way Joel moves away from considering himself a writer. Take a timeout and most and formost do stuff. Experiment. And eventually you are going to stumble or get pushed into something that really suits you, that you can and want and are passionate about.
Getting Real Feedback from Real People
One thing that reminded me a lot when I switched from studying to product design and eventually user experience design, is the fact that your work, your product is used by someone, helps them and if you did a good job is appreciated by them.
Same thing here: Making knifes for people to use them and thus give something to a community, become part of that community is always a very strong motivator and very likely to make you like your work.
Putting in the Hours, the Sweat, the Blood
Once you found a profession that suits you, that fulfills you, that makes you happy working in it, you still have to turn it into a business that allows you to keep doing it. And to start earning money from your passion means, you have to become very good at it. “So good they can’t ignore you” as Steve Martin says.
There is no shortcut, no easy way to become competent. As Joel puts it: “Buckets of sweat and blood and work to get there.”
Focus on the Value of Your Work
Figure out what value you create and why your customers care about your product.
Stick to this value and work hard to maintain it. In our case at teamaton it is delivering a software product that helps our users to get something done and by doing so delivering a great and enjoyable user experience. In Joels case it is delivering quality by making everything by hand.
That is why I like these stories of how passionate and competent people got to do what they are doing. It is a great source of inspiration and shows me whether I am on the right track.