Wednesday 26 September 2012

The Essence of Starting with Heart

I am sharing a work in progress. My designer will cringe as he has not yet seen it, nor therefore touched it. If you click on the link below it will take you to a powerpoint presentation. Images are rough, and the sound is even scratchy - how did that happen? Maybe some kind of intelligence on behalf of the MAC? This is an early communication from a startup hence let's select scratchy garage 1970s recording sound? 

I'm interested to know what kind of content could enrich the presentation. It is meant to help startups find a place to actually start their startup from. I put it together in early early days when the to do lists were overwhelming and impeding creativity and progress.

If you don't feel like going to the presentation a synopsis of the notes are below. 
Start with heart – Finding the Start Up Essence 

I am sharing some of my own discoveries and wonderful wisdom of other entrepreneurs that only experience can bring 
  • The learning curve can overwhelm:   Business models, financial systems, technology, competition, creating pitches for funding, engaging partners and sponsors, revenue models, corporate tax, how many people will we need to hire, what skills will we need, where will the money come from, … the daunting list goes on

  • Business schools are big on teaching how to build business models and business plans….But there are so many reasons why the best place to start is on your idea – the essence of your start up – your product or service.
  • Trying to do to many things at once can block creativity.
  • Building a worthy product takes some stretching of the imagination, questioning our own idea, testing our ideas, throwing some away, starting over, finding better solutions. 
  • And until we have our product prototype designed - most of the to do list will need to be redone anyway.
When you want to bring a start up to market, creativity can be one of your best allies.  To put your best foot forward:
  •  Step back and take a long look at your start up 
  • Set your own preferences aside and step into your customer or users wardrobe. 
  • Live in their space, think about their joys, problems, influencers, inspirations.. 
  • Feel how your idea change your customer’s world – even if just a little bit?  
  • Or think how would you like to change their worlds?
Find the reason you must bring your idea to your customers. 
There are a lot of people we need to reach, engage and motivate to be on our team: start up partners, investors, clients, end users, collaborators.
Your business model will be essential – but it will not enchant the people around you. 
We typically have about five minutes to convey that our startup is worthy – of partnership, of funding if we are delivering that message personally.
Passion conveys confidence, it is contagious. Get an angel investor excited about your idea and your opportunity for success skyrockets. 
What can you say in a short time to gain interest in your idea? How many words do you need to use to prove your point? How long will you have a key  person’s interest?
Passion and enthusiasm will get attention and it’s infectious – just like laughter. An excited audience pays attention. 
We learn by doing, we remember through activity. Demonstrate and test your prototype. A prototype shows you mean business and are not just batting an idea around, Your business is the real thing. 
Heart and authenticity build trust with your users and investors
 Most importantly – live your customer's/user's life. Understand their desires, their problems, their culture, how they make decisions. Love them. Love to help them. That’s how you will create an authentic business and attract a trusting audience.
You need heart for your clients and for your partners. If you love your customers.. then you will love your solution and this creates passion. 
Passion is contagious and fuels courage and tenacity. 
 If you build your business with heart, if you love it, so will others.

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