Start A Smart Company

startup company data

What’s up !!! This is THE stephane ANDRE. I watch an Olivier Roland’s video  and I learned some good stuff.

To create a company, most people advise to leave school or job to be 100% focused on creating the company. I advise you to start your business part-time and continue your school or job. An excellent method for this is « Lean Startup » . The principle of Lean Startup is to put on the market as fast as possible your product/service at minimum viable.

2 different methods

method scientific

Classic

Let’s take a closer look at what most people do. A person has an idea to start a company, so this person does a market research to minimize the risks. Then this person will seek financing with bank loans after calculating the needs of the business. These business needs based on a 3-years business plan that is extremely theoretical and hypothetical. You should know that in 99% of cases, as soon as the company is open and prospects are in contact with the products/services, these business plans have no connection with the reality of the field.

The problem with this method is that this person works for 1 year to create a product/service and when it’s available, this person realize that everyone doesn’t care. When the product/service isn’t selling, the stress rises enormously and you have to find a way to pay back people who lend money to your company.

Lean startup

With the Lean Startup’s method, when a person has a product/service idea, the principle is to find the minimum basic function of that which would interest the audience and the prospects who would be willing to buy. Then you have to do a test as soon as possible on the market. There is something very important that Michael Masterson said : « Before your business make its first sale, it’s nothing more than a set of unproven ideas that you are spending money on ».

That is why it’s necessary to set up a field test in the most real conditions possible with the most minimal version of your product/service.

Here is an example with someone who wants to buy a parking lot to rent it :

  • With the classic method, this person bought a random parking lot hoping to have many prospects interested in renting it.

  • With the Lean Startup method, this person will find an interesting parking lot to buy. Then this person will post an ad in an ads posting site and on social media and will wait to see if there are peope interested in renting it. If people call this person to say : « I’m interested in having your parking lot, I’d like to rent it », in this case this person will buy the parking lot. If nobody is interested in the parking lot, this person will not buy it.

Test quicky

test field

There are several other methods like this to test. In my case, it’s my blog to build my brand and until today, I’m doing it part-time. Here is a 3-part article in the power of a blog ( here  ).

Create my blog allowed me to :

  1. To know if I could find and keep my rhythm to write articles

  2. To know if I could share interesting things to create an audience

  3. To know if I could possibly monitize this blog with this audience

Once you have the idea, you need to test it as soon as possible to see what is happening on the field to collect feedback from the first customers and to know if you have an interesting business model or not. This test is excellent for eliminating a lot of uncertainty.

The cool thing about the Lean Startup method is that you’ll really start investing a lot of time, money and energy when you have your first customers who will help you improve your product/service.

Let things be clear, Lean Startup isn’t a magic formula, it’s necessary to act and start the process again, until you have a product/service that interest people.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know.

-Steph

Schools To Be An Entrepreneur

school

I watched an Oliver Roland’s video  and I learned good stuff.

There are schools with specific courses about entrepreneurship. But several studies show that only 10% of students create their own companies. The vast majority go looking for a job.

It’s possible that these students create their own companies 5 or 10 years later but these are statistics that are hard to get.

It’s possible that these students start their company 5 or 10 years later, but these statistics are hard to have.

Look this podcast about « How should Business Schools prepare students for startup ? ».

What is interesting is to talk to entrepreneurs and to see that the vast majority of them have never studied at a school about entrepreneurship.

Being an entrepreneur is like any other exciting job, we always keep learning. Being an entrepreneur is a mission of life and it’s necessary to become better day after day.

If there is no effective school to learn entrepreneurship, we know that there is a curriculum to be a businessman.

MBA

mba

MBA (Master of Business Administration) is a huge curriculum. It’s often 1-2 years of your life after a professional experience. Which means that for 1-2 years, you don’t earn a salary. And it should be added that a MBA costs between $ 50 000.- and $ 100 000.-. You see, you really need to be motivated to do it.

It’s clear that having a MBA make it possible to have a better salary, it also helps to have knowledge in business but there are interesting critics on the results obtained on the field.

A MBA shows your employers that you’re able to sacrifice your life for your job. During a MBA, you work 70-80 hours a week to get it, which means that you’re able to do the same hours per week for your employer.

A MBA helps to create a network, but now with internet, there is another way to create a network. Interesting people don’t look for people who was in the best schools, they are looking for people who have projects and who shows that they’re capable to realize their projects.

Among the people who have negative reviews on MBA, we can find Seth Godin. Seth Godin is a well-know author and marketing expert in USA. He has a MBA from Standford and quotes : « Having A MBA is learning the best techniques for running a company in the 1990s for 2 years, while the world runs as fast as it can ».

We also have Peter Thiel. Peter Thiel is the co-founder of PayPay and Palantir and he’s the first external investor for Facebook. He has a MBA and he’s not satisfied with the results he obtained on the field.

What is certain is that a MBA is not really about creating entrepreneurs but about creating good employees able to run a company of the 1990s.

At the moment, there is no effective school in the world to learn to be a good entrepreneur. Being an entrepreneur is a state of mind and a decision of life. It’s all learned on the field, reading books and talking to more experienced entrepreneurs.

There is an interesting book « The Personal MBA »  that lets you learn the basics of a MBA without spending 1-2 years of your life without pay working 70-80 hours per week and saving between $ 50 000.- and $ 100 000.-. All this only by reading this book.

But I’m open-minded and it’s possible that someone took a course on entrepreneurship in a school. If that’s your case, it would be cool if you shared the experience you had in school and how it helped you to create and grow your company.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Make A Totally Innovative Project

innovative project

I watched an Oliver Roland’s video  and I learned good stuff.

Often we have a totally innovative product or service and it’s so innovative that we don’t know if people will buy it. And it’s normal that an entrepreneur to think about it because to create a product/service, it takes a lot of energy, time and money.

The problem is to know which is the most profitable idea. It’s an important skill that an entrepreneur must have to know how to minimize risks. No one can be sure of the product’s success at 100 % but we can reduce the risks enormously.

To reduce the risks enormously, it’s necessary to test the product/service to the reality of the market. There are several ways to test your product/service on the market :

  • The Lean Startup’s method  allows you to create a prototype ( the Minimum Viable Product) quickly

  • You can make ads on Facebook

  • You can create a blog to see if you idea interest people to make it a community

  • You can go on a Crowdfunding’s platform, explain your idea and see if people are willing to invest in it. Your product/service is in « pre-order » mode.

  • You can do a webinar where you explain your idea to people and see if they’re ready to pay you in advance. Your product/service is in « pre-order » mode.

Sell before create

sell before create

The principle of these methods is to sell the product/service before creating it. With it, you can minimize the risks. You can do it, it’s legal and ethic provided you’rae transparent with your community or your prospects. You have to tell them that the product is under development and that they will be able to use it as soon as it’s ready.

I think we all already bought a pre-order product and we were satisfied.

With these strategies to « sell before you create » your product/service, you avoid wasting months or years of work to have an unsaleable product/service because nobody is interested. And unfortunately, it happens extremely often. A lot of entrepreneurs lose their time creating something that nobody wants to buy.

Test all your ideas in this way until one of your product/service interests people. And you do this every time because there is always a difference between what the entrepreneur wants and what consumers want. And the way to find out if a product/service is successful is to test it on the market right away.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Crowdfunding and blog

crowdfunding

I watched an Olivier Roland’s video  and I learned good stuff.

Use a crowdfunding’s platform is interesting to create a product. What is also cool is that by looking at projects we can have an idea of the future products.

Crowdfunding allow you to sell a product before creating it but there is a difference compared do the Lean Startup method  :

  • With the Lean Startup method, a startup must create as soon as possible a prototype (minimum viable product) to test it in the real world (the market).

  • With the crowdfunding, a product must be of sufficient interest to people to invest their money in the project. It’s mainly a relationship based on trust, people believe your promises.

Crowdfunding

crowdfunding

Crowdfunding’s platforms have their own rules to protect their communities. Imagine you need $300 000.- to create your product. Unfortunately you can reach only $200 000.-. As you have not reached $300 000.- required, the money is refunded to people. Nobody lose money.

The truth is that sell content on crowdfunding’s platform is very difficult. Video games work well, there are video games that reached $1 million. Movies and short films also work well. For exemple, fans of mangas or comics make a movie about their heros. On the other hand, books are really a small percentage.

For an author it can work but you already have a large community, already have an authority or already have credibility in another area.

If you start from scratch and you want to create a blog but nobody know you and you don’t have a community, it will be extremely complicated to have funding with this type of platform.

And the reason is very simple, everybody know that we can create a blog for free.

Self made

self-made

And it’s precisely because it’s free (or not expensive) that makes the blog’s strength.

You can create a blog today from your home and work on it (part-time) next to your school/work.

With a good strategy, you blog is a company. Do you know how it was 30 years ago to start a company ? You needed to have a minimum capital and you had to do a market research by buying files or paying experts. Now with internet, you can do it from your home, it’s cool.

To have a blog that work well, you need to have a strategy and one of the points of the strategy is to reduce your distractions. Decreases distractions that prevent you from evolving your blog. A distraction I’ve decreased is the number of hours watching TV show or Youtube. I spent easily 3 hours a day watching what doesn’t matter, now I decreased to 45 minutes.

With Youtube, I subscribed only 13 channels and it’s channels that learn something or motivate me to develop my blog.

stephane andre youtube subscribe

To have a blog, it’s a little bit utilize the Lean Startup method because your’re quickly in touch with reality to see if what you are doing interest people (number of views), you use feedbacks from your community to improve your content and you build your audience little by little so that your blog become a real company.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Know What We Want In Life

what you want

I watched an Olivier Roland’s video  and there is good stuff.

A lot of young and less young (30-50 years old) still don’t know what they want in life. It’s not something essential to succeed in life and be happy. But read this Seneca’s quote: « If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable ». Life can be more interesting when we know what we want to accomplish. When you take your car, before to go in your car, you know your destination. Do you already used your car without knowing the destination ?

I think it’s important that people know what they want accompish in life, what they want leave as inheritance or legacy. To do this, we need to find our passion, a passion that drive you to be better than yesterday.

I know people used different exercices to find their passion but they found nothing, it’s a failure and they’re frustrated. In my opinion, these people have just an exploration problem.

Exporation

exploration

Exlpore several activities is a great way to find a passion. It’s simple, how do you know you like an activity, if you have never tried this. May be you are an archery olympic champion but how do you know if you have never tried archery ?

I encourage you to do new activites, meet people, discuss with them and pratices to decrease the number of activites you don’t know. The truth is that your passion will not come to seek you.

Exlpore new activies, it’s good but don’t become addicted to exporation’s phase.

In a passion, there is 3 steps :

  • Exploration phase

    It’a like when we fall in love, everything is awesome, everything is beautiful.

  • Dry period phase

    For most people, it’s in this phase that they abandon. The enthusiasm of the beginning diminishes enormously. We spend a lot of energy for little result compared to a person who has done the same thing for 3-5 years.

    And it’s also in this phase where we must be careful to not be addicted to the exploration phase. For people who don’t like the dry period phase, they will find several excuses to change activity instead of holding on until to have good results.

  • Consecration phase

    It’s at this moment that we harvest the seeds that we sowed and generally success always exceeds us.

Project

project

Once we found a passion, have a project around this passion allow us to become a better version or ourselves. This project will allow us to get out of our comfort zone, to give the better or ourselves because we really want to succeed. The ideal is to combine a passion, skill and economic potential if you want to become an entrepreneur.

To test your project, I advise you to use « Lean startup » by experimenting in the field using little time, energy and money.

What is your last activity that you did and that you liked ? Do you plan a project with ?

-Steph

Beyond Perfectionism

perfectionism

I watched an Olivier Roland’s video  and there is good stuff.

Perfectionism

perfectionism

It’s the fact of spending an infinite time on details to be sure that everything is perfect. It can be an advantage but often it’s a huge disavantage. Because we spend months, years to create something perfect in his/her room and when we launch it, we realize that everybody don’t care.

Case study

case study

It’s a student of the BloggerPro training who is a marketing internet’s teacher in a prestigious business school. He has refistered for this training but he thought he doesn’t need to do everything in this training because he’s a marketing internet teacher. He just took things who interest him. Result, he spent 2 years to write a painting book to make masterpiece and when his book launched, nobody buy it.

Then, he did again the training using all anti-perfectionism techniques. Result, he made a first product he sold 25 000 euros in one week. It was a training about the color mixture in paint.

Intelligent procrastination

intelligent procrastination

Yes, perfectionism can be also a procratination’s type, an intelligent procrastination. In contrary of stupid procrastination, it’s procrastinating while feeling well. When we procrastinate stupidly, we don’t do something that we promised to do saying we will do it tomorrow. And we will feel guilty.

Intelligent procrastination, we’re choking under a lot of work. We can believe that we make progress but we just avoid something that scares us.

There is a lot of authors, entrepreneurs, globe-trotter, people who have great ambitions fall into it because they’re afraid to confront reality. They’re afraid to fail or they’re afraid to have success. It’s unconscious, they want it to be perfect. They will remain within a theoretical framework. They will be the best in the his/her room. « Lean Startup » method  help to have success.

 

Lean Startup

lean startup

The method is to set up as soon as possible in the field a prototype, a minimum viable product. It’s a method anti-perfectionism. We will focus on the 20 % of features/actions that will bring the 80 % of the result, 80 % of what people want.

And we will bring these 20 % as soon as possible in the field to be confront with reality to see if it’s good or if it’s need to have adjustements.

If you’re writing a book, try to confront you with reality as soon as possible. Develops a community when you begin to write the book. This community will help you to promote your book but also you can show to your community your ideas and see how your community react. See if what you write interest really people. This is can be in video or article.

Case study

case study

A blogger who have a blog called «  Personal revolution » have wrote a novel several years ago. This novel called « The woman without fear » that was in the top 100 of Kindle’s sales during several months. How he wrote this novel ? He did in form of episodes in his blog. There a lot of famous authors who wrote novels which were the basis of soap operas published in newspapers. You can do the same thing today with your blog. You can write a part of your first chapter so that you community can give you feedbacks. You community will give you ideas, suggestions. If’s a kind of co-creation to write the rest of the story. In addition, it puts you in a anti-procrastination process because you’re creating the audience that will be waiting for the next. It will boost you.

Community responsability

community responsability

Say your goal to the world and ensure that people follow you to ask about your evolution. The interest is that you will involve peope who will then broadcast what you have done when it’s completed. This blog wrote the half of his novel in his blog and with the help of his community.

You see the process ? He wrote a novel adapted to his audience because of feedbacks of his community. He knew, the day of the lauch of the book, there is already a community of people who were motivate to buy the book because they wanted to know the rest of the story.

Perfectionism is to have a product adjusted to reality in the field

Do you have a community for your product/service ?

-Steph

Blog content (Part 3)

blog content

Asymptote

Attention, if you didn’t read from the beginning, click Part 1 and Part 2.

With this writing and reading cycle, you discover your potential asymptote. When you begin a process of excellence and knowledge because you read all the articles, all the studies about your subject, you build a quality knowledge. You discover within yourself that you are good at something. Because in the world, everyone, without exception, is good at one domain, you just look for it.

Vulnerability

Being vulnerable when we begin to write about a topic. When you go to publish your articles, there will be experts who will read you and ask « But he thinks he’s good ? ». It will always happen here and be vulnerable and willing to be vulnerable, is to accept to have nothing to do with that. Being vulnerable because we’re judged but to continue to be in action. It’s like the Theodore Roosevelt’s speech « Man in the Arena ». Life is like an arena. The majority of people watching gladiators fight and critics but there are very few people in the arena. Create content, this is the same context, it’s a window to the brain and to the heart, it’s stronger.

Not alone

a lot of people

You’re not the only one wanting to build something, to want to express yourself. In the current economic context, there have never been so many people educated in the world. Today, there are more living mathematicians than in the mankind history, therefore to study and have a degree isn’t enough. We must do things by creating content. Write or make videos on a topic you’re passionate is the smallest step towards action and excellence. The action and excellence a little more every day, a little more every day and so on. This isn’t something that is done in 24 hours.

In this world where there are more mathematicians and other scientists, you must become an expert. Everyone becomes an expert in a field. It takes 10,000 hours to become an expert, not everyone agrees with this principle, but it takes time to become an expert. We must begin as soon as possible to become an expert on a topic and it isn’t because you’re an expert on a subject at a time that it will remain your expertise all your life. But continuing this approach to search, explore, decant, produce, create, you’ll pass expertise, in expertise, in expertise. And what to keep in mind is that we live in a world where it’s hard to be successful in any field and you have to be a great expert to succeed.

Write to the outside

It’s good to write for himself for all the reasons I have explained but we also do it for the world. Because when you’re going to start writing, you will communicate with other people. You will meet people online that you would never meet, whether people like you who don’t have much knowledge but are enthusiasts or experts who are available on Twitter with whom you can talk about your blog. This is gold, so this is great start moving into the content creation and content publication, it’s fundamental.

This also allows you to pretend : « Fake it unitl you make it ! ». The idea is to sell to see if it works and then design and produce the stuff. It’s selling something that doesn’t exist to see if people are willing to buy it like that we have no need to produce it and see that it doesn’t work. You need to train yourself to pretend to save time and to pretend playing excellence. Albert Einstein said : « Genius is 1% talent and 99% hard work … ».

Even if you’re competing with yourself (the hardest competition), imagine that there is a person twice as smart as you. If you work twice as that person, you have twice as much chance to succeed that person who is twice as smart as you. When you’ll start to interest about your topic in extreme and passionate way and you’ll enter in a virtuous circle, you’ll start working hard. You’ll be able to get more things before most people.

Your blog could become a startup

There are many companies that began as a blog. There are articles on internet which list it and we see that it all began with a passion. Groupon, the huge site with limited reduction in time, started with a blog.

Self-defense

self-defense

When you gonna write about your passion and get better, you’ll create your headquarters (HQ). In all conversations you’re having, you know that there is a subject where you’re super good. That’s the headquarters, it’s a place where you are well. You can go places where you don’t feel safe but once you’re in your headquarters, it’s you who are in a dominant position. And when we have something like that, that create tremendous confidence in us and it allows us to do many more things.

Luck surface

Post articles outside can increase your « luck surface ». A « luck surface » of 1, for example, is to write a letter in a bottle and throw it into the sea to find a soul mate. This is « luck plan : 1 ». Tinder, « luck surface : 10 000 ». This is the « luck surface », it’s to increase the friction ratio with the world to be able to create the chance. There will haters that say : « Yes, but he was lucky, he had a blog, it’s why he found this job, blah, blah, blah ». But no, it’s not luck, it’s just increase the « luck surface ». Increase the « luck surface » with people who share the same passion.

Asynchronous connection

This also allows to make asynchronous connection with people. When you publish articles in your blog, typically, there is the No. 1 network that will work, people who read the article on the day of its publication. But this article will also be referenced in Google and people will read it, 1 year or 3 years after and they will contact you.

It was the last part of « Content blog », I hope that you’re motivated to put you in action to make your passion your profession.

-Steph