Here is 101 on Startups

Posted on February 7, 2008. Filed under: act |

Here is a respond from a FANTASTIC US Based business angel – that shows all the right points in how to think about a startup. I never saw such a spot on approach. I have covered up the company name – but its all makes sence to nearly all companies. Read and enjoy:

I love the XXX concept. I think the idea is fantastic. However, in my opinion, the User Interface is way too complex. There’s too much effort for someone to get benefits, too many complex charts and too much work to do. Even the investor charts were hard to follow. I highly doubt with such a complex interface and so many screens with so much going on, you will be able to capture a meaningful portion of the market for obese people.

I also feel there are too many scientists involved, but not enough tech people or UI designers.

Here’s my challenge to you:

If you can manage to reduce what XXX does differently and its main use scenario down to one sentence, it would be compelling. I still like the idea a lot but in its current state, I think it needs work.

I also don’t like the idea that breakeven is expected in almost 3 years. Why not launch in a major market instead of just Denmark ?

The distribution channel seems too complicated – too many companies/partnerships to keep track of – likely to result in too many hires, salespeople, bus dev people increasing costs (whereas most of the traction could come virally through word of mouth). I do agree getting XXX PARTNERS would help, but also limit your target market to people that actually visit those (for which I have no stats in Europe).

When you look at successful web apps, they’re all SIMPLE. Twitter, Google, Facebook, Flickr, Youtube – when you have take so much to explain what the site does and how it will build sales, in my book you lost half the battle.

I think the major innovation missing here is automating …. Not sure what the right formula is, but highly doubt this is it.

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4 Responses to “Here is 101 on Startups”

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Just a few words:
Think big
Out of the box

Here is my short version.

Identify a real problem or “pain”.

Come up with a better way to solve that problem or “pain” while highly addressing you competitive advantages.

I don’t think Google, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr ARE simple. They may hide their complexity to end users but they are highly complex stuff. I would say very complex, at least to me.

When Google had to explain what they were doing (when they still haven’t any interface, only code and algorithms …) very few people found it simple. Very few were willing to invest.

Simplicity and complexity needs to go hand in hand to make it really big.

I wish I could do it.


[…] his critics on certain investors. Anyway, a business angel can help with advice: And here a short letter from a business angel to a company – read it – think about it – and integrate the ideas in your own […]

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