Title: Chile: Launching a Global Entrepreneurship Hub
Speaker: Juan Andrés Fontaine (Chilean Government)
Change the world through innovation.
Chile has a lot of connections with Asia because 40% of their exports go to Asia.
They are trying to get Chile to be the innovation hub of South America by connecting with the innovation centers around the world.
Startup Chile is a program to attract entrepreneurs to go to Chile while in their early stages of innovation.
Chile’s bankruptcy laws create problems. It is very easy to be charged with fraud.
The crucial thing is to have a good idea. When you have a good idea the money is going to come in.
The political process tends to create a lot of regulations.
They are giving $40,000 in seed money to entrepreneurs.
To get to be successful you have to be willing to fail.
Title: Entrepreneurial Lessons: Find Value and Make Impact
Speaker: Amit Chatterjee (Hara)
The path not often taken is more often the way you want to go.
Don’t assume that building a company vs. financially engineering a company are the same thing.
Build something that is great and then let the world find out about it.
If you focus on your one geography you’re going to miss a huge opportunity.
Frugality as an entrepreneur is very important.
Do more than (your competitors) do.
The team is probably the most important thing.
If you know somebody doesn’t fit the company get them out.
Your employees either need to be on the boat or not.
You don’t build to flip. You build to last.
Success isn’t always about the financial outcome. It is also about the lasting impact you’re going to have.
You have to demand excellence.
You have to build a culture within your organization where everybody is great at doing something amazing.
Hire the best. Never compromise on that topic.
Focus on value integration.
Your last customer is your last reference.
Surround yourself with the best and brightest minds.
Just build it.
Believe you can be successful.
You shouldn’t worry about the current quarter. You should be focused on building a pipeline.
Coding is 5% of the solution. It is only a portion of the story.
Talk about the art of the possible.
You recruit by selling a part of you.
Entrepreneurship is about finding value in what you do.
Title: Solving Problems Makes a Great Business
Speaker: Chi-Hua Chien, Dan Rosensweig (KPCB, Chegg)
Silicon Valley is a complete meritocracy. (Dan Rosensweig)
Sell stock early. (Dan Rosensweig)
The business model will follow where users are spending their time. (Dan Rosensweig)
Every great entrepreneur at one times feels like, “Wow. Maybe I can’t do it.” (Dan Rosensweig)
The most successful companies on the Internet are services. (Dan Rosensweig)
Hire people that are willing to be part of a team. (Dan Rosensweig)
To change the world you’ve got to trust that people will figure it out over time. (Dan Rosensweig)
Follow your passions. (Dan Rosensweig)
If you’re excited about something whatever you’re doing is going to feel like a great job. (Dan Rosensweig)
Work for people you trust. (Dan Rosensweig)
Define success. (Dan Rosensweig)
Never look back. (Dan Rosensweig)
The road not taken is the road you’re never going to know. Make the road you’re on successful. (Dan Rosensweig)
Don’t hang around in a place you can’t be happy. (Dan Rosensweig)
You have to be open to where things are going. (Dan Rosensweig)
Title: Honest Advice on Starting a Company
Speaker: Mark Suster (Serial Entrepreneur)
There is not a right answer for everybody.
People get crippled by the idea phase.
99.9% of successful startups are not Google.
You have to get started.
Being an entrepreneur is not sexy. It is not for everybody.
Have the conviction to see it through.
Choose something you are passionate about.
Assemble a diverse team.
We tend to hang out with people that are kind of like us.
Get outside of your box.
You are paid a premium to take the first leap.
Just because a model has worked does not mean the model does work.
Make sure you have founder vesting.
You need to have tech in your DNA if you want to build a tech company.
You give up options if you raise too much too quickly.
There are times when fat (company size) is okay.
Your name should be your URL.
If you’re building a product you need multiple channels.
Be careful about words that mean something else.
Avoid the three F’s (friends, family, and fools) when raising money.
Raise V.C. money when you really think you want to go on a rocket ship.
Raising venture capital is worst than marriage. You can’t get divorced from your venture capitalist.
Spend time getting to know your V.C. before taking investment from them.
The best way to get access (to V.C.s) is other entrepreneurs.
You need to get an anchor investor (to raise V.C.).
No matter how rich you are you like a deal.
Get your product out the door. Show you can ship.
Test monetization early.
Fail fast does not produce big results.
Whatever it is that you want to do–make it a part of your life.
Title: Leadership and Disruptive Technologies
Speaker: Thomas Prescott (Align Technology)
Everything is still possible.
They always fire the sales and marketing guy first.
It is not often a great entrepreneur can be a great operator.
The is much more pressure on companies with big ideas that require large amounts of capital.
When you’re in a hole don’t keep digging. Step out of the hole.
The time you should press the most is when you’re doing the best.
At every stage of the company there are very different challenges.
Life is too short. Have open, honest discussions.
Employees run out of gas when they work really hard but don’t get things done.
Companies have a stated culture and an invisible culture.
When you’re looking for a job find out what the real culture is.
There are lots of big problems out there.
Be patient for growth. Don’t be patient on profitability.
Everything starts with having the right team.
The people you start with might not be the people you can scale with.
If you’re sleepwalking then change it.
If you’re in a job you don’t like then get out of it.
Find a place you can make a difference.
Life is all about passion.
It is hard to mobilize an entire organization without compelling vision, mission, and passion. It had better be genuine.
You have to figure out a way to make money or you’re going to cease to exist.
If you’re not making money then you’re not in control of your own life.
Execution is most of the game.
Going too fast is far better than going too slow.
Procrastination is the mother of all ineptitude.
Stay humble, hungry, and paranoid that somebody can come after your business.
Any leader casts a shadow both good and bad.
We’re all human. None of us are perfect.
Everybody (V.C.) is becoming more risk averse.
Nobody wants to take any risk.
Only 8% of the world’s population has basic access to a doctor.
Title: Funding Thunder Lizard Entrepreneurs
Speaker: Ann Miura-Ko (Floodgate Fund)
Real innovation has a democratizing influence.
Our culture is shaped by the fact that a working class person can drive a car.
The power has switched (from the investor) to the entrepreneur.
The Internet has a proud impact on our history being written.
A startup is ultimately about whether or not you can create a business around the product.
The beauty of the Internet is that you can now have a direct dialogue with your customer.
You can now go directly to the person that is interested in buying your product (bypassing the executives). That has reduced the buying cycle.
It is not that you run out of cash as an entrepreneur, it is that you run out of iterations.
Cash is no longer king. Now the ideas are king.
The entrepreneur should be totally aligned with the investor and the investor should be aligned with the entrepreneur.
The best companies end up being extraordinarily capital efficient.
Lean is not small.
If you don’t know what you’re going to be doing with the money then you shouldn’t raise that much money.
If you raise less you’ll be diluted less.
At the seed stage of the company it is the business model that matters–not the business plan.
It is your job as an entrepreneur to collect as many facts as possible even before you get investing.
Don’t waste a meeting.
Be world class at whatever you do.
Title: Customer Focus Builds Global Growth
Speaker: Diego Piacentini (Amazon)
At some point you have to be lucky to meet the right companies.
Stick to the same vision.
Start with the customer and work backwards.
Every employee in the company should have vested interest.
If you see something wrong fix it.
Have a high hiring bar.
Good intentions don’t work.
You do not want to have bureaucracy in your way.
Be focused on the customer. Be focused on the customer experience. If the customer is happy the customer keeps coming back.
Title: What Great Leaders Do
Speaker: Bob Sutton (Stanford)
Everybody wants to be competent and work for somebody that is competent.
There is no evidence of a first mover advantage.
If you’re a senior executive you’ll get more blame and more credit for organizational performance than you deserve.
The best bosses work hard to be in tune with how others are responding to them.
When you become successful is when you should be especially wary of turning into an idiot.
You’ve got to know when to push and when to back off.
Fight as if you’re right. Listen as if you’re wrong.
When two people in business always agree one of them is unnecessary.
If you disagree with an idea you should work especially hard to implement it well because that way when it fails you know it was a bad idea and not a bad implementation.
For every bad interaction you had better have five good interactions or you’re in trouble.
A rotten apple knocks down the team performance by 30%.
If you work with jerks you start acting like them.
An asshole is someone who consistently puts their own need in front of their peers, their customers, or the company.
A good boss lets their workers work.
A good boss has their worker’s back.
End meetings on time or even more quickly.
Good bosses protect their workers from idiocy on high.
Nipping things in the bud is very important.
The worst bosses let things fester.
To be an effective boss you need to know what it takes to do it, you need to have good coaching and mentoring, and you need to have a lot of experience.
Bad bosses do a disproportionate amount of damage.
Title: How Ideas Take Flight
Speaker: Jennifer Aaker (Stanford GSB)
The dragonfly effect is the idea that small acts can create big change.
Happiness, meaning, and stories (are why some ideas build momentum and other don’t).
There are two types of happiness.
The first type is “excited happiness”.
The second type is “peaceful happiness”.
For teenagers happiness means excited. For forty and fifty year-olds happiness means peaceful.
You need a mix of the two types of happiness.
You need to be aware of the things that are deeply meaningful versus what is short-term meaningful.
The power of stories is what makes people act.
You have to grab attention.
Engagement is the third wing.
Humans are not set up to understand logic. They are setup to understand stories.
One person’s happiness can affect another’s for as long as one year.
Ideas build momentum when you share a story.
Influencers are domain specific.
Companies that experiment are going to be so far ahead of companies that don’t allow experimentation.
Title: Social Entrepreneurship Changing Education
Speaker: Wendy Kopp (Teach for America)
Where you are born really determines your education prospects and, in turn, your life prospects.
Growth brings many new challenges but it also brings many advantages.
There are no silver bullets.
We need to build the systems that make it possible to teach successfully.
We need as many superheroes as we can get.
Embrace your inexperience. Don’t be held back by it. It can be an asset.
You don’t need everyone. You need a few true allies.
It is important to remember the magnitude of the crisis.
In light of the challenge we need out-of-the-box solutions.
Title: Delivering Innovation for the Enterprise
Speaker: Aaron Levie (Box.net)
Enterprise technology today sucks. People need better solutions for their businesses.
Don’t start companies that don’t make sense to what you’re interested in.
People want to be able to work from anywhere.
Book: Crossing the Chasm
We are in a period where a lot of people are adopting the cloud.
Borrow from everyone.
Take marketing ideas from Hollywood.
Take support ideas from Zappos.
It is hard to find the exact people you want to work with.
Life is too short to build an organization you don’t want to work at.
Do something that wasn’t possible three years ago.
Look for new technologies that are enabling your solution.
Do something you’re extremely passionate about.
Startups are very hard.
If you feel comfortable you’re probably not doing it right.
You’re going to have to go well beyond your comfort zone.
Don’t write your obituary too early.
Make sure you’re optimizing on the right dimensions.
A benefit of starting companies with people you do know is there is a much higher degree of trust.
Positioning yourself in the market is extremely important.
It is important to think about how people are going to be competing with you and what factors they’re going to be competing with you on.
Pay attention to everything.
Learn from organizations where there is a constant drumbeat of innovation.
Title: Following Your Startup Vision
Speaker: Brent Constantz (Calera)
Some avalanches fizzle out and don’t go anywhere. Some avalanches are out of control.
The largest health care expenditure is bone fractures.
Being cross-disciplinary and being able to talk across fields is extremely important.
Ignorance is bliss.
It is not always easy to start a company.
When you start a company you have a big, initial vision. In almost every case that is the right vision.
When you come up with crazy ideas you have to gain credibility no matter how good the crazy idea is.
Assemble fantastic advisory boards.
Learn how to create an operating plan for your company.
The plan should contain goals. Under each goal should be three or four milestones to accomplish every quarter.
Everything about a company changes when you try to take it to a public offering.
Most of us are never going to see a coral reef.
When you take venture capital money you have to understand that the game is set up for the venture capitalists and not for the entrepreneurs.
Board of directors debilitate companies. It is not intentional.
If there is no competition generate your own.
The only people that read (business plans) are your competitors.
(Business plans) are the only thing that is never going to happen.
Our future, whether we want it or not, involves coal.
Mark Twain said, “People pay money for whiskey but they go to war over water.”
Get the very best people you can get.
You need management that can sell snow to Eskimos.
You’ve got to have people drinking the Kool-Aid.
There is the real world and then there is Silicon Valley.
A board can be valuable or a board can be disastrous. It depends on how it works.
Title: Relentless Pursuit of Innovation
Speaker: Susan Desmond-Hellmann (UCSF)
Don’t be afraid to take risks and try something even if everyone is skeptical.
Life sciences don’t have an experimental system. We have a human being.
Life doesn’t come in binary.
Luck is actually really helpful.
Whenever you can get it–be lucky.
Don’t accept a problem is unsolvable.
Have relentlessness with optimism.
Be unafraid to be embarrassed.
Trust is hard to gain and easy to lose.
Title: The Power of Curiosity and Inspiration
Speaker: Jack Dorsey (Square)
The thing that really inspires people is a working product.
When you’re pitching someone the best thing you can do is show them something that works.
Payment is another form of communication.
You have to instrument all usage.
Log everything. Measure everything. Test everything.
The data is a product.
94% of commerce is still offline.
If you want to build a product that is relevant to folks you need to put yourself in their shoes.
Write user narratives.
Choose the one or two (things) that are going to drive and sustain the network, service, and products.
You have to make every single detail perfect and you have to limit the number of details.
Expect the unexpected and whenever possible be the unexpected.
If the product is built in a beautiful way it just, hopefully, inspires people to take action.
The larger merchants are very stubborn. They have a lot invested in their systems.
Get (your idea) out of your head.
Apple is run like a theater company. It has a great sense of pacing. It has a great sense of story. It has a great sense of execution. It is all stage driven. It all has a very cohesive end-to-end story.
It is not what we can build it is what we can take away.
Title: Live for the Future and Survive Success
Speaker: Mark Forchette (OptiMedica)
Book: What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20 by Tina Seelig
Product development done right is a symbiotic relationship that is incredibly rewarding.
Know what you want. Set your objectives. I promise you will achieve them.
You must have passion.
Absolutely, no matter what you do, you must learn how to sell.
Everybody you have contact with in your lifetime you’re going to have to sell in some way.
Book: How to Master the Art of Selling
There is no failure you can’t recover from.
Strategy and tactical implementation equals success.
If you can’t execute the plan it is not worth the paper it is printed on.
The most dangerous thing in the world is a past success you’re still in love with.
Your best day is always in front of you.
Surviving success is one of the hardest things to do.
Do it for something other than money.
Money is the by product of really good work.
People do business with people they like.
Business is a contact sport.
Treasure the relationships you build. They are really meaningful to your success.
Prepare. Prepare. Prepare.
Nothing takes the place of preparation.
Put the right people in the right seats.
Weapons don’t win battles. People do.
You need to make the right decisions in your personal life.
Everyday when you wake up you get to make a choice. A choice to have a good day. A choice to have a positive outlook. To stare things in the face.
Success is a choice you make. (Also a title of a great book.)
Leverage everything you have and go out and do something great with it.
When a product is in the hands of a friend you feel intensely responsible to make sure they’re having a good experience.
Always find the positive in stuff.
The only way to motivate people to stand behind something is if they believe in it.
You can’t have everything perfect.
Title: A Devotion to New Ideas
Speaker: Bill Gross (eSolar & Idealab)
Now (with the Internet) you can be in contact with all of your customers.
Focus is always better unless you pick the wrong focus.
Equity is a great driver of performance.
If you want to do breakthrough things you can’t have someone worrying about their job.
Follow your passion.
You absolutely have to be so crazy in love with what you’re doing.
Every startup is going to have hard times. Deep, dark days.
A team working together can turn a not-so-decent idea into a decent idea.
It takes a lot of luck and timing to make everything work out.
Failure is almost always team issues or running out of money.
Title: Creating Enchantment
Speaker: Guy Kawasaki (Author)
Stay in school as long as you can.
The first pillar of enchantment is likability.
You need to be likable.
You have to improve your smile.
You should dress for a tie (with your audience).
The third component of likability is to have a great handshake.
First impressions are important.
You need to go from likability to trustworthy.
Trustworthiness occurs from when you trust others.
Trustworthy people are bakers not eaters. They see the world as a non zero-sum game.
You need to default to yes.
When you meet people you need to be thinking, “How can I help that person?”
Most people are completely reasonable about what they ask.
Great products have a great interface.
Your branding has to be short, sweet, and swallowable.
Do not use acronyms.
You should be able to describe your product in two or three words.
Think mantra not mission statements.
Do a premortem. Before you ship pretend your product/company failed. What are all of the possible reasons you could have failed? In an unemotional way talk about how you can eliminate each of those reasons.
Conduct a premortem so you never conduct a postmortem.
Launch the sucker.
You need to tell a story.
Most people, particularly in technology, are horrible at telling stories.
To have a perfect market you need to eliminate geography.
You need to plant many seeds.
Use salient points. Talk about number of songs rather than gigabytes.
To enchant people you will have to overcome resistance.
Social proof is when you see other people doing it so it must be okay.
Social proof is a very powerful factor.
You need to find a bright spot when you introduce a product or service.
You need to enchant the influencers.
Make something endure.
Money introduces a whole level of complexity.
The optimal thing to say when somebody thanks you for doing something is, “I know you would do the same for me.”
You need to learn to present. You need to be able to speak.
Customize the introduction.
There is also negative reciprocation.
When pitching use 10 slides. 20 minutes. 30 point fonts.
If your boss asks you to do something do it.
A prototype significantly increases the probability you will do the right thing.
You should always deliver bad news early.
You have to be willing to suck it up.
You should never ask people who work for you to do something that you yourself would not do.
Title: Effective Models for Sustainable Growth
Speaker: Jennifer Morris (Conservation International)
If you can’t see it it is very difficult to explain it.
To achieve scale (they) have to address policy issues.
It is important to quantify ecosystem services.
80-85% of drugs originate from a natural plant.
The annual emissions from deforestation is more than two times the emissions from cars, trucks, and planes combined.
Entrepreneurship in the environmental world is absolutely crucial.
Even in you’re in a large organization you can be an entrepreneur.
Short-term grants lead to short-term success.
Title: A New Vision for Capital Markets
Speaker: Barry Silbert (SecondMarket)
Just start your business.
Traditionally you go public to raise capital.
Second reason is liquidity for shareholders.
Third reason is as a currency to buy other companies.
Last reason is that (going public) is a branding event.
Launch with an MVP.
You don’t launch when everything is perfect. You launch as soon as you’re ready.
You need a good idea. You need some good people. You need to put in a lot of hard work. And you’ve got yourself a business.
Find an opportunity in something you’re passionate about.
We’re the luckiest generation in history.
We have the tools and the ability to change the world.
Through technology there is an opportunity to change the way Wall Street operates.
Wall Street is in serious need of disruption.
The venture backed industry is tiny relative to the universe of private companies out there.
The key to success for any business is the people.
Title: How to Build Instant Connections
Speaker: Ori Brafman (Author)
The initial sense stays with us.
Leaders that are vulnerable are far more trusted by their employees.
When people express a level of vulnerability they automatically form a connection.
The connection changes the tenor of the relationship.
The last few feet make a difference. The last few inches make a whole lot of difference.
When there is a conflict in an organization get people to sit knee to knee.
When people naturally mirror us we naturally tend to like them.
In able to build a trust-based environment you need to have some level of emotional connection.
Title: Developing Products that Save Lives
Speaker: Richard Scheller (Genentech)
You have to be really careful with what you say because folks can take it incredibly seriously.
Money doesn’t hold back the best ideas.
Spend a lot of time thinking about your culture.
Nobody wants to be the placebo group.
You can go really far in life with a little common sense.
Title: Reach Your Escape Velocity
Speaker: Geoffrey Moore (MDV)
Power fuels performance and performance consumes power.
Allocate resources to new initiatives before you allocate resources to anything else.
Categories are defined by a group of competitors and markets are defined by a group of customers.
Market power is about winning market share in the critical segments.
No matter how good or how bad you are you probably have places you’re better than others. What are you going to build on and where are you going to move forward?
Strategy is normally about achieving a position of power.
Steve Jobs cares about power and assumes performance will take care of itself (in regards to market).
The three things a CEO is asked to articulate in relation to the power hierarchy is a vision, a strategy, and execution.
Strategies change by category.
It is extremely hard for large corporations to go after niche markets but it is critical.
In general category trumps company. Company trumps market. Market trumps offer. Offer trumps execution.
Offer power is the lever you’re going to move when you’re behind to move up.
You’ve got to get comparable, not better than but good enough, fast. Amazingly fast.
The key metric for productivity is that you want to be best in class.
Don’t tie the differentiation train to the neutralization train or either of them to the optimization train.
Manage one (train) for speed, one for distance, and one for fuel.
There is no excuse for you to not act now.
Title: From Stanford to Startup
Speaker: Kevin Systrom, Mike Krieger (Instagram)
Experience is what matters.
You cannot learn to be an entrepreneur from a book, a blog, or a talk.
A day on the job is worth a year of experience.
Trust your gut.
If you’re excited enough about something you’ll find the time to work on it.
You should do a startup because when you wake up you’re obsessed with an idea and you want to make it happen.
You can’t call yourself an entrepreneur. Somebody has to call you an entrepreneur.
Ultimately the only thing end users care about is the product that is delivered to them.
Build your network and they’ll help you out.
The hard part is figuring out the problem to solve.
Solutions are easy to find for the majority of problems.
You need to verify the problems you want to solve are actually the problems people have.
Get your product in front of people very quickly.
You should not be afraid to have simple solutions to simple problems.
The problem with stealth startups is you don’t get the feedback you need early enough.
Building a minimum viable product is super useful.
It is totally okay to fail in an organization.
You need to fail in order to find the right solutions.
Often the first thing you start with is not the thing you end up with.
Assume your first idea is not going to be your last idea.
Your job is to fail your way to success.
Seek out the people you really want to work with (when raising capital).
Instead of optimizing for valuation optimize for people (when raising capital).
You can get a lot done on a shoestring budget.
Starting a company is 50% building a product and 50% a lot of other stuff.
Team building is one of the most important things when you get off the ground.
Raising capital can be a huge time sink.
In the sharing and discussion process is where ideas get refined.
Careers are a series of themes that you go through and explore.
Your startup and career is an expression of you and your co-founders.
Things seem very obvious in retrospect.
It never gets easier and that is okay.
You’re never going to get less busy.
It is a long slog.
Part of entrepreneurship is realizing that different things along the way are going to excite you in different ways.
There is no better time to start than now.
There is no reason you can’t start.
Above all else what makes products spread is when they’re useful and they’re usable.
There is a way to work hard that doesn’t mean you need to work long.
When you’re working work on the most important things (to create the work/life balance).
If you work hard good things happen.
Money will come if you’re growing (like crazy).
There is so much money out there chasing bad ideas that a good idea will get money.
Don’t worry about the best case scenario. Worry about the average case scenario.
Build the product you’re in love with and good things will follow.
Focus on building great products.
Title: The Value of True Partnerships
Speaker: Wences Casares, Meyer Malka (Bling Nation)
You see strong partnerships at the core of successes.
You’ll find a lot more success when founders find and choose each other in a meritocratic way.
You need to have strong conviction.
When you’re building a partnership you need to talk every day.
Over-communicate with your partner.
You need to act as one.
Trust becomes an important aspect of success.
The best way to market to students is by students.
Title: Innovate for America
Speaker: Aneesh Chopra (US Office of Science & Tech)
America is at its best when we invest in the building blocks of innovation.
Productivity growth highly correlated with GDP growth.
In a capitalist society you get what you pay for.
The best teachers personalize the instruction based on the needs of the students.
There has never been a better time to be an innovator.