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How To Build Any Startup With Zero Budget

1bd94cce8c3a86fa5aeb1fbbced7c8f7?s=47 adii
October 05, 2013

How To Build Any Startup With Zero Budget

This is the technique that I used to validate & test my idea, which resulted in me earning $4000 in revenue selling a product that I didn't yet have..

1bd94cce8c3a86fa5aeb1fbbced7c8f7?s=128

adii

October 05, 2013
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  1. HOW TO BUILD ANY STARTUP WITH ZERO BUDGET Adii Pienaar.

    MicroConf Europe. 5 & 6 October 2013.
  2. None
  3. 500 000+ USERS 110 000+ PAYING CUSTOMERS 31 TEAM MEMBERS

    The numbers:
  4. STARTING SOMETHING NEW, I BECAME MORE RISK AVERSE (Don’t quote

    me on that. I won’t ever admit to saying this.)
  5. None
  6. 1. Something that had as little risk as possible. 2.

    Something I could fund myself. 3. Something that I was incredibly passionate about. So I basically wanted...
  7. None
  8. I want to help entrepreneurs I want to help entrepreneurs

  9. WITH ONLY A LANDING PAGE PublicBeta started like all other

    startups...
  10. None
  11. I ACQUIRED 2000+ E-MAIL ADDRESSES IN 8 WEEKS

  12. 2313 UNIQUE VISITORS 808 E-MAIL SIGN-UPS 34.93% CONVERSION First month

    statistics:
  13. 10 POSTS WRITTEN 8344 UNIQUE VISITORS 15 977 PAGEVIEWS Content

    marketing on adii.me:
  14. 8344 UNIQUES (adii.me) 2313 UNIQUES (publicbeta.co) 808 E-MAILS 27.72% 34.93%

    9.68%
  15. None
  16. None
  17. I WANTED MORE But due to past mistakes...

  18. None
  19. WE ACQUIRED 4000+ E-MAIL ADDRESSES PRE-LAUNCH

  20. LUNCHBOX IS PROOF THAT “BUILD IT & THEY WILL COME”

    IS BS
  21. ONLY 19 CUSTOMERS EVER PAID US :(

  22. R.I.P.

  23. 4000 E-MAILS 19 CUSTOMERS 0.475% CONVERSION Simple math:

  24. THERE’S NO EXPENSE IN GIVING AWAY YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS

  25. PAIN IS VALIDATION Pain Signal Quality Credit: Ryan Hoover /

    @rrhoover
  26. MONEY IN THE BANK IS THE ULTIMATE VALIDATION (The second

    best is credit card details in a vault.)
  27. “Realization: Putting a for-pay sign on something makes it fucking

    terrifying. So much easier to cop out and release a sub-par thing for free.” Justin Abrahms, Sprint.ly
  28. PLAN A: RISK MITIGATION Initial capital, expenses or building the

    “wrong” thing. “BUILDING” THE PRODUCT
  29. SELL SOMETHING YOU CAN GET, BUT DON’T YET HAVE You

    can’t sell unicorns. “BUILDING” THE PRODUCT
  30. 40+ COMMITTED CONTRIBUTORS, COURSE TITLES & DESCRIPTIONS This is what

    we had to sell with our V1:
  31. None
  32. KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID How little could we build? TECHNICAL

    SPECS
  33. • Homepage (explaining the main value proposition) • Library (essential

    product details) • Sign up + Sign Up Confirmation • Vanilla informational pages (About Us, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, etc.) • Blog This was our whole V1:
  34. 1. Getting visitors to click any one of the various

    sign up buttons; and 2. If they sign up, explain what had happened. Our V1 had two objectives:
  35. None
  36. CAPTURE CREDIT CARD DETAILS Because you’re gonna want to charge

    those cards eventually. Duh. TECHNICAL SPECS
  37. THIS IS TRICKY Especially if you’re not a good liar.

    :( COMMUNICATION
  38. PLAY THE GAME INITIALLY That means keeping quiet and keeping

    the deception going. COMMUNICATION
  39. EXPLAIN EVERYTHING In detail and with brutal honesty. Also, say

    sorry. Multiple times. COMMUNICATION
  40. 71 SIGN-UPS 4 ANGRY CUSTOMERS 5.63% “CHURN” Simple math:

  41. DECIDE ON YOUR THRESHOLD For us this was having about

    30 paying customers or +- $1000 pm in MRR. CUSTOMER INTERVIEWS
  42. FIGURE OUT WHY THEY PAID YOU This resulted in a

    bit of a pivot for us. CUSTOMER INTERVIEWS
  43. CUSTOMERS ARE INVESTED So their feedback is actually valuable. CUSTOMER

    INTERVIEWS
  44. None
  45. REVENUE ON DAY ONE Customers are your best investors. ONBOARDING

  46. 47 MINUTES 68 CUSTOMERS $4000 REVENUE $2000 MRR Simple math:

  47. WE CHANGED THE ROADMAP So pre-V1 customers had the change

    to opt-out. ONBOARDING
  48. THE IMPORTANT STUFF i.e. The stuff you should remember.

  49. TAKING CREDIT CARD DETAILS IS THE ULTIMATE VALIDATION #1

  50. DOING CUSTOMER DEVELOPMENT WITH SOMEONE THAT HAD PAID YOU, 10X’s

    THE VALIDITY OF THE FEEDBACK #2
  51. DECEPTION SUCKS. ALWAYS. #3

  52. YOUR HEART SHOULD BE IN THE RIGHT PLACE #4

  53. STARTUPS ARE ABOUT SPEED AND ACCESS #5

  54. “A ship in a harbour is safe, but that’s not

    what a ship is built for.” Adii Pienaar @adii http://adii.me http://publicbeta.co