99U Local – Getting Things Done

Last week I was fortunate to have an invitation of 99U Local [but unfortunate that I could not attend]. I was following the conversation online and these three info visuals by Lynne Cazaly summarises the content quite well.

  • Be the first one to do something and add a twist to it
  • Be consistent in showing up
  • Be Honest with yourself and others and show up your hands when a mistake it made

  • You don’t have to take everyone’s advice
  • Have a mindset of plenty and share what you got
  • Always have a plan
  • Make your important decision the first decisions of your day

  • Use self doubt to your benefit
  • Have a morning ritual
  • Choose a word for your year. Every year, one new word to focus on.


Entrepreneur and Ego

I always believed I was good at SEO but the traffic on FindYogi did not reflect that. Last couple of months I have asked a lot of people for help with SEO. I have written to every person I think has even a little knowledge about it. I had to swallow my pride for that but that’s OK. It wasn’t easy but hey, I couldn’t care less about what people would think about my knowledge when my product can’t breathe to life. What I am making has to be bigger than the pride I carry now for what I have done till date.

A note to that person: I was not lucky, I created my luck. I tried hard shamelessly and created enough opportunities to be lucky. This time around though, it seems I might be carrying some extra baggage I need to let go off.

via eViral: On Being A Passionate, Shameless Entrepreneur And Creating Your Luck.

The article is an interesting read and reminds me that successful entrepreneurs have very small ego. Or may be it is their small ego that makes them more successful.

Lessons Re-Learnt from Startup Weekend #IYW

Few weekends back I attended ‘Startup Weekend’ here in Melbourne. The intention was to live the experience of working on a startup story and developing a prototype over a weekend. More importantly to be a part of a team, which I did. Experience the pivoting and to be a good listener.

I knew that I will re-learn a lot of things in the 3 day event that I attend. I just wanted to live through some of the experience in ‘Entrepreneurship’ having read so much about it over the years. I have already experience a failed attempt at starting something on my own before.

The format of the ‘Startup Weekend’ is as follows in a nutshell:

  • People pay up to $99 to attend a 3 day event (Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday)
  • Attendees can decide if they want to pitch their idea. If they do, they will get a set amount of time to do so in front of the whole audience (can be daunting to some)
  • People vote on the pitched ideas
  • Teams are formed (attendees work out on which idea they want to work with and if they have skills required or that can be offered)
  • Formed team start brainstorming with an intention to produce a prototype product by end of Sunday evening to be presented to the audience.

"Portrait Parle" Class, Paris (LOC)
Here is a list of things that I learnt/re-learnt through 3 days.

Pre-network – This is an important aspect. Like anything else, networking activity works best before you need people to work with you, not just in time. Make people your fan and wanting to work with you even before they hear your idea.

Be persuasive – Just because the most persuasive wins the race (most of the time if not all the time).

Be clear in your pitch – Practice your pitch before hand, not once, not twice but 20 times or more. Be really really clear on what message you are going to deliver in your pitch. This applies not only for startups but even if you are going to pitch an idea to your manager or your neighbour.

Be creative with the messaging – Yes, be creative. Don’t make your pitch using a boring PPT Slide or a bullet points scribbled over a butcher paper. Have great examples, have humor and have fun.

Developers are in demand and they sell fast

Networking – be open and network more

Smile and smile more

Non-developers – if you are not a programmer than you have to be more persuasive

– get better at selling yourself and your idea

– attract people

– be original

Passionate, creative, fun loving people win more often

– be excited about your own product

– Come up with Useful products and disruptive ideas

– Choose your team wisely

– Focus, focus and focus. Focus on the core idea and take things from there

– Have clear expectations and clear delegation of work

– Talk less, work more

– Cut the bullshit

Nothing new is written here that hasn’t been written 10,000 times before already if not more. But it was very consistent that the people who did not have their ideas selected, people who did not win or did not get a huge level of support lacked in some of all of these areas.

From $30.00 to $90 million in half a decade.

As his company’s RetailMeNot site was snapped up by emerging US media player WhaleShark Media for around AU$90 million, Guy King and co-founder Bevan Clark became two of Australia’s newest multimillionaires.

Guy King and Bevan Clark

Bevan Clark (left) and Guy King (right) (Credit: Stateless)

Speaking with the entrepreneur this morning, it doesn’t seem to have sunk in yet.

“When I launched the site, I honestly didn’t even consider that I’d be able to make any money from it,” King said. “It’s quite surreal.”

These Aussie Guys did what they loved the most and did it with dedication.