Look before you leap. You want to bring your idea to life and begin the entrepreneur's journey, that's awesome. But before you start, think about what you are willing to give up and how you can maximise your learning within the constraint of your finite resources. Maybe it is the time of year, maybe there is something in the water, maybe it is the impending full moon. I don't know why, but the majority of my recent coffee catch-ups

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One of our new teams is hitting the road to validate their first hypothesis. Fernando Parra is leading our Sydney Lab and gave them this advice. I thought it worth sharing directly in this raw state: best of luck on your interview. This is my advice: Be careful because all validated learning should be coming from *customers*. Experts do have beliefs too! Whatever feels like the most solid idea, treat it as a hypothesis, and

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BLS1 v7 - Google Drive

The true product of an entrepreneur is not the solution, but a working business model. The real job of an entrepreneur is to systematically de-risk that business model over time. Ash Maurya / Spark59 Experiment-based entrepreneurship can de-risk a business model and deliver startup traction faster than feature-driven product design.  Through this way of working, entrepreneurs define models for how they think their business works and then run experiments to test whether the model works in the real

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Mentorship has become a vital part of startup practice. As startups expand into all parts of life, they need mentors from every field to help them learn fast and deep enough to make it. Mentorship is a science. There is more to being a mentor than showing up and telling founders what they are doing wrong. I’ve been mentoring startup founders for more than 10 years now and I have stuffed it up too many

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Last year we published Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 of Stuart Hall's brilliant blog series, An App Store Experiment. He posted a final update this week and Stuart has kindly allowed us to republish his learnings and complete that loop for the Pollenizer audience. It is amazing to think that something which started as a 6 hour experiment could lead to so many valuable lessons learned. This really is a case study in startup science and story-telling! If you need to catch

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In 2012, the Startup Genome Project made a massive contribution to how the world viewed startups. Three years on, with the fast paced nature of startups, it’s no surprise the data is out of date and requires a major upgrade. Today, we are launching the survey for 2015, across Australia and New Zealand, and hope to serve every pocket of this region ensuring local startups are represented. Where will we rank in 2015?  Why is this

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Over the weekend one of my Twitter friends sent me a DM... ... which directed me to this article:  "The concept behind This is deceptively simple, and if you’re the kind of person it’s meant to appeal to its allure should be immediately obvious: It’s a link-sharing network where every user is only allowed to share one link per day. That’s it. There are no bells and whistles. There isn’t even a mobile app yet. Yet

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Build Measure Learn

"First and foremost, scientists build models. They run experiments to validate those models" - Ash Maurya, author of Running Lean In last week's newsletter I talked about tracking our own experiments more closely in 2015, and offered to give feedback on whatever experiments our readers were running at their startup. As with all experiments, there were some key questions I wanted to help answer: What are you trying to learn from this experiment? Is this the best

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The mining and construction boom which has powered Australia's economic growth over recent decades is waning.  The digital revolution and innovation will be crucial to our future, but what does the narrative connecting our old economy and new economy sound like? Being based in Perth and heavily involved in the local tech community, I have long drawn a parallel between mining companies and tech startup companies. A junior explorer company begins with a hunch - there is something of great

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When we mentor our teams, one problem that typically arises is the definition of the “what”, given that in software, one could build close to anything imaginable on the planet. So we press them to ask the following: in your business, what kind of job is the client hiring? We don’t usually think of it this way, but believe me, it’s an extremely powerful way of explaining not only what we deliver, but what the

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Ugly Baby

In parents' eyes, their baby is the most beautiful creation in the world. The same is true of almost every startup founder. Towards the end of a catchup with one of my friends just before Christmas, he explained to me what he calls "ugly baby syndrome". We are never going to tell the parents of a new-born child that the apple-of-their-eye is anything less than beautiful, but when it comes to creating a new business

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It is that time of year when we go from looking back and reflecting, to looking forward to whatever craziness awaits us... What comes next for you in 2015? The other day, Seth Godin shared a terrific (tongue-in-cheek) Annual Plan Construction Set for Big Companies. Today, I want to share three tidbits of advice which I hope will help entrepreneurs like you hit the ground running this new year. 1) Vision plus Focus > Strategy plus Plan As

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In the past 10 years or so, Startup culture has done a terrific job in educating aspiring founders on the skills, tactics and hacks we need to establish a new business model. Which, by the way is the best definition of a startup – a business for which no financial model and or customer solution already exists. But because what we do in startup land is so new, there are also many new business concepts

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Hi Sydney, My name is Fernando and I come from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Land of La Pampa Húmeda, Patagonia Argentina, Dulce de Leche, Asado, Alfajores, Empanadas, Mate and Messi. As for Australia, I’m getting used very quickly to the Aussie BBQs, Vegemite, Meat Pies, Lamingtons, Cricket, Rugby and Footy among other amazing things. In the past, I have run the Buenos Aires Lean Startup Machine and Lean Startup Meetup Group, plus coached for Startup NEXT

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Phil wrote a punchy piece earlier this year about the balancing act between brutal truth and hope being a condition of startup success. "Without brutal truth, we live the startup dream until we run out of money and go back to our day job. Without hope, we never begin." This is baked into every day of our life as founders. It is part of the underlying rhythm as we make our way along the entrepreneur's journey - all the way

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The most exciting thing I’ve seen in the Australian business community this year is large companies- think ASX 100 getting their startup on. Many are finally realising that this new tech, lean approach to innovation and change isn’t just a side show, it’s quickly becoming the main game. It’s a bit like a rock band that goes on tour as the support act, and by the end of it becomes the main act. In response,

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It’s easy to get yourself deep inside some kind of wormhole when we live in startup land. We hang out with startup founders, we attend technology conferences, we read the same blogs, we follow the same companies and entrepreneurs, and we frequent the same cafes. In many ways we can end up in some kind of entrepreneurial echo chamber where everything we experience becomes a reflection of what we already believe. Just look at your

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Pay It Forward

I spent the weekend facilitating at #SWPerth, one of six Startup Weekends taking place across Australia (and one hundred more all over the world) as part of the Global Startup Battle. My mind always gets blown at these events. We define an entrepreneur as "someone who pursues opportunities beyond their current level of resources". When all anyone in the room has is an idea, 48 hours and a naive sense of optimism, the resources are obviously

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By: Kevin Dooley

We are born entrepreneurs. And then we spend the next 12 years at industrialised schooling which quickly whips any kind of creative free thinking spirit out of us. Yes, we learn to conform, follow rules, colour inside the lines, fill in the boxes and get told that the idea of collaborating is actually cheating. Yes, the one thing that makes us such a dominant species (division of labour and skill sharing) is called cheating at

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Startups are trendy. It’s really trendy to say that you are the founder of a startup. It sounds kinda cool and all this imagery of Silicon Valley success infiltrates the mind. Big shiny digital brand names, funky office spaces, and the fantasy of joining the one percent with some crazy 8 figure exit create a strong pop culture interest in the scene. And so we have this gravity pulling us towards starting our own startup.

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