Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Start-up's founders must do marketing & selling

Not time to do the summary of my attracTV experience yet but I did spend some time thinking what was the turning point for me. I mean there were many tough moments along the four years but when did the process of leaving attracTV actually start maturing in my mind?
My conclusion is it started when I stopped selling. At some point (maybe 1 or 1.5 years ago) I became too occupied with the technical stuff, supporting existing customers, financial operations and other day to day issues, and in addition the focus of the biz dev completely moved to the US while we had tiny budget for traveling. At this point I almost stopped meeting new customers, investors and partners. I also got a bit tired of going to local meet-ups.
In retrospective I realize this was a turning point. Why? because my mind became 95% of the time busy with problem solving, customer support and company operations. I was dealing with problems instead of focusing on the good things, on the dream and the vision.
If you had woken me up at 3am I could easily tell all the technical, product and business difficulties but I really had to stop and think if I had to remind my self what the dream and the opportunity were.
I think the solution for this is simple, if you are a founder you must be constantly marketing & selling your start-up. Whether it's to customers, partners, investors, presenting in conventions or anything else but you must be selling your idea constantly - that'll keep you thinking about the positive things and the dream.
One of the notes to myself for next time...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

About The Scalability Challenges We Face @attracTV

Below is a presentation I gave to 3rd year B.Sc students at IDC. It talks about the technological challenges we face when our platform is being used for major live events. This presentation is focused on the challenges and some high level lessons, it's targeted for students so it's more high level and does not include a lot of technical details.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Founders' Decisions

I recently read a post from a famous blogger in the start-ups world. He was talking the critical, game changing decisions founders make. He said there were only three such critical decisions that get them right in the beginning and you're on the right track to success, get even just one of them wrong and you'll most likely fail. The decisions according to that post are:
1. The idea
2. The co-founders
3. The investors
That's it.
At first I thought - damn this is so right.
Then I thought some more and realized that I don't think it's so right at all, here is why-
1. The idea - if you have the right co-founders and investors the idea isn't that critical. Idea is flexible. We all see start-ups change their ideas completely and then succeed. Take Groupon for example.
2. The co-founders - this one is very true of course and yet, I read somewhere that the optimal number of co-founders for a start-up is 4 and I think it makes sense because it mitigates the risk of choosing wrong one of the co-founders.
3. The investors - it's true I guess that the right investors can help a lot and bad investors can be a burden. The problem is, in the reality I know for most start-ups it's not really the founders' decision, they don't chose the investors but the investors chose them. Those start-ups that got to the point that they're so hot they can chose their investors do not need such blog advises...
So my conclusion - not to take too seriously/literally these advises, the best thing about these "advisory posts" when I have time to read them is they make me think about my own opinion more clearly.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Bikram Yoga

I wouldn't have believed that I'd be writing these lines but yes - I'm doing Bikram Yoga. I've been doing it for the last 5 months and surprise surprise... I love it.
It was my wife's idea, she said we should do something together, she said it'll help my aching back, she said while we already have the baby sitter we could go get a hamburger after the lesson - she knew my weak points, and it worked. And now I am even going by myself (real adult) and... mostly I don't even compensate myself with a hamburger.
For those who don't know yet, Bikram Yoga is yoga done in ~ 40°C. It's the most sweaty thing I've done in my life and (again) I like it.
I think I like it for two types of reasons-
One of the exercises I still can't do...
First, I feel great after a lesson, my back aches much less (sometimes not at all), I feel much better when I do other sports such as playing soccer.
The second reason is that I enjoy doing something that's in a way against who I am. Anyone who knows me knows that I might be a reasonable+ soccer, basketball, squash player but standing straight, and doing balance exercises (for 90 minutes!) is yuG (Guy in reverse).
This makes me think perhaps I should be doing other things I thought in the past that aren't for me, maybe I should go back to university and learn English literature, maybe I should encourage my wife's career and be the parent that comes home early every day to pick the kids, maybe...
OK, maybe not, but I do recommend everyone to try Bikram Yoga.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

New Blog by Itay Frishman

I thought to myself that if I don't post at least I'll link to others who are less lazy.

Good post for entrepreneurs by Itay Frishman our great lawyer:

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The world-cup as life milestones

Those last two days reminded me why I love the world cup so much. Yesterday Holland surprisingly kicked Brazil out and Uruguay bit Ghana after an exciting match which I mostly lost by falling asleep. Today Germany proved again that one should never bet against them by biting Argentina, how we all wanted to see Maradona holding the cup with Messi but we must admit the Germans play great.
So it made me think about past world cups and realize that this tournament once every four years is a great periodic milestone to look at the graph of your life progress, here's mine briefly
Mexico 1986 - I just remember Maradona, the rest is vague
Italy 1990 -  10t grade pupil, watching with friends
US 1994 - In the army, healing form injury . Watching in the convalescent home and some matches with friends at home
France 1998 - Watching the games in Cusco, Peru in my Travel around South America
South Korea & Japan 2002 - Watching with friends in my bachelors apartment (although with a girlfriend), watching some games at work.  Salaried employee in cash-u just returning from a work visit to Korea seeing the world-cup preparations.
Germany 2006 - Husband, waiting for the first child. Salaried employee in Unipier. Watching most games with friends, playing PlayStation in between.
South Africa 2010 - Husband, father of 2, start-up founder. Falling asleep in late games. Watching a game with friends more or less once a week while also playing PlayStation 
Brasil 2014 - Traveling to Brasil after the exit with my start-up, watching the matches around Brasil, watching the finals Brasil-Argentina in the Maracana :-)
Amen for the last prediction