Reprinted with the permission of Carl Mercier.
In March 2009, I gave a talk entitled How I founded, bootstrapped, grew and sold my web startups at Mesh U in Toronto, Canada. Ever since, people have been fascinated by how I incorporated Karabunga (Defensio‘s parent company) in Delaware despite living in Canada, and yet maintained the simplicity and benefits of running a Canadian company.
I don’t think a month has since gone by without me having to explain in more detail how I did it. Today, I thought I’d finally share with the world what I learned.
The New Art of Launching with Tony Conrad from Tech Cocktail on Vimeo.
Tony Conrad the co-founder of about.me and a founding Venture Partner at True Ventures shares his insights and perspectives on launching a product today through people and relationships verses five years ago.
Editors Note: Lenny Rachitsky is the Co-Founder and CEO of Localmind and one of 60 Canadian startups invited to participate in Day 1 of the GROW Conference being held Aug 17th in Vancouver, Canada.
If you’ve ever received an email from Dan Martell (founder of the one and only Maple Butter), you’ve probably seen the following quote in his email signature, referring to the importance of gathering metrics around your product:
“In God we trust, all others bring data.” — W. Edwards Deming
Easier said than done. Gathering data is a bitch. You have to figure out all of the metrics you’ll want to look at, build the infrastructure to capture those metrics, present those metrics in an understandable way, and make sure those metrics are accurate at all times. This takes time away from focusing on your core product, your never ending list of features and fixes, and everything else your startup needs to do. In spite of all this, well thought out reliable metrics are pretty much critical to your startup’s success. I want to share how we gather metrics at Localmind, where we try to find that balance between getting the metrics we need while doing as little as possible.
If you’ve raised money for your startup then your primary goal is to be on the search for a repeatable & scaleable business model that will generate a return for your investors. The key part of that previous sentence is “search”. Great entrepreneurs know how to search their way to success.
Editors note: Since his days as a student, Calvin has been immersed in entrepreneurship and start ups including being an executive in Students in Free Enterprise Ryerson, winning first place in the ACE National Entrepreneurship Challenge and winning Most Profitable Business Venture for his start up from the John Dobson Foundation. Calvin was a founding member of the Ryerson Entrepreneur Institute which launched the Ryerson Angel Network, the first university led angel network in Canada. Since graduation, Calvin has worked for two years at a boutique mobile marketing agency called Broadplay Inc. and helped to launch Spenz as the Director of Marketing.
I’ll preface this with saying we’re a bunch of twenty somethings from Toronto who had never done this before, we don’t claim to be good at it or know what we’re doing but hopefully our experiences can help you.