Mentors and Teams

I’ve just posted a comprehensive directory of the LaunchPad mentors and advisors. We’re already seeing match-ups between teams and mentors and encourage our founders to learn about these invaluable resources, and look for people that might be helpful as you begin your customer discovery process.

If you are unable to reach a mentor, just contact Martin, Todd or Mike R and we’ll help you make the connection!

Blogging Your LaunchPad Experience

HTRLaunchPad founder teams are required to create a basic WordPress blog and to post to it regularly. The posts cover their experience talking to customers, discovering what works and doesn’t work with their business model, changes they’re making and the general experience of doing a startup. These blogs are public and offer a way for other teams to see how their fellow founders are doing.

Another big benefit of blogging your LaunchPad experience comes when others in your area of expertise find you via the blog. This is a great way to expand your customer discovery process. You can also point people to your blog so they understand what you are trying to accomplish through this program.

Setting up the blogs is easy. Just go to WordPress.com and register for a free account. Free accounts may have ads on them and you have the option of paying for a Pro account to remove them; however a few ads really don’t matter for our needs. The exception is if you decide you want your WordPress site to become the primary website for your business. Then you’d want to register a domain and pay for a pro account.

Once you’re logged into WordPress they offer a great tutorial for setting up your blog. I recommend checking it out before you even open your account. Just follow their instructions and you’ll be up and running in minutes. And if you have any questions, just shoot me a note at martin.edic@gmail.com.

Martin

http://learn.wordpress.com

BTW, this blog was built on WordPress.com.

Weekly Updates 1: First week’s homework and something about ideas

It was not discovered in a flash of genius.
It was not discovered in a flash of genius.

This is the first of a series of posts to help those outside of the HTRLaunchPad classes get a feel for what’s involved. The first class is this Friday and all founding teams have been given a simple task. They must provide a basic three slide PPT deck describing the following:

  • The founding team with contact info
  • Their idea
  • The problem it solves and the market(s) it serves

At this stage the second and third slides are almost certainly educated guesses or attempts to estimate reality. They or may not be correct. The purpose of the LaunchPad process is to provide a framework to help the founders discover whether their idea is viable and marketable, before they invest sums of money and energy trying to build a business around it. It is a hypothesis to be tested, not an assumption to be verified. Many, if not most, will be wrong at this stage. This is not a bad thing.

When the teams come to the class on Friday they will be given 5-10 minutes to present their concept to the group, which will include all the teams, the teaching team and any mentors who wish to attend. I’ll be covering that in another post.

A note about ideas: It seems ironic to me that ideas are often represented by a light bulb going off in the head, a flash of creative genius. Ironic because, as most of you know, Edison didn’t come up with the lightbulb in a flash. He had a hypothesis regarding electricity moving through a filament in a controlled environment. With the correct environment and material for the filament, it would produce artificial light. He then proceeded to test over 1000 materials before discovering the right combination. And he literally changed the world.