Technology startup: what if money is no longer a problem?
So, if you followed the checklist for getting your first investment or completed the required steps to inspire, then at some point the issue of attracting investment will cease to be the most urgent. At least for a while. We will assume that you have successfully attracted your first investment and look approximately like Jimmy Wales in this photo.
What to do next and what to remember to pay attention to.
Check-list for the first six months after receiving the investment
1. Set up a hiring process
Hiring is your key issue now. It always takes longer than originally planned. Therefore, the preparation should begin in the process of closing the deal. Connect a marketer to this task, since hiring is primarily communication. Make a blog post, add to Huntim (fortunately, Habr has an excellent program for startups ), Dou.ua, Djinni.co and Angel.co. In the job description, it’s best to include a link to an article about you on TechCrunch.
2. Set up a development process
Choose the most effective approaches. Your team needs to be comfortable working. Select the appropriate tools for key activities: analysis, development, testing, implementation and error correction. It is not so important that you will use - git or svn, ruby or node, Trac or Jira - think over processes and work according to the scheme most suitable for you, periodically adjusting it. If you can not decide, then throw a coin;)
3. Revenue vs Userbase
For the next round, you need one of two things: financial independence, or a huge and growing user base. The priority depends on the complexity of the product and the stage of its development. Without a product-market fit (PMF), neither one nor the other will happen. Read how to detect PMF here .
4. Tidy up metrics and analytics
It’s very useful to look at the event tree in Google Analytics. Configure events to see the sequence of user steps. You will see the steps at which the use of the product ends and you can adjust these places.
5. Provide feedback flow
You already have metrics collected by Google Analytics. Now you need to add quality ones to them.
We noticed that small one-page questionnaires work well after the user has done something useful with the product. 30 responses will be more than enough to separate the signal from the noise.
6. Prioritize development with the team
If you already have a publicly available product, then the sequence looks something like this: critical bugs → analytics → then everything else. Adding new features can be preceded by tests with fake functionality (this is when there is a button, but there are no such features yet).
7. Minimum Salable Product
The concept of MVP is present in the literature, at this stage it is useful to think about MSP, sometimes it is not the same thing. MSP is that set of functionality that you can sell some part of your target audience. You will not have the opportunity to return to this when you dig into product development. This is necessary if your product is large and there are still many R&D hours ahead of the MVP.
8. Simplify the product for early users.
Example. The first step of the user in our application was initially to connect Google Drive. This step could not be missed and it required additional efforts from a user who had not yet realized the usefulness of the service. We have added sample images that can be processed by the editor “without leaving the cash register”. We also made the connection step Drive not mandatory, but recommended. Use rates increased.
9. Solve the problem of user leakage.
If in the process of using the product users “fall off”, perhaps a strategy for dividing a complex product into its components may be suitable for you.
This is what we eventually did. It’s better to do 1-2 things well than 5-10 things bad. In addition to simplifying the user experience of early followers, you will get several times more reasons for publications and, accordingly, traffic. However, this is a subtle point. If you give something for free, then you can’t pick it up, you will have to convert it with some other features. Think it over right away.
10. Engage in a blog and SMM as if you had no product
This is a very useful exercise for an internet marketer. It is important to understand that people constantly need some interesting and useful materials, just come up with a presentation form that will make you a useful source of information. Almost the entire SMM is built on curation of content.
11. Use any opportunity to get money
The Global Technology Foundation ( GTF ) grant program , about which a serious discussion flared up at DOU , is perhaps the best such opportunity in Ukraine. Extra $ 30k and mentoring support from large funds is more than a substantial reward for 2 days of additional work (one day for submitting an application and one day for presentation).
12. Think about forming an advisory board
You attracted the first money, this is a very good signal for someone experienced from the industry. For some issues, it is better to contact people external to the team. Here, by the way, organizations like GTF will also be welcome. The main thing is not to be shy and ask for some useful contact.
And by tradition, we’ll debunk several myths. This time about GTF
GTF is not an organization to support "young and promising", but an organization to identify and support teams with a chance of great success. And this is the only right criterion in our venture world. In order to become a young and promising team with a chance of success, most of the money is not needed.
GTF does not give money to pre-seed stage startups, it gives money to teams with a chance of great success. There is no difference between a startup that announced the attraction of first money and a startup that has not announced this. At the time of applying to the fund, we had no angel investments. In the process of evaluating our application, they appeared. I don’t think that it’s fair to shoot teams according to this criterion. You need to understand that by giving $ 30k and mentoring support, GTF "pays" for direct and close contact with the best teams in Ukraine. Not with teams that for some reason have not yet found an investment.