- “Cases of Portuguese and Brazilian entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley” @ Orrick Lawyers
Johnny Gerardes (Datacell and Mowaiter), Bernardo Seabra (Playdom and Brightworld), Hugo Bernardo (Picto and Easyvino), Norberto Guimarães (Cleversense and now working at Google, after selling Cleversense to the current employer), Pedro Vieira (the Goodguide) and Daniel de la Rosa (zyni-group) spelt it out for us:
- “Stop thinking, start doing” – this is worth reflecting on! No strategic plans. No detailed business plans. No 5 year forecast on financial plans. Action! Start doing. Get out of your desk. Get out of your home. Interview, engage, talk, ask, validate. Pivot. Fail. Re-start. Do!
- For a Silicon Valley venture, remember: The CEO needs to be in the valley. Preferably so should the CTO. The rest of the team can be wherever internet reaches.
- Two very common mistakes all entrepreneurs do on landing in the valley:
- Start looking for funding straight away
- Portray a value proposition that is not focussed in just 1 or maximum 2 core business activities. In Portugal and other smaller European countries, startups often have to execute tens of value propositions just to survive. They will offer any related services to their core offering in order to generate some revenues. To succeed and grow fast in the market, one should focus the value proposition and excel at it.
- Before asking for money, get informational interviews with VC’s and Angel Investors. Meet them, ask for their advice, validate your offering, debate the potential, the assumptions, question your logic with them. Later, go ask them for funding.
- Watch out young entrepreneur, it’s easy to get yourself lost and out of focus amidst all the events and challenges. If you’re good and you have a winning concept, you should spend the large majority of your time… doing nothing else!
- Be careful with too much money. The world is abound with stories of failed startups that were sure bets, only to find themselves drowning in money, not smart, but drying up in ideas and initiative to excel.
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