10 things not to do at a Startup

  • Published on
    05-Jul-2015

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A talk I presented on my experiences dealing with startups and the 10 things I saw happening that were huge problems. Sometimes funny, these are really things you should avoid when trying to start a company!

Transcript

1. John Coggeshall 2. 18 years in web development, PHP Former Sr. Architect, ZendTechnologies Core PHP Contributor Startup CTO Business Owner 3. This is going to be an entertaining talk aboutfailure Im pretty good at failure Ive watched a lot of people fail too Ive also learned a lot in the process Names have been changed to protect me asnecessary 4. ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? 5. Act I 6. New minted consultant atZendTechnologies First big project is workingon Signature Networksbiggest client, the band U2 7. The project was doomedfrom the start Technical Debt isnt like abank loan, its like themob. Bono publicallyapologized for the failure(awesome) 8. Do not neglecttechnical debt ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? 9. Hired by anotherdevelopment shopto work on theAmpd Mobilebackend Severely over-architectedCMS Wouldnt scale, allhope is lost. Amp'd Mobile takes the crown for money-burningwith $360 million in losses. Quicken 10. Do not neglect technicaldebt. Do not overcomplicate. Do not ignore the adviceyou are paying for. ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? 11. Joe is a construction guy and he had an ideafor a great new web site that was going tomake all sorts of money Joe doesnt know the first thing aboutprogramming web sites, but what problemcould that be? He doesnt need to knowright? Lets talk a bit about Joe. 12. Its okay if you want to start a tech companybut dont know how to write code It is not okay to do so without having aquality partner who does It is not an acceptable substitution to just hirea programmer employee and rely on them forbusiness decisions 13. Do not neglect technical debt. Do not overcomplicate. Do not ignore the advice you arepaying for. You must have expert skills inyour tech as partners notemployees You get what you pay for, dontbe cheap. ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? 14. Despite what you might think from this talk, Iam actually pretty good at my job. Hired on as CTO to a startup called IndividualDigital Like many fledgling startups, we had plans totake over the world. . And we failed. 15. We were well funded. We had good ideas. We had good market opportunities. We had good tech and the staff to run it. We had it all, but one thing 16. We displeased our masters (investors) bytying the success of our product to a singlething. As executives / founders we allowedourselves to be boxed in to what amountedto acceptance criteria We were succeeding in building a business,just not the business our investors wanted. 17. Do not neglect technical debt. Do not overcomplicate. Do not ignore the advice you are payingfor. You must have expert skills in your techas partners not employees You get what you pay for, dont becheap. You must manage expectations You must be flexible ????? ????? ????? 18. Act II 19. What followshappens almostevery time I walk intoa project Many of you haveexperienced this We can allcommiseratetogether! 20. Any project of any size needs a way ofmanaging the tasks to get it done Word docs are great for first cuts into a newproject, but break that down into discretetickets Pick a philosophy for development, I reallydont care if its Agile or Waterfall and stickto it. 21. Do not neglect technical debt. Do not overcomplicate. Do not ignore the advice you are payingfor. You must have expert skills in your techas partners not employees You get what you pay for, dont becheap. You must manage expectations You must be flexible You must have a development process ????? ????? 22. In life, in development, in anything. Neverforget KISS Keep requirements clear but simple Keep features lean and useful Keep architecture clean and expandable Keep process structured and habitual 23. Do not neglect technical debt. Do not overcomplicate. Do not ignore the advice you are payingfor. You must have expert skills in your techas partners not employees You get what you pay for, dont becheap. You must manage expectations You must be flexible You must have a development process You must keep things simple ????? 24. Last but not least.Follow me on Twitter @coogle, Check out my code on Github (coogle)