10 Things Not to Do in a Startup

  • Published on
    04-Dec-2014

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DESCRIPTION

An entertaining talk I gave at ConFoo 2014 based on my 18 years in web development on what NOT to do in a startup company.

Transcript

  • 1. John Coggeshall

2. 18 years in web development, PHP Former Sr. Architect, Zend Technologies Core PHP Contributor Startup CTO Business Owner 3. This is going to be an entertaining talk about failureIm pretty good at failureIve watched a lot of people fail tooIve also learned a lot in the processNames have been changed to protect me as necessary 4. ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? 5. Act I 6. New minted consultant at Zend Technologies First big project is working on Signature Networks biggest client, the band U2 7. The project was doomed from the start Technical Debt isnt like a bank loan, its like the mob. Bono publically apologized for the failure (awesome) 8. Do not neglect technical debt ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? 9. Hired by another development shop to work on the Ampd Mobile backend Severely overarchitected CMS Wouldnt scale, all hope is lost.Amp'd Mobile takes the crown for moneyburning with $360 million in losses. Quicken 10. Do not neglect technical debt.Do not overcomplicate.Do not ignore the advice you are paying for. ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? 11. Joe is a construction guy and he had an idea for a great new web site that was going to make all sorts of money Joe doesnt know the first thing about programming web sites, but what problem could that be? He doesnt need to know right? Lets talk a bit about Joe. 12. Its okay if you want to start a tech company but dont know how to write code It is not okay to do so without having a quality partner who does It is not an acceptable substitution to just hire a programmer employee and rely on them for business decisions 13. Do not neglect technical debt.Do not overcomplicate.Do not ignore the advice you are paying for.You must have expert skills in your tech as partners not employeesYou get what you pay for, dont be cheap. ????? ????? ????? ????? ????? 14. Despite what you might think from this talk, I am actually pretty good at my job. Hired on as CTO to a startup called Individual Digital Like many fledgling startups, we had plans to take 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) by tying the success of our product to a single thing. As executives / founders we allowed ourselves to be boxed in to what amounted to 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 paying for.You must have expert skills in your tech as partners not employeesYou get what you pay for, dont be cheap.You must manage expectationsYou must be flexible ????? ????? ????? 18. Act II 19. What follows happens almost every time I walk into a project Many of you have experienced this We can all commiserate together! 20. Any project of any size needs a way of managing the tasks to get it done Word docs are great for first cuts into a new project, but break that down into discrete tickets Pick a philosophy for development, I really dont care if its Agile or Waterfall and stick to it. 21. Do not neglect technical debt.Do not overcomplicate.Do not ignore the advice you are paying for.You must have expert skills in your tech as partners not employeesYou get what you pay for, dont be cheap.You must manage expectationsYou must be flexibleYou must have a development process ????? ????? 22. In life, in development, in anything. Never forget 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 paying for.You must have expert skills in your tech as partners not employeesYou get what you pay for, dont be cheap.You must manage expectationsYou must be flexibleYou must have a development processYou must keep things simple????? 24. Last but not least.Follow me on Twitter @coogle, Check out my code on Github (coogle)