Some ongoing notes:
Make a Mantra, not a Mission Statement. Made fun of the standard two-day-offsite-at-the-golf-course with a outside facilitator who creates trust, small teams, etc. Pulled out the Wendy’s mission statement which talks about leadership and innovation, not fast food. Didn’t actually help us think about how to set that mantra, though – how you make your threeish-word summary (“Healthy Fast Food”, “Democratizing Commerce”).
Things that are evangelizable/”golden” are
- Deep: Goes far enough in that version you aren’t desperately waiting for the next one.
- Intelligent: Somebody was thinking when they put this together
- Complete: everything you need is available – the things that surround the product. (Good later question about how to reconcile this with “ship, then test” from his book. No real resolution – “ship something revolutionary with elements of crap to it.”)
- Elegant: you know what to do when you touch it
- Emotive: cause strong feelings (possibly negative)
Guy has four children. No surprise – VCs seem to have more children than average. It’s just anecdotal, but I can’t think of any (male) VC I know who has fewer than three children (and is done procreating his VC genes).
Calls out the Smart Car as an innovative product people will want – of course the Smart Car has been a failure. Then there was some talk about a kimchi refrigerator, and I’m not sure what was going on at that point.
“The higher you go in the organization, the thinner the air.” Find the influencers – tech support, DBAs, admins, the people who do the work. Don’t focus on CXO’s, they got there by sucking up.
Look for agnostics, not atheists – in other words, sell the people who haven’t made a decision, not the ones who’ve already rejected you. (OK, that’s not really what an agnostic is. But I didn’t write the talk.)