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Leveraging on scalable technology to expand regionally

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Leveraging on scalable technology to expand regionally

  1. 1. Leveraging On Scalable Technology To Expand Regionally tech alone doesn’t work though - FYI Michael Smith Jr. SeedPlus.com
  2. 2. Things don’t have to change the world to be important Steve Jobs 1996 Jobs quotes > Woz quotes
  3. 3. I can be reached: Pro-tip: adding evie to the email won’t help SeedPlus.com SeedVC.blog @dreampipe (till twitter dies) michael at SeedPlus.com
  4. 4. My background coder (bad) enterprise sales (good) product marketing (okay) product management (better than okay) restaurant/pub owner (bad) evangelist (good) biz dev (better than okay) Thai Speaker (marginal) VC (apprentice)
  5. 5. It’s okay not to do a startup Don’t do it just because the cool kids are Take a gig first at a cool company First, learn what you like - what you are good at
  6. 6. (GDP) Gross Domestic Product (GNP) Gross National Product (GNH) Gross National Happiness (From Bhutan ) (GDT) Globally Desirous Thing
  7. 7. Nike Shoes Rolex Watches Thai Food (not because I am here) iPhones American TV Shows
  8. 8. All achieved escape velocity to become a GDT (however let’s even try to go regional first)
  9. 9. (hello thingmakers) Can Thailand build a GDT?
  10. 10. Cleveland Nigeria
  11. 11. Food for thought: Thailand is as capable (there are of course Thailand related challenges) as any other County to: 1. Build a tech startup 2. Launch it onto the global stage 3. Kick Ass There is no one way to do it but let’s discuss this more
  12. 12. Important stuff for your success toolkit Pro-tip: Taking notes is not cool
  13. 13. Karma People Data Focus/Simplicity Customer Care Tech Strategy
  14. 14. Karma has everybody’s address
  15. 15. At all times: Be cognizant of how you treat others You never know when you will cross paths again You may eventually work with, be bought by or merge with competition The world is smaller than you think
  16. 16. Luck is also useful but karma is the precursor
  17. 17. People always make the difference
  18. 18. Look at character as much as tech/business skills Groom the up and comers for greatness Despite the hype - it’s usually a marathon and not a sprint - therefore build a culture of longevity Help people lead themselves (act like a coach) Empower employees to make decisions If you are a young/new management team - get help in building the right people culture
  19. 19. Data can no longer be an side project
  20. 20. No matter what your product/service - data is key to your long term success It is always better to augment decisions with data - this helps to support a gut reaction - or helps you to confirm when your gut was wrong Instrument everything even if you can’t deal with analysis now. Some day you will (simply store logs on S3 for later import into Redshift for example) Share data internally and externally if possible (feedback helps) Hire people who also care about data
  21. 21. Tech ideas for data: Do not try and invent everything Check out Segment - instrument once, plug in anything later. You can use any sort of dashboard tool with it Google analytics okay for web but not for apps Some of the built in AWS data tools are pretty good - just know what you are getting into with them Figure out early how to track, archive and derive dashboards from the stuff you know is important. You can save the rest for later
  22. 22. Keep it simple, stupid
  23. 23. Pro-tip: Green is good. Red is bad
  24. 24. Customer delight is the best form of virality - Andy Rachleff (Benchmark & Wealthfront)
  25. 25. Very few startups make it Very few startups become a runaway success However, apart from creating a great product one could also focus on amazing customer service It is imperative to cultivate a process of customer service in everything you do Takes time to bear fruit but is the best marketing ever
  26. 26. Tech ideas for customer service: You can start by being available via email or social CEO or exec team should start dealing with answering customers first - this helps to establish a culture of customer service & great product learning If needed install zendesk or something else you think works but DO NOT hide behind automated answers or hide behind the tech As you scale, make your entire company share customer service and then eventually institutionalize it - also check out customer centric engineering
  27. 27. Outsource your tech!
  28. 28. I mean your servers not your coders
  29. 29. Old World: Buy servers, software licenses, racks and data - code practically everything One of my first startups we spent 2M usd on servers, software, rack space and internet before even launching New World: Rent the whole stack - close to having a serverless world but which technique should you take to building out your product? How much do you build?
  30. 30. The money quote! http://startupljackson.com
  31. 31. The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do - Michael Porter (founder of The Monitor Group) Pro-Tip: Competitive Strategy is a must read
  32. 32. If you are building a 1 country business then make sure it is the biggest 1 country business ever (gojek) (Massive TAM) Pro tip: VC’s love massive TAM If you are going regional - think cities instead of countries since this is where the masses are. (SEA is all about the cities) Force yourself early to test new cities & determine the playbook city by city After SEA possibly consider ANZ region as a good entry into the US or North America Get strategy help from your network, advisors, angle & VC’s
  33. 33. Tech ideas for tech experimentation: In your early days you don’t have the customers but you have incredible freedom Create as many experiments as possible - hack them, hand code, fake them. The goal is to test, measure and then operationalize what works As you grow it will get harder and harder to experiments but great companies find a way to experiment without harming the core operations that are working Pro tip: Listen to the new Reid Hoffman podcast, Masters of Scale for a better explanation
  34. 34. What I asked earlier: Can Thailand build a GDT?
  35. 35. No time like the present!
  36. 36. Struggle more, hustle less...
  37. 37. Q and A