The Challenge


How might we support web entrepreneurs in launching and growing sustainable global businesses? read the brief


Vocabulary list:

I though I would make a list of vocabulary startups use. This video is great at just listing some key terms off........
_____________ for ___________ 
e.g. Social Network for Toddlers: See @thulme's Dice 

An image, video, advertisement, etc. that is circulated rapidly on the Internet.

Minimum Viable Product, 
A Minimum Viable Product has just those features that allow the product to be deployed, and no more.

creation of rapid prototypes designed to test market assumptions, and uses customer feedback to evolve them much faster than via more traditional product development practices

All code/product is immediately deployed into production on a live update basis, everyday. (not like apple keynote who wait to release everything on one day.

  1. Zoom-in pivot. In this case, what previously was considered a single feature in a product becomes the whole product. This highlights the value of “focus” and “minimum viable product” (MVP), delivered quickly and efficiently.

  2. Zoom-out pivot. In the reverse situation, sometimes a single feature is insufficient to support a customer set. In this type of pivot, what was considered the whole product becomes a single feature of a much larger product.

  3. Customer segment pivot. Your product may attract real customers, but not the ones in the original vision. In other words, it solves a real problem, but needs to be positioned for a more appreciative segment, and optimized for that segment.

  4. Customer need pivot. Early customer feedback indicates that the problem solved is not very important, or money isn’t available to buy. This requires repositioning, or a completely new product, to find a problem worth solving.

  5. Platform pivot.This refers to a change from an application to a platform, or vice versa. Many founders envision their solution as a platform for future products, but don’t have a single killer application just yet. Most customers buy solutions, not platforms.

  6. Business architecture pivot. Geoffrey Moore, many years ago, observed that there are two major business architectures: high margin, low volume (complex systems model), or low margin, high volume (volume operations model). You can’t do both at the same time.

  7. Value capture pivot. This refers to the monetization or revenue model. Changes to the way a startup captures value can have far-reaching consequences for business, product, and marketing strategies. The “free” model doesn’t capture much value.

  8. Engine of growth pivot. Most startups these days use one of three primary growth engines: the viral, sticky, and paid growth models. Picking the right model can dramatically affect the speed and profitability of growth.

  9. Channel pivot.In sales terminology, the mechanism by which a company delivers it product to customers is called the sales channel or distribution channel. Channel pivots usually require unique pricing, feature, and competitive positioning adjustments.

  10. Technology pivot. Sometimes a startup discovers a way to achieve the same solution by using a completely different technology. This is most relevant if the new technology can provide superior price and/or performance to improve competitive posture.

Sending one solution to half your customers and another solution half measuring which solution is performs better.

Converting traffic into users and customers.

Coming soon pages that are displayed before website is launched.

Avoiding public attention to work on idea.

In many cases, is 3F's Friends, Family and Fools.

Sweat Equity

FFF- Friends, family and fools or angel investors invest the funds necessary to start the business so that it has enough funds to sustain itself for a period of development until it reaches either a state where it is able to continue funding itself, or has created something in value so that it is worthy of future rounds of funding.

Affluent individual who provides capital for a business startup, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership. A small but increasing number of angel investors organize themselves intoangel groups orangel networks to share research and pool their investment capital.

Raising money from the crowd/friends


Series A:
First Significant round of Funding:
A typical Series A round is in the range of $2 million to $10 million, purchases 20% to 40% of the company, and is intended to give the the company a runway for 6 months to 2 years.

Series B/C:
Next round of significant Funding.

How long the money you have will last you.

See companies and who's funding them.


Social commerce is a subset of e-commerce that involves using social media, (social interaction and user contributions), to assist in the online buying and selling of products and services.

When a company is launched to be a 'google' killer, they think they will replace google.

Social Media News Website

South by South West Startup Village brings together the startups, entrepreneurs, investors, and cutting-edge digital tastemakers within the 2012 SXSW Interactive Festival. Located primarily on the fourth floor of the Downtown Austin

Summit Series engages the world's most dynamic dreamers and doers through events and initiatives designed to make the world a better place.

Free/Cheap Space to startup a company

Access to excellent mentors and introductions to get a business going. Using a fixed amount of time including funding.

Combined incubator/accelertor's
Y Combinator:

FREEMIUM (Free + Premium) reemium is abusiness model by which a product or service (typically a digital offering such as software, media, games or web services) is provided free of charge, but a premium is charged for advanced features, functionality, or related products and services.


Disruptive Innovation (Clay Christensen) 
Creates new markets through innovations that improve a product or service in ways that the market does not expect, typically first by designing for a different set of consumers in the new market and later by lowering prices in the existing market.

Does not create new markets or value networks but rather only evolves existing ones with better value.

Activities prior to testing.

Prototype testing.

Prototype tests are complete, limited release and further testing, preparing to launch.

/Consistent Innovation: A company that never stops innovating and remains in the culture of beta at all times.

Many business models (or lack of) go after 'eyes on' meaning it doesn't matter what they are doing, the more hits they get, there are doing well or they have users spending an hour on the site and coming back daily. Monetization is how the company makes money off this model.

Introducing concepts from gaming to non-gaming environments such as real life and business endeavours. e.g. Using GPS to award points for crossing the road on a green light, bonus points for helping an old women cross and a level up for no jaywalking for an entire month.

An initial public offering (IPO) or stock market launch, is the first sale of stock by a company to the public.

Intellectual property (IP) is a term referring to a number of distinct types of creations of the mind for which a set of exclusive rights are recognized under the corresponding fields of law. (Copyrights, Trademarks, Trade Secrets, Patents.)

(Terms of use, disclaimer): The rules a user must abide by to use a service.

Discloses the ways a party gathers, uses, discloses and manages a customer or client's data.

When a website is ordered to take content down (e.g. youtube) as it is infringing on somebody else's interllectual property. (Would love more info, I think you have six hours to comply.)

Barriers to Entry:

When network effect is present, the value of a product or service is dependent on the number of others using it. i.e. facebook gets stronger the more of your friends that use it. 
25% of your friends = weak
50% of your friends = medium
75% of your friends = strong
(N.B. In the age of copy and paste, network effects are tough to copy...If you had to choose, would you pick a patent or network effects?)

is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a webpage in search engines via the "natural," or un-paid ("organic" or "algorithmic"), search results.

Google AdWords is Google's main advertising product and main source of revenue.
Pay per Click - You pay for every click and bid for most popular words.
Pay per Impression - Typical of TV/Radio.

Mission #2 Day in the Life of a Start-up


Join the conversation and post a comment.

Louise Wilson

March 15, 2012, 12:43PM

James McBennett

March 15, 2012, 12:59PM
done. added adwords too. Everytime you think of something, Louise, It helps me think of something else. #benefitsofgroups.

Louise Wilson

March 15, 2012, 11:50AM
What about IP? I'm sure there are plenty of start-ups who don't realise the value of what they've designed.... add Trademark there too!

Love the list - I've learnt a few things too ;-)

James McBennett

March 15, 2012, 12:41PM
done....should add 'network effects' + 'barriers to entry.

Meena Kadri

March 14, 2012, 21:53PM
Way to go, James – and I can see that you're effectively feeding some concepts you've got brewing here ;^) We can't wait!

James McBennett

March 14, 2012, 22:19PM
I was just thinking of how much more interesting the video above is to watch than my copy of paste of startup vocab......hmmmmmm...

Meena Kadri

March 14, 2012, 22:21PM
I swear – I can hear you thinking from New Zealand!

Arjan Tupan

March 14, 2012, 15:19PM
Hahaha. Good one. I would like to add 'Exit Strategy'. Startups are required to have a plan for exit. An exit strategy can be 'sell company to Twitter/Facebook/Google'. But also an IPO.

Oh, and while we're at it: add IPO.

Krassimira Iordanova

March 14, 2012, 15:24PM
Guy Kawasaki advises young enterpreneurs to write a "post mortem" for their start ups. This is a different kind of an "exit" strategy...

James McBennett

March 14, 2012, 23:16PM
keep them coming! Will add them all! I like manifesto's over business plans.

Vincent Cheng

March 14, 2012, 15:05PM
Login to OpenIDEO