Colin Barry

Day 3, Silicon Valley IXP


Mentor meeting (Scott Hartsmann [Trion Worlds] and Fred Wang [Trinity Ventures])
How to use lean customer development in a MMO startup (time to market: five years)
-- Expose the storyline to customers early
-- Expose PMs and developers to customers via Twitter, Facebook, etc.

It's not that hard to get a non-technical job at some Silicon Valley startup. People are reluctant to move to San Francisco, hat in hand, and try to get a job. But actually being there "focuses the mind." Maybe not the best idea right away, but easier than you'd imagine (ex ante).

Don't ever burn bridges/scorch earth leaving an employer. The world is too small, especially given how easy it is to do background checks via LinkedIn (find indirect links to prospective employees; perform informal due diligence).

Lunch at Kleiner Perkins (Aileen Lee)
Don't talk about the exit in a pitch. Your (prospective) investors can figure it out, and they will if they're interested.

Easiest way to raise money: have a working prototype and some customers/prospective customers.

Indirect observation/trend: Ask how people use a product/service, not what they think about it.
Basically all of the smart people I encountered so far ask "Do you use Pinterest? How do you use it?" and not "Do you like Pinterest?"

Stanford reception/Stanford Technology Ventures Program

Heidi Roizen exists. She is very nice and incredibly savvy. Also, I would never want to be an HBS case protagonist (aka MBA celebrity) --- it's a little weird to have 950 people judge you based on a 10-page excerpt of your life.

Enduring relationships are based on 'real things' and being useful to others, not glad-handing at parties.