Build your lean startup with Year One Labs

Flow Ventures | September 7th

Announcing Year One Labs:

There’s never been a better time to be an entrepreneur. Building a product is cheap and fast thanks to Open Source frameworks and the Cloud. Getting to market is easier than ever with app stores and affiliate programs. Super Angels and VCs are stepping on each other’s toes getting into early stage deals! Early exits are on the rise offering lower risk (but life changing) ‘outs’ for entrepreneurs.

But what I’m most excited about is that we’re beginning to have a set of best practices, thanks to the Lean Startup. Yes you need to have passion and vision (equally true whether you’re an Evil Genius or an entrepreneur). What’s been missing is a way for entrepreneurs to know what questions to ask and how to interpret the answers, especially when they don’t conform to the original vision. This is a lot tougher than it sounds.

That’s why we created Year One Labs with Ben Yoskovitz, Alistair Croll and Ian Rae. We want to help you realize your (huge) vision of the future by focusing on achieving the important things in your first year. Things like finding out who your customers are and building a product that solves a problem they care about. You’re not building a business (yet). You’re searching for a repeatable and scalable business model. We’ll do whatever it takes to get you there including getting you in front of the right customers, helping you build your product, and being brutally honest when your metrics don’t agree with your vision.

So what are we looking for?

  1. Passion – You love solving big huge problems (not just creating big huge companies, or Evil Empires)
  2. Ability – You have incredible knowledge and skills, and you can just get sh*t done
  3. Focus – Nothing distracts you from your goal, certainly not failure

The best way to ‘pitch’ Y1L  is to sit down with us face to face and talk about the problem you’re going to solve. Ideally without Powerpoint. Oh, and you should read Four Steps to the Epiphany and everything in Eric Ries’ blog.