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The Startup Equation


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments x
Foreword xi
Our Story xivSECTION 1: DISCOVERING THE EQUATION1. The Age of YOU: The Entrepreneur 3
The Next Billion Entrepreneurs 5
Create or Die 5
The New Industrial Revolution 5
Choose Your Own Startup Adventure 112. The Rise of the Startup Economy 13
The New Startup Economy 13
A Tale of Two Cities: Savannah and Boulder 13
What Makes a Great Startup Economy? 14
Where is the Best Startup Economy for Your Business? 203. The Six Forces of Change 23
Force #1: The Anywhere, Liquid Workforce 23
Force #2: The New Work Order- Connected, Collaborative, Creative 24
Force #3: The Connected and Engaged Customer 25
Force #4: The Era of the Maker 26
Force #5: The Sharing Economy 30
Force #6: The New Creative Economy 32
Applying the Six Forces to Your Startup 374. The Startup Equation 39
The Equation Structure 39
Building the Foundation 40
Crafting the Equation 40
Growing the Dream 40
The Periodic Table for Startups 41
This is a Living Diagram 41SECTION 2: BUILDING THE FOUNDATION5. The Entrepreneur's Journey 47
Building a Great Entrepreneur 50
Finding the Leader Within 52
Entrepreneurs, Know Thyself 53
No MBA Required 59
Plan to Succeed, Not Win 59
Getting Ready . . . 616. The Big Idea 63
What's The Big Idea? 66
Generate Ideas with Brainstorming 68
Communicate Ideas Through Sketching 70
Utilize Collaboration to Build 72
Focus on the Right Opportunity 72
Getting Ready . . . 737. Strength in Agility 75
Living the Lean Startup Life 78
Discovering Your BASE Business Model 78
Thoughts on Financial Models 87
Building Your Minimum Viable Product 89
Vision Without Execution is Just Bullshit 92
The Art of the Pivot 92
Getting Ready . . . 93SECTION 3: CRAFTING THE EXPERIENCE8. Culture of Wow 97
Culture Starts with the Person at the Top 97
Finding the Right Culture Mix 101
Creating the Right Cultural Balance 103
Supporting Balance, Preventing Burnout 105
Closing the Creativity Gap 105
Leveraging Coworking and Makerspaces 106
Getting Ready . . . 1079. Rewards of Great Teams 109
The Single Founder vs Co-Founding Team 112
How to Find The Right Co-founder 114
Recruiting the A-Team 114
Leveraging Great Mentors and Advisors 118
Building and Leveraging Great Advisory Boards 120
Crafting a Stellar Board of Directors 121
Getting Ready . . . 12310. Creating Great Customer Experiences 125
Everything Starts with the Customer 129
The Six Disciplines of Great Customer Experiences 130
Discovering the Customer Journey 132
Building a Minimum Delightful Product 134
Customers as Partners 138
Leveraging Benchmarks, Testing and Customer Insights 142
Getting Ready . . . 14311. The New Brand Order 147
Great Brands = Great Experiences 147
Building a GREAT Brand Takes GUTS! 150
Creating a Brand Identity 154
Bringing Your Brand to Life 155
How to Think About Your Brand Affinity 165
Getting Ready . . . 165SECTION 4: GROWING THE DREAM12. No Money, No Excuses 169
Picking a Funding Strategy 169
Leveling Up With Angels and VCs 175
The Art of the Pitch 175
Beyond Investors: Loans, Grants and Cash Flow 179
Startup Rocket Fuel: Accelerators and Incubators 189
Getting Ready . . . 19113. Startup Marketing Alchemy 193
Seeing the Big Picture 193
Knowing Your Customers 196
The World's Shortest Marketing Plan 197
Startup Marketing Mixology 197
An Inbound Strategy to Unite Them All 203
Growth Hacking Your Startup 205
Getting Ready . . . 20914. ROI of Happy Customers 213
Building a Sales Engine 216
Hacking Your Sales Process 221
Mavericks, Journeymen, Superstars and Trouble 224
Creating Loyalty with Brand Evangelists and Raving Fans 229
Getting Ready . . . 23315. Scaling to New Heights 235
Scaling the Elements 238
The 3 Ms of Scaling 239
Jumping the Gun 242
Building an Engine of Growth 246
Running on All Cylinders 248
Getting Ready . . . 24916. Always Be Innovating 251
Creating a Culture of Innovation 254
The Rules and Habits of Innovation 255
Everyone is a Design Thinker 258
The Art of SMART Innovation 260
Every Entrepreneur Needs to Be a DEO 265
Getting Ready . . . 26517. The Exponential Power of the X-Factor 267
Driven to Succeed 270
Bouncing Up, Not Bouncing Back 271
Curiosity Killed the Bad Idea 271
A Startup State of Mind 273
Serendipity Not Included 273
Getting Ready . . . 275SECTION 5: CHARTING THE ADVENTURE18. Choose Your Own Adventure 279
One Equation to Rule Them All 280
The Elements of Startup Success 282
Two Questions You Must Ask 284
The SEED Board-Where the Rubber Hits the Road 285
Build Your Own SEED Board 293
Your Journey is Just Beginning 298
Notes 299

About the Author

Steve Fisher (Boston, MA) is co-founder of the Revolution Factory, a global network that funds, builds, and launching new products. He is also co-founder of The Revolution Institute, a global nonprofit that promotes social good.
Ja-Nae Duane (Boston, MA) is a speaker, strategist, social scientist, artist, creative economist, and author of How to Start Your Business with $100.

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