What does a venture capitalist look for in a winning startup? How does an entrepreneur know when it's time to scale? In this episode of SalesFounders, we explore the playbook of venture capitalist, Paul Ahlstrom, and take a deeper dive into his book, Nail it Then Scale it. Paul shares 4 key strategies that every startup must understand: What is a minimum feature set? How do I validate my solution? What is my go to market strategy? and Why VC's have no interest in your business plan. Do you know what it takes to build a scalable startup? Join us and find out!
MINIMUM FEATURE SET Understanding the difference between Minimum Viable Product and Minimum Feature SetStart with the features that solve the customer problem. What is the process to accomplish that.Focus on the feature set that is most compelling to the customer.
NAILING THE GO TO MARKET STRATEGY Level 1 - You and your company - what are the things that I can do with my company to go satisfy that customer?Level 2 - Partners - Who are the people that are on the same side of the table as me wanting to sell that customer.Level 3 - Influencers - Boundary Spanners - both sides of the line - the people that are the glue of the industry - analysts and guru’s, press and media - key influencers in the space. Don’t go there till 1 and 2 are figured out.Level 4 - Advertising and Marketing - This is a branding exercise - the whole industry should scream your name -
Customers can validate but they cannot innovate - Paul Ahlstrom
NAILING THE BUSINESS MODEL Getting the essence of the model figured out before you have too much infrastructure is important. It get’s harder to adapt the bigger you get. The truth about business plans - a big fat guessGetting into the business model competition -Hypothesis - requires the big idea canvasGo into the field and start having a conversation around this. Discover and uncover the value exchange.Sensitivity analysis - When we have the interjection around 15 minutes, that would be good to narrate something different into it.
CROSSING THE CHASM What he didn’t know was the step-by-step processThat’s been my mission - how do we increase the startup paceHow do we increase the speed of doing things right more
DISRUPTING POVERTY One of my life missions is to disrupt povertyGlobal corruption index (see below)Global poverty index mapIntangible wealth - effective government and trust and effective judicial systems. It’s what we enjoy in America. So how do you transport or create that wealth in other countries.
Paul Ahlstrom is a co-founder and managing director of Alta Ventures, an early-stage venture fund and co-author of Nail it Then Scale it. For more than 30 years, Paul has operated on both sides of the table as a venture-backed entrepreneur (founder of Knowlix, sold to Peregrine Systems, sold to HP) and as an investor. To date, he has raised over $1B and directly invested over $500M in more than 125 startup companies. He earned his BA in communications from Brigham Young University and an honorary doctorate from the Netanya Academic College in Israel.