Week 9 -Trying and failing in startups

As part of the NOC program, Eugene and I were at the NOC Connection event that happened today, and set up a booth to promote ExchangeBuddy to an audience. Although we did not have our product to showcase and on-board users, we used the product that was produced in the first iteration of ExchangeBuddy instead, and attempted to on-board users during the event.

As this was one of my first few forays into networking events, I felt that ultimately for networking events like these (involving many different types of startups), it ultimately depends at the end of the day on what you want to achieve from this events, and how you want to achieve it. The aim of Eugene and I to mainly man the “ExchangeBuddy” booth and onboard users would vary very vastly from the aims of people who want to find fellow co-founders, or to even pitch an idea to test it out on users.

Apart from trying to onboard users, I felt that one speaker that I felt talked about things that made a lot of sense to me, was Ruiwen, one of the co-founders of 99.co, and an ex-NOC alumni. Ruiwen talked mainly about his startup experiences <http://slides.com/ruiwenchua/not-scaling#/0/2&gt;, of trying different things and failing, and his analysis of how he failed in the different startups were something I felt that spoke out to me, and was a reminder for me to learn from other people’s mistakes.

The following lists the different ways that he had tried, and failed:

  • Make sure all the fellow co-founders are on the same page throughout all the many times that you will pivot, so that everyone’s views and goals are aligned
  • You may build the best product, but you also need to build a business: generate interest in the product you are developing to ensure that the product that you build will be used by others
  • You must be clear on what the different members of your team are, what roles they play (employees, co-founders, etc), and how you will manage that – some people use a vested interest model, others use other types of models.

Apart from the above, as I have not attended such events very often, and while coding in CS3216, going for such events really opened up my eyes to this industry in this way, and I am able to see the bigger picture of a business, beyond the product market fit. With this, I’m excited to continue developing the product, and pushing exchangebuddy to wherever we can push it to!

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