Diary of an Economic Crisis Survivor

Life, Death and Miracles of a Startup, in the Italy of the Economic Crisis

Tag: startup

23. Fall in love with your Startup(but not too much)

30 SEPTEMBER, 2014, HOURS 15:21
DAY 227

Survivors.
Also this week, even today.

survivors diary of a crisis survivor

 

Saved by the bell.
The Great C was about to crush us like a flooding river, in a  rainy day.
In this rainy day, when the world seems to ignore the condition of a country which is wasting its assets and its “best youth“, we were about to make a wrong choice.
One of those choices that can make you fall.
And just because we were too in love with our business idea.

I don’t know the mistake that we made​​: I don’t really know.
Arrogance?
Carelessness?
Basically we were going to make a strategic choice that would have meant that our product couldn’t be used in easy way by our potential customers. We’re talking about small sliding doors that will change your life. And in our case, Victory would lose a lot of users: the only reason is that the use wouldn’t have been quite as intuitive, we hope it will be.

sliding doors diary of a crisis survivor

We became aware of the problem only through a “friend tester” that just asked us: “Why would I do such a thing?”.

It was not easy to make sure that the entire team was aware of the mistake. Including myself. We were too much in love with the initial setup.
It’s easier to change than stay in love with your business idea: the change is inevitable, so you have to predict it, control it and adapt to it.

Maybe we, young Italian startuppers,  will have to learn  something from the word of Eric Ries  in his “The Lean Startup“: “A startup is a human institution, created to give life to a new product, in conditions of extreme uncertainty“, and just because we are in this situation of extreme uncertainty, we need to be aware that the products / services created is such an experiments.  For this reason this product should be designed in a precise methodological synthesis of Creation -> Measurement -> Learning. Eric Ries docet.

the lean startup diary of a crisis survivor

Making mistakes is not wrong .. just be humble and brave to solve the problem on time:
Do not fall in love too much with your Startup. Make sure that your customers fall in love with her.

mistakes diary of a crisis survivor

21. Born of a Startup: building a company in Italy.

SEPTEMBER 8, 2014, HOURS 21:56

DAY 204

diary of a crisis survivor 21 key door

The time has come.

We have made the most important step.

We officially created our company.

Victory is officially a  “Società a responsabilità Limitata” (the equivalent of the English limited company(CLUE N.7).

 

After so many months, we have arrived where so many of us didn’t think to arrive.

It was not easy of course, and everything will be much harder from now on.

But our time has come.

 

The first question we asked ourselves was: “What is the best type of company to build our startup?”

The first choice was to set up a company where the responsibility is only of the company and not of the partners.

The second choice was to choose the type of company. We opted for a private limited company, that, in Italy, is a company where the human element is stronger than the interests of the shareholder.

Finally, it will be important to be able to be recognized as an “Innovative Startup“, a new and unique type of Limited Company, which can be exploited in Italy for two years now.

 

I will speak about it in the next post, now I’m going to celebrate Victory with the team.

I see the light at the end of the tunnel, I see that The Great C is escaping.

diary of a crisis survivor 21 The great c is escaping

20. Start up Competition: a way to grow

SEPTEMBER 1, 2014, HOURS 13:20

DAY 197

diary of a crisis survivor startup competition win

We fight the Great C.

Now officially.

While the wars rage in the world, while Italy continues risking sinking (inaction is not usefull) and the Great C is looking for another victim, we face an important moment in the life of a startup.

 

Thanks to writing a Business Plan we are able to sign up to the Startup Competition that we have identified.

It will be an important step, because we will face the public for the first time.

The goal is plural:

  1. Finding financiers or “companions” that can help us on the journey;
  2. Giving visibility to our idea.

For this reason, we are motivated.

Obviously we don’t know yet if we can.

However, being able to “compete officially” gives us a lot of enthusiasm.

We decided to take this step because the first feedback (with friends, family and experts) has been extremely positive.

I’ll leave you, now is the time.

With my click we will be officially in the race.

I’m going to click on (and begin to think that, this time seriously and concretely this time, we will win our battle with the Great C).

diary of a crisis survivor startup competition

19. No Country for Young Men.

Agoust 6, 2014, HOURS 22:31

DAY 171. diary of a crisis survivor recession

Recession. GDP -0.2%.

The worst for 14 years.

“Recession is back in Italy”

No. The Great C is back. Rather. It was never gone. And we knew it, I always repeat it in this blog: the inaction of the country is evident, and the cultural, economic, structural gap with other European countries is widening. “The Italian growth will come between 10 years.”  The voice of the people…10 years because they realize that the job is so much to do that it will be a long path.

The problem is the lack of  trust and opportunities for the young men. We need to have our chanche to play, we are too brilliant to be wasted. Victory is the startup of my dreams. For her, I fight every day to overcome the obstacles that sometimes seems to be insurmountable.

I can’t continue to be an “aspiring old  in a country for old men,” in Italy I can’t afford to invest my few money in a startup(although it is my startup and my dream). The risk is too high. Am I a gambler? Perhaps. Maybe the solution is in another country…. I’ll propose this idea to Victory’s team.

How many startup will die before the end of The Great C?

How many entrepreneurs will waste their projects?

How many young man will leave the country?

Maybe there is no hope Italy. No country for young men.

diary of a crisis survivor No Country for Young Men

18. I’m staying in Italy. For the moment. To Build my Startup

July 29, 2014, HOURS 10:37

DAY 164

Made in italy diary of a crisis survivor

I’m staying in Italy.

For the moment.

The Great C failed to get me.

The offer by the German multinational was not enticing enough.

The trade-off is in favour of Victory, my startup.

 And now?

We continue planning: at the moment we have just completed an intense brainstorming phase and now we are starting with the preparation of the Business Plan.

Accordingly, the form and the information of a Business Plan change depending on the goals (and hence on the receiver): our business plan will be basically divided in  two main sections:

– A qualitative part;

– A quantitative part.

The first part contains all the elements that constitute the concrete analysis of the inside and outside environment of the startup. Specifically, the qualitative part of the Business Plan of Victory, first analyzes the competitive arena and the strategies to create a competitive advantage over the competitors; later, we will analyze our business system, in its various components. The quantitative part aggregates a set of relevant data, including  forecasts and economic and financial analysis. On this point, we are lacking (for now). But two young professionals will help us.

 

Last but not least, the Executive Summary, which summarizes in a few lines the entire contents of the Business Plan.

Efficiency, Objectivity, Madness and Online Services (CLUE n. 6).

 Here we are, here is Victory, the one who will defeat the Great C.

The Great Economic Crisis, diary of a crisis survivor

17. One way ticket to hell

July 22, 2014, HOURS 13:52

DAY 157

dIARY OF A CRISIS SURVIVOR BUSINESS PLAN

Tim has gone.

The Great C has won: it took him.

Northern Ireland, one-way ticket. A well-paid job and the opportunity to grow professionally.

An opportunity that you can’t waste. In Italy. In 2014.

We have lost our all-rounder. Victory, our startup, has lost an important part of its team, that, like many other young italian people, was forced to leave the country.

And now?

We continue planning, and today we began to draw up the business plan.

I read  percentages: on average only 27% of the entrepreneurs of small and medium-sized enterprises have created ​​a business plan (http://www.pinterest.com/pin/61220876159478523/).

Perhaps it’s caused by their lack of entrepreneurial culture, or simply luckily they were so good that they don’t need to do it.

In fact, the motivations to create a Business Plan are different:

1 – Put in writing business ideas: this allows the entrepreneur to “grow”, identifying the problem (if supported by the right consultants), make certain remedial actions, and set the appropriate strategies;

2 – Look for Investors;

3 – Participate in Startup Competition / Calls for Startup (and here comes into play the Pitch).

 

Consequently, the shape of a Business Plan should depend on the goal: it must be communicatively effective according to the needs. Last but not least, the structure of the Business Plan: about this point I will talk about it in another post, now I have to leave the blog. I have a skype-call with a multinational company based in Germany.

Yes, it is, The Great C is trying to take me too, and bring me out of Italy.

Will it make it?

16. Economic Best Practice: when football is the mirror of your nation.

July 16, 2014, HOURS 16:00

DAY 151

They have also taken Football.

Germany and the Germans.

WORLD CUP DIARY OF A CRISIS SURVIVOR

I don’t care so much about this sport, but honestly, one of the few games that I saw in this World Cup seemed like witnessing a fight between rational (Germany) and irrational (Argentina).

And this time, the talent and the creativity lost.

This means that the Germans were able to apply their methodology, their determination, their professionalism even in sports, programming for almost a decade this result.

But above all, they have enhanced to the best of their resources.

 

With their modus operandi (a modus operandi in the name of “fairness”, far away from the Italian canons) they have success in private e public businesses, and in their startups.

No coincidence: Berlin is the dynamic symbol of this rebirth of Germany. Based on Programmation, on  Fairness and on this “being able to achieve the results without fuss”.

Germany and the Germans are a best practice. And this approach would be totally “seeded” in our Startup.

I’m trying with my startup, and although the Great C is pushing me out of the country, I planned the work of Victory, I tried to work in the name of fairness and loyalty, and above all I have entrusted the responsibility to the team, thus enhancing the resources that I have available.

A German approach?

No, this is the right approach to defeat the Great C.

15. Do you know what is the ideal customer of your Startup?

JULY 7, 2014, HOURS 16:54

DAY 142

dIARY OF A CRISIS SURVIVOR target customer

How hard it create a startup in Italy in 2014? 

It’s for this reason that from four months, I tell about the story of my startupVictory (its name), but basically I tell about the condition of young people in Italyin 2014. Tale of those young people who want to do and who daily tryto survive The Great C:tale of those young people who, driven by enthusiasm and passion, have a business idea and want to concretize it.

While many startups and businesses are dying, Victorycarries on, and the last steps that we have made was to identify the target toward which we address: identify the ideal customer of our services, our target.

This kind of activity(not a simple activity but a complex process),  actually it isn’t done by most of the companies,becasuse they tend to have the fear of reducing its p0ssibility of business in the face of a bid to one specific category.

In reality this is not soin fact, the target can be detected in a more or less schematic processIn short, a complex analysis.
But why is fundamental identify a predefined targetIt’s a necessary step for each type of startup for several reasonsthe most important are probably

  1. Identification of pricing policies
  2. Identifying the type of communication;
  3. Locating the process of purchase by the consumer.

An essential step for every startups

Victoria knows its target, and you?

14. Startup’s Naming Process: the first key to success

JULY 2, 2014, HOURS 14:33

DAY 137

dIARY OF A CRISIS SURVIVOR naming

Victory.

Finally our startup has a name.

Of course, this is not the “real name”, but a name chosen for this blog. From now on, I won’t have to say “my startup” but simply Victory. Obviously, this name isn’t complete because there will be a code name (combined with the type of company chosen), but that’s another story.

Meanwhile, on the streets of my city, my Gotham City, there is someone who is talking about people who are managing to fight and defeat the Great C, confused and distant stories, about heroes from a far away Italy of today; heroes who persevered in the crisis and took the opportunity to become big. Enthusiastic examples of partisans whose weren’t adversely affected their pride and dignity by The Great C.

I don’t know…maybe it’s this slight breeze of enthusiasm that gave inspiration to the team and in particular to D, our designers, to find a name for our startup. So that week-long process is over. D made ​​us work with a methodology called inductive: we found the name after carefully studying the very identity of the type of service that we offer. So we analyzed the identified consumer target, finding the best trade-off between these two elements and our goals. From that moment on, it was fun to identify a possible logo (although that’s another story).

So…Naming process as an essential step for the presentation on the market(which took place a few days ago with our beta version https://diaryofacrisissurvivor.com/2014/06/24/test-to-start-your-startup/). The name is our first business card, even before the Internet site. In fact the name of a startup is the first element that can arouse or not a reaction among the people.

Same concept for the name that I have chosen for you, for this blog and for this post. It has to inspire and “garra” (the South American). So I decided to call my startup in this way.

Victory.

13. Test to start your Startup

June 24, 2014, HOURS 12:21

DAY 129

diary of a crisis survivor
Here we are.

Our beta version is ready. (CLUE n. 5).

Although things aren’t going well, we go public testing our service (obviously not here, not in this blog).

The streets of my city are desolate. A city like so many others, and like all these other, was hit hard by the Great C, which created recession, unemployment and depression.

You know my story, and you know how, with my startup, I’m daily trying to fight The Great C. The first step was to create a team, and now, we’re launching our beta version of the site.
Because for a startup is fundamental:
1) check the appeal of your product / service;
2) create a critical mass that can act as a springboard for the project.

As can be convinced (or love) of our business idea, unfortunately, the response of the market is always different from the initial expectations, and start a test phase will enable us to understand where the process of buying is gonna blocked and where we go wrong. If we are unable to successfully pass this test phase, creating a sufficient critical mass, we will be able to throw in a total market.

I would say, first of all, in a startup, as in the life, it is necessary to risk: if the test will be positive, we can think of detonate the bomb … and then, I think that the Great C wouldn’t be able to resist.

We see the light, we know the way: now is our turn to survive…and risk.

(We don’t know what we can achieve unless we try).

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