Teach Me How to Startup
Match-dot-cocktail. Match.com held its annual cocktail party at site relationship expert Whitney Casey‘s opulent SoHo apartment on Wednesday night. The bar was wide open, finger foods were aplenty, and we got to chatting with CEO Sam Yagan about online dating in all its permutations.
Also a co-founder of OkCupid, Mr. Yagan is one of the entrepreneurs responsible for online dating as we know it. Midway through the evening, he addressed the crowd. He noted that his companies had worked mainly on “stigma-busting for the last 10 years,” and would now be turning their attention to mobile. Since Match.com is Tinder’s lead investor, Mr. Yagan is clearly ahead of the game.
Cowork With Me?
Sometime around hearing the umpteenth pitch for a location-aware, mobile, social events recommendation tool, one starts to wonder if the founders ever really questioned their basic assumption: that anyone would download yet another one of those apps when none of their friends are on it.
Lean Startup Machine CEO Trevor Owens wants to help with that. Today, he’s launching a free product development tool called the Validation Board that help startups crystallize things like their “Riskiest Assumption,” which ideas have been “Invalidated,” and what constitutes a “Minimum Success Criterion.”
the startup rundown
On a muggy evening earlier this week, Betabeat made the short, sweaty walk down to AlleyNYC, a new 16,000 square foot coworking space at 500 Seventh Avenue and 37th Street. We had some inkling we might be onto the next big coworking hub when an entrepreneur on the elevator ride up to the 17th floor said he felt obligated to drop by because he heard about the space twice in one week.
Even after hours, the place was still humming with activity. The mats in the yoga room were unoccupied, but members milled about the lounge, worked heads down in one of the spacious main rooms or huddled with cofounders in the 24 private offices, which are already at capacity even though the space just opened in August. A new platform for entrepreneurs called SocialChange.is was setting up a demo and with bowls of pretzels and other snacks laid out for the event.
The vibe was remarkably congenial; high-fives, daps, and backslaps abounded.
Bridging the Gap
2×2^2. April 16 is officially 4sqDay in New York and over a dozen other cities around the country. The fan-created social media holiday’s official celebration will begin at 7 p.m. at The Caulfield. Check out the community blog and RSVP here.
CAPITAL IDEA. General Assembly is bringing back “Assembled Capital,” an all day event dedicated to getting startups funded. The $200 (plus a $4.97 fee) to get in is a bit steep, but breakfast, lunch and booze are totally included! The event will include talks, panels and plenty of elbow-rubbing time with the like of Squarespace’s Anthony Casalena, TechStars NYC’s David Tisch, Charlie O’Donnell of Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, Shane Snow of Contently and many others.
AIRbnFREE. Airbnb is teaming up with Thrillist and sponsoring Tour de Thrillist, a bicoastal race to discover all that LA, Vegas, Austin, Philly and of course NYC have to offer. Up for grabs is a five-destination trip and free Airbnb accommodations. Cross your fingers and enter the sweepstakes here.
Not a Hackathon
This is a guest post by Trevor Owens, founder and CEO of the Lean Startup Machine, a three-day workshop on Lean Startup methodologies. Mr. Owens has also been a guest speaker at Princeton, Columbia, Fordham, and New York University.
The implications of the Lean Startup movement have been significant for entrepreneurs all over the world. At long last, founders are spending less time building products in isolation, and more time embracing their customers. Validating assumptions early and methodically has allowed entrepreneurs to fail fast, turning startup failure into a scientific process that ultimately leads to success. This movement, however, may have even bigger implications in store for established companies. Lean Startup isn’t about being cheap, but about being less wasteful and still doing things that are big.”
Can Corporations Be Startups Too?
Lean Startup Machine teams are on their marks for the biggest iteration of the event yet. This time, LSM eschewed the “first-come, first-served” policy and asked for an application in addition to the $250 fee. About 130 people applied; they accepted 50 and “ended up overselling to 70 people, and had people still fighting to get off the wait list,” organizer Trevor Owens said.