Vorige week was ik één van de ‘sprekers’ 🙂 tijdens de FuckUp Night in Leeuwarden. Ik mocht hier een verhaal delen van één van mijn ‘FuckUps’ die ik als ondernemer heb meegemaakt. Want hey! Daar leer je van. En dat is goed!
Niet geweest? Fuck!
Maar niet getreurd. 🙂
Hieronder lees je mijn verhaal, zie je de presentatie slides en vertel ik je mijn 5 belangrijkste lessen.
Presentatie Evert Wilstra (Engels)
Oh en ik weet dat mijn geschreven Engels beter kan, maar fuck it! 🙂
Okay.. I admit it. Please.. don’t shoot
I fucked up a startup!
And here is my story.
4 years ago i had a great idea..
As a music festival organisator i was always looking for new bands and musicians who can play on our festival. I loved it to surf online and discover new music.
But.. i saw a problem.
The websites of bands and musicians were really sucks. There was always missing important things as.. good photo’s and video’s, tour dates, band info and sometimes even the contact data was missing. In the meantime bands and musicians were active on their social media accounts.
And then i came up with a solution which i called PresentBand.
I tought.. what if we connect their social media accounts into one website. For example the music page was a connection from their Spotify and SoundCloud accounts, the photo page was a connection from there Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account and so on.
The only thing what a band has to do was connect their social media accounts, upload a good background photo, add contact info and connect their domain. Ones!
Great idea isn’t it?
So we started building it! Together with Alex Jeensma who was responsible for the technic, we start building or own startup PresentBand. Every week we worked on new cool things as new and better social media connections, cool photo sliders, a mobile version etcetera.
And time flies..
After one and a half year we gave up ourselves for the Buma Music Meets Tech Award. This was our chance to present our product at the great Eurosonic Noorderslag event in Groningen.
And.. here we won the public award!
and then we thought..this is going to be it all..
we are going to be rich and successful! 🙂
But after the Eurosonic event we didn’t sell any account..
- We found 2 upcoming bands who we gave a free account to promote ourselves.. that didn’t work.
- We tried to sell it for 10 euro’s a month.. that didn’t work.
- We tried to give away more free accounts.. that didn’t work.
- We tried to promote ourselves with Google AdWords, Facebook ads and other stuff.. that didn’t work.
And after 2 years of building this startup we decided to quit.
Our money, time and energy for PresentBand was gone.
Where did it go wrong?
Or own conclusion was.. We had blinkers on!
Our starting point was our own ideas and techniques, while we did not wonder what the wishes of our users were.
It was our own need. And not those of bands and musicians.
And.. we waited too long to bring out our first product to the market.
In the same pitfall I walked again when I came up with Volunteer Planner, a web application that allows you to efficiently manage and organize volunteers. A good idea and it still exists, but here too much time and money was lost on building the product. We focused mainly on the technical side.
I knew: this has to be different. But how?
The cover came when I read the first sentence of the book Sprint by Google partner Jake Knapp. “What I did at work, did not work,” he said. That triggered me. In his book he launches The Design Sprint, a new and groundbreaking method to turn ideas into a successful product in a few days.
A fast, cheap and efficient way of working. Simply by thinking the other way around: not from your own ideas, but from the user. What does it need, how does it want to use the product? By focusing on those questions, you can only really come up with something that will catch on.
I was really happy with discovering these method.
However, I translated it into a step-by-step plan that fits well with the Dutch market.
Without hip American terms, but effective.
What i learned? i have 5 lessons for you!
- Take the shortcut. Before you build and launch.. test it!
- It does not have to be perfect when you test something,
you can learn from it quickly
- Everything.. yes.. everything goes about.. know who your client is!
- Keep up the good work! And start failing as fast as you can.
- And my last lesson.. don’t give up!
Because I did not do that either.. start again and go for it!
At this moment i started a new company, called SprintWolf, where I help innovative companies to move forward with their ideas through Design Sprints. Because, that is what makes me happy!
Thank you for your attention. Wanna know more about me?
Thanks Haise Bosma (Smart Camels), Bertwin Kampman (Inqubator Leeuwarden) and Friso Visser (BrainFuel).