November 27, 2007
(Part 2 of notes from the TIIC / The Coils event Nov 26)
Yedda's Avichai Nissenbaum spent a full hour going over the story of Yedda, from the team's point of view, from idea to concept to angel to alpha to beta to Round A to launch and finally, AOL exit.
10 takeaways from his talk (and a curious tidbit):
1. Leave ego at home. That's true for five guys trying to work together in crowded basements and unbeliavable pressure, and judging from his demeanor, still true for someone who's just made an (undisclosed sum) exit to AOL.
2. You're in it together. Regardless of the outcome, most co-founders end up hating each other. (He stressed it wasn't the case with Yedda, plus Yaniv Golan's nods and smiles from the audience - see pic - sorta proved this)
3. Do you really want to work on this idea for the next five years (or more)?
4. Are you scared? (being scared is okay) But are you more excited than scared?
5. Can you survive (bootstrapped) for at least 6 months? (Consensus was at least 12 months)
6. Quoting Stephen Covey, the main thing is that you keep the main thing the main thing.
7. Ask around. A lot. Anyone you know, trust. Even your "competitors." And...
8. Listen. It will always be hard to have your ideas lambasted, but it's VERY important. A good meeting with a VC/angel/potential partner/guy from the street was not just one in which they expressed interest, but one from which they learned something.
9. Technology is important. But marketing is what makes it happen. "I can't stress this enough," he said.
10. Put together a winning team, who complement each other. Preferably people you know well, and have worked with before. But if something's not working out, cut from the root before it spoils the bunch.
What I will remember about Avichai - he's got five kids. When asked how he does it, he just pointed that his wife was the real hero here.
And for some reason, I believed him.