While the first day of Tiny Startup Camp was all about fundamentals, the second day was about execution, actually making something. And as we were launching the test beds for our very own tiny startups, the room was filled with the sounds of keyboards, excitement, confusion, answers, and awesome. We were executing on Jason Glaspey’s 15-step plan and getting our hands dirty. Proverbial dirty. There was lots of Purell.
Three bad brothers you know so well said it best, “Now here’s a little story I got to tell.”
6:59 am | Alarm goes off.
7:00 am | Think about idea for my first tiny startup.
7:30 am | Take a sip of cofee.
7:31 am | Think about idea for my first tiny startup.
8:57 am | Get on Max.
8:58 am | Think about idea for my first tiny startup.
9:40 am | Check in.
10:13 am | Jason Glaspey welcomes us again, tells us not to trash Urban Airship, and talks through what the day holds.
10:25 am | Let the tiny startup making begin. Everyone buries their heads into their laptops.
10:26 am | Jason holds an impromptu session for tiny startupers to talk ideas.
10:30 am | Picked my domain name.
10:35 am | Registered my domain with Hover.
10:49 am | Signed up for ZippyKid hosting.
10:55 am | Pointed my nameservers.
11:02 am | Stared blankly at my laptop trying to figure out how and if I had to install WordPress.
11:11 am | Tried to install WordPress. Andrew Spittle helped me. WordPress was already installed.
11:36 am | Struggled setting up MailChimp.
11:40 am | Figured it out.
11:44 am | Configured a mailing list in MailChimp.
11:45 am | Felt like a god.
11:49 am | Email form configured.
11:59 am | Added the form to my site.
12:02 pm | Jason talks about what to put on your landing page:
“You have to let people know that they have come to the right place. Quickly.”
“Keep people from hitting the back button, because they want to.”
“Have four things for them to do depending upon their intentions and what you want them to do.”
12:06 pm | Lunch provided by ZippyKid.
12:20 pm | Jason introduces some sponsors and they give a quick word: Jon Summers of WhiteSummers, Vid Luther of ZippyKid, Saul Colt of FreshBooks, Doug Gould from Cloudability, and Andrew from Automattic.
12:31 pm | Jason thanks Cami Kaos for being awesome (and all her work in making Tiny Startup Camp happen).
12:32 pm | Chase Reeves on finding your audience:
“#PSCS10: Pick an audience – specific as possible, one you care about, and serve them for the next 10 years.”
“When we get specific, super narrow, it’s hard to miss.”
“I want to make weird stew for Steve.”
1:11 pm | Saul Colt on being memorable:
“How do you get people’s attention? You do interesting things, be different, and do what people don’t expect.”
“Don’t ask why? Ask why not?”
“People don’t share your features and functions. They talk about you.”
“The conversion sequence from marketingexperiments.com forever changed my approach to search marketing.”
2:38 pm | Back to working on my tiny startup.
2:59 pm | Google AdWords setup complete.
3:03 pm | Cuss at Google Analytics.
3:04 pm | Cami talks about the importance of good customer service and reminds us:
“Anytime you have a social account, it’s going to be used for customer support, so monitor it or don’t have it.”
3:32 pm | Twitter account activated.
3:35 pm | Back to Google Analytics. Andrew helped me (again).
3:45 pm | I yell, “You got served!” at Google Analytics.
3:59 pm | There are 14 windows open on my laptop.
4:05 pm | Vid Spandana on Art of the Hustle:
“To create something out of nothing, you have to convince other people to join you when you have nothing.”
“All startups start tiny.”
“Build confidence with metrics. Measure growth from day one.”
“Relationships are salient and super relevant for tiny startups.”
4:50 pm | It’s pitch time. Six tiny startupers pitch their tiny startup. Awesome shoots from their mouths as they ptich their tiny startups in 3 minutes or less. Rick Turoczy of Silicon Florist is there to write them up (his write-up will be included once it’s published).
5:19 pm | Jason closes the first Tiny Startup Camp. We sing Kum Ba Yah.
Final words: I got through 12 of Jason’s 15 steps and am only a few hours-ish away from launching my first tiny startup. A lot of tiny startupers got much further. For me, this was a great experience. In addition to a solid ROI, I learned a lot about things – both concepts and tactical execution – I wasn’t familiar or comfortable with before. And I met some amazingly amazing and talented people. Based on the excitement, inspiration, and execution I saw, I’m sure you will see some highly successful tiny startups hitting the Portland scene really, really soon. Well, that is if you have the very, very specific problem they are solving.
Thanks again, Jason, Cami, and everyone else that made Tiny Startup Camp happen.
On Twitter: #tscpdx
Disclaimer: Most of these quotes probably aren’t exact quotes. I’m not Rainman.