Tiny Startup Camp | Day One

Overall, the first day of Tiny Startup Camp was a solid introduction to the fundamentals. In addition to the key concepts, there were a lot of tips, tricks, and resources presented. I realize I don’t dig into the details of those, but hey, you’ll get all of that when you attend Tiny Startup Camp 2.0. Personally, today alone was worth the price of admission ($50). Sure, some of this stuff I already know, but it was great to hear validated approaches as well as save countless hours on the Google machine trying to figure out the stuff I don’t.

If I were to testify in court, it would go something like this:

6:59 am | Alarm goes off.
7:45 am | (6 Year Old) “Where are you going?” “Tiny Startup Camp, kinda like a class.” “DADDY’S GOING TO COLLEGE! DADDY’S GOING TO COLLEGE!” ” Not exactly, but…” “The Ducks stink! *pinches nose and gives a thumbs down*” “Yes.”
8:30 am | Heading to Tiny Startup Camp at Urban Airship.
9:01 am | Detour to Powell’s.
9:29 am | Back on track.
9:37 am | Check in.
9:58 am | Spill coffee all over my lap and worse, all over my phone.
10:00 am | Jason Glaspey welcomes us & opens with The Art of Tiny:

“Tiny is an attitude, not just a startup.”

“Don’t be so invested that failing hurts.”

“Solve a single problem, for a group of easily identifiable people, who want a solution and can afford to pay for it.”

“Don’t confuse a startup idea with a genie wish.”

“Become a problem solver. Don’t be an idea guy. Think about making everything in your life better. And a tiny startup solution will come to you.”

11:05 am | Jason Van Orden talks information-based businesses:

“You do not have a business until you have a sale.”

“Information products are the fastest, easiest way to make money. You can do it in a week.”

“There are three formulas for information-based businesses: coaching, ebooks, and memberships sites.”

“Define your very specific audience and talk to them. What is this their biggest problem? What is the solution? Have you looked for a solution? Record and write down, so you can hear their exact words. And they can be used to market your tiny startup.”

“What are the top five to ten needs and wants of your audience?”

11:40 am | Break. Didn’t spill coffee on anyone.
11:47 am | Andrew Spittle owns Understanding WordPress:

“WordPress powers 17% of the web.”

“You don’t need to get fancy because that’s time not spent on other important stuff.”

“Five things on WordPress: relax, simplicity, backup, update, and give back.”

12:13 pm | Mike Pacchione on How to Tell Stories that Connect:

“Essential, figure out a way to tell your story.”

12:17 pm | I’m explaining the plot of We Are Marshall to someone I just met.
12:22 pm | Mike continues:

“People make decisions based on emotion, justified by facts.”

“Don’t talk about your self or your product. Talk about the problem and solution.”

“Follow a simple construct of talking about the problem’s pain and the solution’s pleasure. Then, repeat until the story is told.”

“Tell someone else’s story.”

12:40 pm | Breakout sessions with Jason (Van Orden), Andrew, and Mike.
12:45 pm | Andrew is dropping more WordPress knowledge in his breakout session.
1:05 pm | Told Little Big Burger to get in my belly. It listened. Met a couple of other tiny startupers. Talked tiny.
2:11 pm | Introduced myself to Rick Turoczy because I’m a stalker.
2:33 pm | Jason gives a shoutout to Tiny Startup Camp’s sponsors: Automattic, MailChimp, ZippyKid, FreshBooks, PIE, Silicon Florist, Woo Themes, Urban Airship, AppSumo, Bing, WhiteSummers, & Cloudability.
2:36 pm | Kim Toomey educates us on Pay-Per-Click marketing:

“Only worry about Google & Bing. That pretty much covers every major search engine.”

“Optimize for the different phases of the buying cycle: research, evaluation, & buying.”

“When building a keyword list, use your brain – what would you search by, use Google’s keyword finder, just start typing into Google, and check out Amazon – the next largest search engine after the big ones.”

3:04 pm | Rory Kaluza simplifies SEO:

“The more competitive the AdWords, the more competitive the SEO.”

“The most important thing in SEO is website format, specifically the title tag.”

“Provide killer content better than your competitors.”

3:31 pm | Rick Turoczy gets all up in social media’s grill:

“Don’t expect to get more out than you put in.”

“Land grab and speculate real estate, but live where your customer lives.”

“Be clear about what your social presence does and doesn’t do.”

“Be polite. Be thankful. Share.”

3:58 pm Jason tells us we are all going to fail, but it’s a good thing. And gives us an overview of the next day, where we execute on what we learned today.
4:01 pm | Breakout sessions with Kim, Rory, & Rick.
4:02 pm | Rory answers questions and points us to some great resources.
4:36 pm | I sneak out before the social hour because I’m socially awkward.
Tomorrow | We execute on what we learned today. And I’ll be testing my first tiny startup.

On Twitter: #tscpdx

Disclaimer: Most of these quotes probably aren’t exact quotes. I’m not Rainman.