Joshua’s Demo Day keynote
Sharing to you the transcript of Joshua’s Demo Day keynote
In one year’s time, we managed to build a product. We managed to raise a round of investment. We managed to ship to three different countries around the world.
For all of the glamor of what I told you earlier, what that doesn’t tell you is the fact that for the first six months after the demo day, none of us is getting salary. And as a matter of fact, up to this day, we are still squatting in the IdeaSpace foffice, praying to God that they will not kick us out. We only have P8K remaining in the bank. If we don’t do things right, we might go brankrupt in three months time.
So, I won’t be able to tell you something from the platform of success. But one of the things that we are happy about is we do have customers (who) are happy about our product. We managed to ship something that managed to make a child smile. and if you would want to go from DD into something that would go almost bankrupt in after a year with paying customers, then i can give you two words of wisdom that Ive heard from someone smarter than me.
First is, you should aways identify your first top three priorities and discard numbers 2 and 3. and if you’re in a status we were last year, that priority 4 you would probably be finishing your product. A finished product is not a prototype… a finished product is something a customer can hold for a week without the customer not feeling any pain to them; or without killing them.
And the things is, if you are not there yet, then by GOD, your team should work on that and nothing else.
Speaking engagement like this one doesn’t count towards finishing your product. Attending conferences doesn’t count towards finishing your product. Joining startup competitions that would reward you a trip to abroad doesn’t count to finishing your product. Dont waste your time and investor;s money, because that will ran out. And if you keep on that route, what you will find out is that you haven’t produced something that people want in the end.
Now even for us, it actually took us six months worth of full time, without doing anything else before we can ship a final product to our customers. It does take a lot of time.
You might argue that, what if I don’t focus on finding investors? What if i don’t focus on getting sales? Or spreading the word out so I can start hiring people. How could our company survive? That will bring you to the second word of wisdom.
The second one is, if you have a great product, every else will turn out right. Investors will find you. Distributors will want to distribute what you have. People would want to work for you.
For us, we’ve been trying to pitch and pitch and pitch two months after demo day. And though you would get some form of, “okay” or some minor commitment. Nut none of them will be able to give something to you until you show something out. After we have deployed the product, even if we run out of money now, people are actually coming to us to distribute (our product, some) expressing interest to invest in us. Everything will work out if you have people who believes in you.
It is not good for the ego, unfortunately. But you have to decide, what kind of startup or person you want to be. Do you really want to be just named as next Steve Jobs, next biggest Filipino inventor? winner of this and winner of that? Or do you really want to change the world? because if you really do want for your life to mean something, then you are not an actual company until you have actually made someone happy. Until then, good luck to you all.