Heidi Rozen: It’s the business model, stupid

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Heidi Rozen gave a great talk at the DMGT Technology Summer School simply titled “Failure”. A Silicon Valley Alumni she has started companies, worked for Apple under Steve Jobs and now is involved in Venture Capital so she had her fair share of stories. I was really impressed with her perspective on development and seemed to have a very Lean outlook after all of her experiences. I collated the points of her talk below and most of it resonated very well with how I am currently thinking.

  • It’s the business model, stupid – first place to start when a company isn’t working
  • Most technical decisions are actually business decision
  • It’s not just about money, it’s also opportunity cost
  • Support the lunatic fringe
  • Understand the assumptions so you can quickly adjust when things don’t work out and they don’t
  • Innovate around what is core for you and outsource the rest
  • You are building for the platform of tomorrow, not of today
  • You must understand your customers ecosystem and fit in effortlessly
  • If you can’t win then recognise early and deal with it
  • Think backwards from your customers
  • Narrow the customer set to provide 100% solution
  • Understand the ecosystem and the business model
  • Build 95% solution and pay 5% is Google solution
  • 60% of VC’s don’t return on their capital

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