Archiv für den Monat April 2013

Lean Start-up: Wie man mit minimalem Risiko ein funktionierendes Unternehmen aufbaut

„Tipps, wie man mit minimalem Risiko ein funktionierendes Unternehmen aufzubaut

Der Silicon-Valley-Unternehmer Eric Ries ist der Begründer der „Lean Startup“-Bewegung und Autor des gleichnamigen Buchs. Konzept von „Lean Startup“ ist es, ein schlankes junges Unternehmen aufzubauen und dessen geringe Ressourcen effizient einzusetzen. Das Ziel: Mit minimalem Risiko schnell ein funktionierendes Unternehmen aufzubauen.

Unter Tech-Start-ups im Silicon Valley erfreut sich die Lehre heute großer Beliebtheit, und Ries selbst half dabei, die beiden erfolgreichen Start-ups There und IMVU nach dem Prinzip aufzubauen.

Aus dem Buch von Ries lassen sich auch einige Fehler ablesen, die viele Gründer nach Auffassung von Ries begehen.

1. Fehler: Management-Methoden eines Konzerns anwenden

Das Management eines großen Konzerns besteht im Wesentlichen daraus, Kennziffern für den Erfolg auszumachen und zu definieren, Pläne zu erstellen, wie sich die Kennziffern verbessern lassen und dann die Fortschritte der Pläne zu überwachen.

Auch Start-ups müssen Erfolgskennziffern definieren und die angestrebte Verbesserung überwachen – doch Pläne spielen dabei höchstens eine untergeordnete Rolle. Start-ups fehlt es an verlässlichen Erfahrungswerten, um ernsthaft planen zu können – sie bewegen sich in einem Umfeld voller Unsicherheiten. Ries rät daher, Start-ups sollten weniger planen und möglichst flexibel sein. Die richtigen Kennzahlen müssen gefunden werden – doch wie sie erreicht werden, das sollten Start-up am besten am echten Markt testen und nicht in Plänen mit Meilensteinen und Marktprognosen.

2. Fehler: Fokus auf die falschen Ziele

Das Ziel jeder Unternehmung muss es letztlich sein, ein Geschäftsmodell zu finden, das dauerhaft funktioniert. Laut Ries lassen sich zu viele Start-ups von diesem Hauptziel ablenken, da es oft andere Ziele gibt, die einfacher zu erreichen sind und dem Ego schmeicheln: Aufmerksamkeit in der Presse, hart und ausdauernd arbeiten oder möglichst ausgefeilte Meilensteinpläne zu erreichen, können nur Mittel zum Zweck sein und sind niemals Selbstzweck. Das alles muss sich dem Ziel unterordnen, wie ein Start-up Kunden gewinnt und Geld verdienen kann. Dazu muss das Unternehmen herausfinden, was die Kunden wollen und wofür sie zu zahlen bereit sind.

3. Fehler: Trockenübungen mittels Marktforschung statt Lernen durch echte Kunden

Trockenübungen mit Fragebögen und Fokusgruppen bringen nach Auffassung von Ries wenig. Stattdessen rät er zur Methode des validierten Lernens mit echten Produkten und echten Kunden – nach dem Vorbild des wissenschaftlichen Ansatzes: Hypothese formulieren, sie am Markt testen, anpassen und erneut testen. Nur wenn sich eine Hypothese als richtig erweist, hat das Start-up ein nachhaltiges Geschäftsmodell gefunden. Ries nennt das BML-Schleifen, bestehend aus den drei Phasen „Build, Measure, Learn“ – also Produkt bauen, messen, lernen. Jeder BML-Durchlauf bringt dabei Erkenntnisse – und je schneller die Phasen durchlaufen werden, desto schneller nähert sich das Start-up einem nachhaltigen Geschäftsmodell.

Falls die Entwicklung des echten Produkts zu teuer sein sollte, um es zu testen, nennt Ries Zappos als Beispiel – den Online-Schuhversandhandel aus den USA, der Vorbild für das deutsche Zalando war. Die Hypothese des Start-ups, Kunden wären dazu bereit, Schuhe online zu kaufen, überprüfte Zappos mittels einer Fake-Website, auf der Kunden angeblich Schuhe bestellen konnten. Die Kunden bissen an – und die Hypothese war bestätigt. Ähnlich ging auch der Online-Speicherdienst Dropbox vor. Statt einen Prototypen zu entwickeln, drehte das Start-up anfangs lediglich ein Video, das zeigte, wie der Dienst funktionieren sollte – und ermöglichte den Besuchern der Website, sich per E-Mail informieren zu lassen, sobald der Dienst verfügbar ist. Viele trugen Ihre E-Mail-Adresse ein – die Hypothese der Nachfrage nach dem Dienst bestätigte sich.

4. Fehler: Zu lange an der falschen Idee festhalten

Nicht wenige Gründer haben das Idealbild eines Unternehmers, der fest an seine Idee glaubt – und an ihr festhält trotz aller Widrigkeiten. Auch wenn ein gewisses Durchhaltevermögen als Gründer sicher nicht falsch ist, lässt sich in Wahrheit relativ schnell feststellen, ob das Start-up überhaupt erfolgreich sein kann.

Ries macht dazu zwei Hypothesen aus, die sich relativ früh bestätigen müssen: Die Werthypothese besagt, dass das Unternehmen einen Nutzen für die Kunden bietet. Sie wird dadurch bestätigt, dass das Produkt Early Adopter – also frühe Anwender – findet, die es nutzen.

Die Wachstumshypothese ist die zweite Hypothese, die für das Funktionieren der meisten Geschäftsmodelle zutreffen muss. Sie besagt, dass das Produkt auch über den kleinen Kreis der Early Adopter hinaus Anklang findet – also einen großen Markt finden wird.

Ries nennt Facebook als ein Unternehmen, dem es sehr schnell gelang, beide Hypothesen zu bestätigen: Die Werthypothese bestätigte sich, weil schon die ersten registrierten Nutzer sich häufig anmeldeten und viel Zeit auf dem sozialen Netzwerk verbrachten. Die Wachstumshypothese bestätigte sich, weil sich an Colleges, an denen Facebook neu startete, binnen kürzester Zeit sehr viele Studenten anmeldeten. Meist waren es drei Viertel aller Studenten innerhalb von sechs Monaten – und das ohne Marketing-Ausgaben. Die frühen Erfolgsdaten stärkten das Vertrauen der Investoren, die schnell eine Millionenfinanzierung genehmigten.

Gelingt es nicht, beide Hypothesen zu bestätigen, kann eine Kehrtwende notwendig sein – Pivot nennt Ries das. Mögliche Konsequenzen sind beispielsweise, dass ein Start-up seinen Kernnutzen enger oder breiter fasst, auf eine neue Kundengruppe zielt oder seinen Vertriebskanal ändert. Wie immer lässt sich jede Änderung als Hypothese am echten Markt testen. Ries schlägt monatlich „Pivot-Meetings“ vor, in denen Daten analysiert werden und somit überprüft wird, ob sich das Unternehmen auf dem richtigen Weg befindet.

5. Fehler: Zu langes Zögern

Ries glaubt, dass viele Start-ups zu lange damit warten, ihr Produkt am Markt zu testen. Ein Minimal Viable Product, wie er es nennt, also die am schnellsten realisierbare Minimalversion eines Produkts, sollte dazu dienen, herauszufinden, ob nach dieser Art Produkt überhaupt eine Nachfrage am Markt herrscht. Außerdem kann sich das Unternehmen so schnell erstes Feedback von echten Kunden holen. Ein Start-up muss eben sein Geschäftsmodell erst noch finden. Im Extremfall kann dieses Minimalprodukt auch nur ein Test sein – wie in den Fällen Zappos und Dropbox (siehe Punkt 3).

6. Fehler: Sich von schmeichelhaften aber irreführende Kennzahlen ablenken lassen

Ein Start-up benötigt die richtigen Kennzahlen, um den eigenen Erfolg zu messen. Allzu oft verlassen sich Gründer laut Ries aber auf Kennzahlen, die für den Erfolg unerheblich sind aber vor allem dem eigenen Ego schmeicheln. Er nennt diese Kennzahlen Vanity Metrics – Eitelkeitskennzahlen. Sie sehen gut aus, bringen das Geschäftsmodell aber nicht voran. Dazu gehören Aufmerksamkeit durch die Medien, Anzahl von Fans der eigenen Facebook-Seite, in das Start-up hineingesteckte Arbeit oder das Erreichen selbstgesteckter Meilenstein-Ziele. Am Ende entscheiden die Kunden am Markt über Erfolg und Misserfolg des Unternehmens.

Stattdessen sollten Gründer die richtigen Core Metrics herausfinden – die Kennzahlen, auf die es wirklich ankommt. Das könnte beispielsweise der Zuwachs an zahlenden Kunden oder die Weiterempfehlungsrate von Kunden sein. Mittels so genannter Kohorten-Analysen lassen sich auch frühe Nutzer mit später hinzugestoßenen Nutzern vergleichen und herausfinden, ob beispielsweise die Weiterempfehlungsrate gestiegen oder gesunken ist.

7. Fehler: Bei der Wachstums-Strategie verzetteln

Ist erst einmal der Markteintritt gelungen und es besteht eine Nachfrage nach dem Produkt, benötigt jedes Start-up eine Wachstumsstrategie. Ries sieht hier im Wesentlichen drei Möglichkeiten für schlanke Start-up zu wachsen:

1. Zufriedene Kunden halten
2. Virale Verbreitung des Produkts über Empfehlungen
3. Zahlende Nutzer, mit deren Einnahmen in klassische Marketingausgaben wie Werbung investiert werden kann

Grundsätzlich könne zwar jedes Geschäftsmodell auf mehreren Wachstumsmotoren fußen. Start-ups sollten sich aber auf einen der drei konzentrieren und diesen auf Hochtouren bringen, rät Ries. So lasse sich der Erfolg neuer Produktfunktionen bewerten: Nur wenn sie das Wachstum beschleunigen, sind sie sinnvoll.

Um das zu überprüfen, schlägt Ries einen sogenanntenA/B- oder Split-Test vor: Zufällig ausgewählt erhält nur die Hälfte der Kunden eine neue Funktion. Anhand von Feedback und Kennzahlen wie der Weiterempfehlungsrate lässt sich nun herausfinden, ob die Neuerung sinnvoll war.“

Originalzitat aus: http://derstandard.at/1363709600998/Die-sieben-Todsuenden-von-Start-ups, Stephan Dörner, WSJ.de/derStandard.at, 30.4. 2013

http://blogs.wallstreetjournal.de/wsj-tech/2013/04/29/die-sieben-todsunden-von-start-ups/

Advertisements

Samsung Unveils Enormous 6.3-Inch Galaxy Mega Smartphone

Samsung-galaxy-mega

If you liked the big screen of Samsung’s Galaxy Note smartphones, the company has something even more massive coming. The Samsung Galaxy Mega line, which will hit Europe in May, is led by a monstrous 6.3-inch phone — the biggest smartphone yet.

Earlier this year, China’s Huawei unveiled a 6.1-inch phone, but the Galaxy Mega beats it by a fraction of an inch. Samsung’s gigantic phone shows the race to build the biggest smartphone has taken on a similar flavor as the competition to build ever-larger flat-screen TVs in the last decade.

Importantly, the Galaxy Mega phones do not include a stylus (the „S Pen“) that’s a hallmark of the Galaxy Note line. They’re also not pure tablets, since they’re equipped to connect with mobile networks.

The Mega line is led by the gargantuan 6.3-inch Galaxy Mega 6.3. Samsung oddly didn’t opt for a full HD screen at that size, giving it 720p resolution. It’s powered by a 1.7GHz dual-core processor with 1.5GB of RAM, and runs Android 4.2 „Jelly Bean.“ It’ll be available with either 8 or 16GB of onboard storage, and you can supplement that with a microSD card.

The „little brother“ in the line is the Galaxy Mega 5.8, which is even lower resolution at 960 x 540. The CPU is a 1.4GHz dual-core design, also with 1.5GB of ram and Android 4.2. While the Mega 6.3 can connect to LTE networks, the 5.8 is HSPA+.

Samsung says the Galaxy Mega is for customers who want the „most out of one device“ that brings both quality and value. They also sport new capabilities: S Travel provides trip information as well as local guides and resources, and Story Album lets users create albums of events, store moments in a timeline and quickly publish print copies of albums.

Of course, the phones have many of the features that exist on previous Galaxy devices, including Group Play, which can share content to other Galaxy phones and tablets on the same Wi-Fi network, and multi-screen capability, which lets the user run and interact with two apps on the screen at the same time.

Also included is Air View, where the screen reacts to a fingertip hovering above it by, for example, opening a drop-down menu or showing preview text in an email.

Samsung says the global launch of the Mega phones will roll out „gradually“, arriving first in Europe and Russia in May. No word yet on a U.S. release.

How do you like Samsung’s super-duper-size phones?

Quelle: http://mashable.com/2013/04/11/samsung-galaxy-mega/

Twitter Founders Move on to Their Next Big Thing

Twitter-founders

What do you work on after launching one of the largest social networks in the world? It took some time, but each of the three Twitter founders appear to have come up with their own answers to this question.

Ev Williams stepped down as Twitter’s CEO in late 2010 and scaled back his role at the company in the months that followed. He pursued new projects at The Obvious Corporation, a startup incubator that Twitter’s co-founders launched in the mid-2000s, and which served as the original home of Twitter. A few months later, Biz Stone announced that he too would be stepping away from day-to-day duties at Twitter and joining Williams at Obvious to focus on new projects.

Since then, the two Twitter founders and their team at Obvious have helped launch several startups including Medium and Branch, and have worked with or invested in a number of other promising startups like Neighborland and Findery. The underlying goal all along, according to Williams, was to use Obvious to figure out what he and Stone wanted to work on next.

„We rebooted Obvious in 2011 with a vague plan,“ Williams wrote in a blog post this week. „We started investing, incubating, and experimenting to figure out what worked and what we wanted to do at this stage in our careers; we just knew we wanted to work together do stuff that mattered.“ Now, nearly two years later, Williams says he and Stone have settled on their next projects. 

Williams says that he is now spending „about 98%“ of his time working on Medium, the publishing platform that Obvious announced a year ago.

Williams says that he is now spending „about 98%“ of his time working on Medium, the publishing platform that Obvious announced a year ago. Just like Twitter before it, Medium has been spun out from Obvious, and is now said to be operating as its own company, with a staff of about 30 people.

Stone, meanwhile, has committed himself to working on a new mobile startup called Jelly, which is also affiliated with Obvious. Details of the project are still vague, but Stone suggested in a blog post earlier in the week that it will be a free app that helps people „do good,“ and which will take up most of his time. „Personally, Jelly will command my full attention aside from some advisory roles elsewhere,“ he wrote.

Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s third co-founder, remains involved with the social network’s business operations, but most of his focus is outside the company. In October, Dorsey wrote on his personal Tumblr that he only works at Twitter on Tuesday afternoons. He spends the rest of his time running Square, the mobile payments company he co-founded in 2010 and which is now valued at more than $3 billion. As if Square isn’t enough of ambitious follow-up to Twitter, Dorsey has repeatedly expressed an interest in eventually running for mayor of New York City.

Whether these projects become the Next Big Thing like Twitter is unclear, but for each of Twitter’s founders, they represent the next big thing in their careers — and that may be just as important.

Quelle: http://mashable.com/2013/04/07/twitter-founders/

The 12 Most Influential Mobile Phones

Motorola engineer Martin Cooper made telecommunications history when he placed the first cellphone call 40 years ago. And who did he call, you ask? His rivals at Bell Labs, of course. Oh snap!

Still, it took another decade for the mobile phone to reach the masses, because Motorola didn’t make the DynaTAC available until March 1983. And in an example of just how quaint the tech business was back then, Motorola had a press event 10 years before the phone was on sale.

Which brings us to April 3, 1973, when the company that eventually brought us the Razr and Droid introduced the mobile phone. Forty years later, we’re still dropping calls like bad habits and struggling to get a signal inside a supermarket. Not that it matters, because we rarely use our phones to make phone calls. Instead, they’re a gateway to our digital lives, a means of doing everything from sending texts to updating our status to posting photos and listening to music.

Thousands of phones have come and gone, and most of them seem to run on Android. But the number of handsets that could be called truly groundbreaking is surprisingly small. Here they are.

Yeah, yeah, we’ve probably missed your favorite. And you’ll probably tell us about it in a comment typed on your phone.

Above: Motorola DynaTAC 8000X — 1983

The DynaTAC was the first commercially available cellphone and the culmination of all the research Cooper had done since joining Motorola in 1954.

The phone resembled those the military used in the field. The svelte handset weighed 28 ounces and was 10 inches tall, not including the antenna nearly as long as the phone. It wasn’t exactly something you could shove in a pocket or purse. Still, it wasn’t attached to a car and you could walk around with it, so there was that.

Such mobility wasn’t cheap. The DynaTAC would dig a $4,000 hole into your bank account. But that didn’t stop early adopters from diving into the swanky world of mobile calling. The phone had a cameo alongside Gordon Gekko in Wall Street and with über-preppy Zack Morris on the teen drama Saved By the Bell.

Photo: Motorola

Motorola MicroTAC — 1989

The MicroTAC introduced the flip-phone form factor that would eventually be adopted by the StarTAC. Beyond setting the standard for phones, it popularized the idea of being able to put a mobile phone in your pocket.

The phone, billed as the “MicroTAC Pocket Cellular Telephone,” was the smallest available when it was released. It was a lilliputian 9 inches long when open and weighed a mere 12.3 ounces. For the sake of comparison, the enormous Galaxy Note II is just shy of 6 inches long and weighs 6.4 ounces.

Still, the “little” phone packed a lot of amazing features, including security codes, currency calculator, hands-free operation and, perhaps most conveniently, a phone book to store names and numbers. It was the beginning of the end of having to actually remember anyone’s number.

Photo: Motorola

Nokia 3210 — 1999

The Nokia 3210 was, for many people, the gateway drug of phones. It also was among the first to tuck the antenna inside the handset. (The Toshiba TCP-6000 was the first, but that was the phone’s only claim to fame.) The little Finnish candybar phone was the first mobile communication device of the masses.

Its monochromatic screen did more than give you a heads up about incoming calls. It introduced a generation to the greatest mobile-phone game ever: Snake. The addictive game, based on computer game from the 1970s, featured a snake that grew as it consumed pixels. The object was to make the longest snake possible without having it eat itself.

And you thought Angry Birds was silly.

Nokia sold 160 million T9-enabled 3210s before replacing it with 3310 in late 2000.

Photo: Nokia

Sony Ericsson T68I — 2002

The T68i was the bridge between dumb phones and smartphones and, it could be argued, the most awesome cellphone ever. It included such groundbreaking features at Bluetooth, two-way MMS, simple WAP browsing and e-mail. And it had a cool color screen, a first for Ericsson.

The phone was so far ahead that it appeared in the Bond film Die Another Day. If it was good enough for 007, it was good enough for you. And it proved that people wanted more from their phones than calls and texts. Although the phone never saw the sales numbers of the Nokie 3210, it enjoyed a cultlike following.

Photo: Sony Ericsson

Danger Hiptop/Sidekick — 2002

While the suits and salesmen went nuts for RIM’s BlackBerry, the rest of us typed texts on our own QWERTY keyboard six-shooter, the Danger Hiptop. The phone, aka the T-Mobile Sidekick, was just as connected as a BlackBerry sans BBM, but didn’t make you look like a dork.

The Hiptop had online connectivity and a huge (for the time) 2.6-inch screen that flipped out, making it the swtichblade of the truly connected nerd. It came with a monochrome screen to start, but that soon gave way to color.

Designed by Danger, the Hiptop’s OS supported apps and could communicate not only via SMS but also with instant messaging services like AOL’s AIM. Adored by nerds and teenage girls alike, the Hiptop was the first real smartphone to hit the market.

Photo: Danger

BlackBerry 6210 — 2003

While the T68i put e-mail in your pocket, and the Hiptop made nerds drool, it was the BlackBerry 6210 that made cellphones indispensable to the business world by giving us instant, always-on access to our e-mails.

Little did we know that blessing would become a curse.

Its QWERTY keyboard and solid ability to actually, you know, make phone calls introduced the world to the modern BlackBerry experience of web browsing, e-mails, BlackBerry Messenger and SMS. It jump-started the smartphone market and spawned a class of humans known as crackberry addicts.

The combination of leading-edge technology and an excellent keyboard allowed RIM to utterly dominate the smartphone sector until a small company in Cupertino, California, decided to join the party.

Photo: BlackBerry

Treo 600 — 2003

After filling the pockets of nerds with its PDA (personal digital assistants), Palm set its sights on the mobile phone market with the Treo brand. The phone set the standard for smartphone features that followed.

The Treo 600 came with a camera, an MP3 player and an OS that would influence the iOS dock and the Android homescreen. Apps? Mappable keys? Everything laid out in a neat grid? Yeah, the Treo had all that, with a QWERTY keyboard.

The Treo’s 2.5-inch screen held a world of possibilities. Unfortunately, Palm was slow to update its OS and couldn’t keep up with the competition, even after releasing the Palm Pre with WebOS.

Photo: PalmOne

Motorola RAZR — 2004

The Razr was the first must-have phone. The thin flip phone was stylish and, if the commercials were to believed, would stick like a knife if dropped onto the floor.

While throwing the phone at walls like a knife was a bad idea, the Razr had a great four-year run, selling 130 million units. Is there any wonder why?

The Razr looked like it was straight out of the future. The numerical keyboard was cut from a single piece of metal. Its clamshell aluminum body and colored glass screen were gorgeous. And the damn thing worked like a charm. It was the last dumb phone that truly mattered.

Never mind that it also was the last Motorola phone that truly mattered.

Photo: Ariel Zambelich/Wired

Motorola Rokr — 2005

The Rokr was the first phone to play nicely with iTunes, and it was such a big deal that Steve Jobs himself introduced the phone to the public. Too bad it was a horrible, horrible phone.

Sure it worked with iTunes, but it held no more than 100 songs. And getting them onto the phone was as quick and comfortable as a root canal without anesthesia. And then there was the UI. Dear god, the UI. Sluggish doesn’t begin to describe it.

Still, the Rokr was a milestone because it opened the door to the phone as a media player. It could have been the iPhone. Instead, it inspired Apple to make the iPhone.

Photo: Motorola

Nokia N95 — 2007

The N95 expanded on ideas first seen in the T68i, with features usually found in smartphones and without the gigantic physical QWERTY keyboard form factor. It was stylish and functional, two things sorely missing in the smartphone world.

The N95 wasn’t the first to feature GPS with optional turn-by-turn navigation, a 5-megapixel camera that shot video, or a radio tuner. But it packaged those features in a gorgeous phone. It made design matter. The front of the phone slid up to reveal a numeric keyboard and slid down to reveal media buttons that controlled the onboard MP3 player.

It looked good, had a ton of functions and, thanks to the camera flash, those late-night photos at the club actually looked good.

Photo: Nokia

Apple iPhone — 2007

This is the phone that changed everything. It was the first smartphone with features people wanted, even if they didn’t know it yet. It was different in every way, from its stunning design to its ease of use to the things it would allow us to do.

Of course, we didn’t see that at first. All we could do was gripe about an app store with empty shelves, a single button on the bezel and the fact we couldn’t cut-and-paste anything. It seems so quaint now, when so much of what iOS pioneered has become the norm for smartphones.

No less important was how Apple changed how handset makers dealt with carriers. The balance of power shifted from the likes of AT&T and Verizon to Apple and Samsung.

Nearly six years and five iterations later, the iPhone still sets the standard.

Photo: Ariel Zambelich/Wired

HTC Dream — 2008

The Dream, marketed as the T-Mobile G1 here in the United States, was the first Android phone when it hit the market in 2008. That made it the first phone to challenge the iPhone in the touchscreen smartphone wars.

At first, it was a QWERTY-only affair, but the update to Android 1.5 introduced an onscreen keyboard so you no longer had to slide the screen up to tap out messages. The 3.2-inch screen showcased the operating system that Google purchased from Android Inc.

While the HTC Dream and the first version of Android were a bit of a dud next to the iPhone, the operating system and phones that ran it became more and more impressive as the years passed. Now Android devices are on par, or better than, the phone from Cupertino.

But as we’ve seen before, all of this could change. Like Apple did before, a company with zero history in the phone market could emerge with a new and exciting way to call your friends and tell them, “Hey, guess what I’m doing,” and change the industry again.

Photo: HTC

Quelle: http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2013/04/influential-cellphones