Edwyn Chan's Weblog

Random log of my internet startup experience at Spottly. See my travel notes at http://spottly.com/edwyn


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If #Nike and #Spottly had crossover collaboration this is what it would probably look like. #sneakers

@spottly hongkong #office #startup

Starting your own company feels like jumping off a cliff and building an airplane on the way down


Creativity Loves Constraint

Marissa Mayer

Product/Market Fit

This term has been on my mind for quite a few months. Its the most unglamorous part of any business that is nearly never covered in the press.  Its especially important for internet businesses as “it” will be put under a magnifying glass when the business scales.

So what is product market fit? 

Simply put its, how well your product fits to current market needs.  The better the fit, the more the market will demand it. 

This could be how well your hamburger “fits” the taste profile of your target market to how well your travel app “fits” with how travellers want get their travel information. 

The game of product market fit is that you get to define your product and your market (target demographic).  If you are unhappy with the fit (best measured quantitatively) you can either make changes to your product offering or change your target demographic (or both).  This continues until you are either happy with the fit or give up/run out of funds/your competitor gets there before you.

The wildcard in the game is you might need to achieve product market fit multiple times.  This is because 1) as you grow, you widen your target market which might change how your product fits.  ie. What fits perfectly for 1000 hardcore users might not fit as well for 100,000 users. 2) as time goes on people’s taste and preferences change as well. What use to fit them, just doesn’t seem to fit anymore (just like clothes).

Before a company achieves the sacred product market fit, the company should be as lightweight as possible, this is in terms of everything: financial, human, marketing overhead in order to be able to make quick changes. Everything must be able to be changed, if not it becomes deadweight the company must carry.  This is the reason why large corporations do not survive fundemental changes in the market, as they carry too much deadweight (usually in the form of bureaucracy) for them to be fast enough to make the changes before competitors do.

In a nutshell: product market fit like reaching enlightenment: it is easy to say but hard to master.

The unglamorous path of a #startup @spottly (at Launch Academy)

#spottly for #techcrunch #shanghai #techcrunch中国#

#Shamelessplug my app #spottly has launched and is currently featured in the Hong Kong AppStore

I predict apple will announce iphone5S and the iPhone5C will support ChinaMobile LTE tomorrow. It shows TD bands on the apple site


How much equity should employee number X get?

A fresh grad asked me this question yesterday and after thinking about it last night my answer to him in the shoes of a Founder and CEO:

Deciding factors in order of importance.

1. What do you bring to the table

a) can I put a dollar sign to your value, ie. is it trading cash (your

pay) for equity

b) do you bring a unique value (priceless) that gives the company an

unfair advantage (eg. personal relationships)

2. How well do you fit with the company culture and long will you be

with the company?  This is a mix of how much do you believe in the

vision / can the value you bring scale with in line with company

growth / are your values inline with the company

3. What stage is the company at (valuation) / how much free cash can

the company spend

Front load the dealbreakers: articulate clearly what matters to you early when talking to people who want to acquire you

@jess (twitter) M&A session at 500startups

#spottly coming to your #iphone soon. (In other news we are testing the beta on #ios7) (at Spottly’s first HQ)

#Art installations of the various android builds. Outside the #google #android office (at Googleplex - Building 44 Android Lawn Statues)

#indian #curry and #salad #lunch at #google big table cafe (at Googleplex - Big Table Cafe)

Today’s #breakfast #menu at #google (at Googleplex - Big Table Cafe)

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