Monday, October 21, 2013

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You can watch some of our past talks under our Video page.

8:15 - 9:15a
**INVITE-ONLY** Ineffective Counsel: Identify & Survive Bad Legal Advice
Startups get bad legal advice all the time, and they’re constantly in the position of weighing the costs and benefits of the advice they do get. As a founder, how do you decide which legal costs are worth the expense? What advice will help you grow your business and take meaningful legal risk off the table? Anik has served as outside counsel to hundreds of startups, from resounding failures to paragons of success. He will talk about specific legal pitfalls over the life cycle of a startup, and the importance, legally, of building your startup for success.
8:45 - 9:20a
Breakfast & Registration
9:20 - 9:30a
Opening Remarks
  • Cass Phillipps, Executive Producer
9:30 - 10:00a
From 2 Founders to 6, Then Back Again

When you’re working long hours with a small team for less than no money because you are collectively crazy enough to think you can change the world, personal relationships aren’t the icing on the cake—they are the cake. Jackson Solway and Miki Johnson learned this first-hand when they started dating, co-founded Parsecco, got engaged and then shutdown the company. With a founding team that went from two six founders...and back again, they learned more than their share of lessons about what makes teams work, and how to look out for the company if they don’t. Join them for an unorthodox Q&A as they quiz each other (for your benefit) about early team magic and all their mistakes.

10:00 - 10:45a
Survive Your Fundraising Trainwrecks

Julia successfully raised over $8M to fund lark’s growth and landed her product on the shelves of every Apple store worldwide...but that was after months of "No's" from nearly every investor she spoke with. Through a candid conversation with her coach, Anamaria, Julia will reflect on her most painful fundraising mistakes. She will share the small-but-significant tactics a founder can employ to feel more powerful while raising money, and provide insight into how founders can develop skills to more confidently engage investors without sacrificing their personal authenticity to “playing the game.”

10:45 - 11:15a
Why We Fail: Learning from Experience Design Failures

Victor Lombardi spent the past two years researching websites and consumer electronics, like Google Wave and Microsoft Zune, that were hailed as great designs at launch, then failed unexpectedly when people used them. Victor will analyze the difference between design and customer experience, and share how new founders can avoid these failures in our own work.

11:15 - 11:45
11:45 - 12:15p
How To Build a Dysfunctional Team
When I moved to Silicon Valley, I thought I wanted to build a killer product with a team of rockstars. It turns out I just wanted to build a killer product with low-maintenance, talented people. Rockstars can be such divas.
12:15 - 1:00p
First Aid for Failure

Founders are a unique breed - passionate, driven, and with boundless energy. But what happens when the very thing you may be using to identify yourself - your company - fails? How do you recover from that emotionally? And how can a founder deal with depression when needing to stay positive every day for their team? Psychiatrist and coach Michael A. Freeman talks with reporter Jess Bruder on how founders can handle depression safely.

1:00 - 2:00p
2:00 - 2:30p
Success Forgets Failures
  • Jonathan Hoyt, GitHub
After learning lessons the hard way we finally meet success only to fail again. This talk is the story of starting a new team at GitHub, overlooking the past, and failing a few months later. Hoyt will share how GitHub mitigates the costs of failure while building product in a growing company.
2:30 - 3:00p
How We Got Our Biggest Brand Decision Wrong

FreshBooks changed its name after it had been in business for two years. In this talk, Mike will cover how that decision unfolded, how they successfully rebranded, and the repercussions that still reverberate today, 7 years later. Make sure your name and branding is done right from the start by avoiding some of these key mistakes.

3:00 - 3:45p
4:15 - 4:45p
Marketing: Even $1 million Doesn't Make It Right

Gleb Budman bootstrapped Backblaze to profitability without spending on marketing. He dreamed of having a real marketing budget to grow faster. Faced suddenly with $1 million to spend, things didn't turn out quite the way he expected. Learn lessons from his bruises that you can apply whether you have a marketing budget or not.

4:45 - 5:15
How to Quit Your Startup

Every founder knows that you can't quit if you want turn your startup into a billion dollar company. But should "Never give up - no matter what" be the only rally cry for entrepreneurs? Two years after starting Ridejoy, the Y Combinator backed ridesharing community, Jason Shen and his two cofounders chose to wind down operations, returning half of the $1.3M they raised in their seed round. In this talk, Jason shares his story of how things came to an end at Ridejoy, why they chose to shut down, and what other founders might learn from his experience.

5:15 - 5:45
From Learning to Action! (Interactive session)
5:45 - 6:00
Closing Remarks