This is the first of several articles that focuses on the Lean Startup Method developed by Eric Ries.  Lean Startup is defined as the use of scientific method to create an optimal product into the hands of the customer’s quickly.

The Lean Startup Method is known to provide the following:

  • Eliminate Uncertainty
  • Work Smarter, Not Harder
  • Develop a Minimum Viable Product
  • Validated Learning

To provide an overview of the steps, here is an info-graphic to provide a visual flow of the Lean Startup method.


Posted in Lean Startup on October 13, 2013   0


Every startup founder knows that delivering an effective elevator pitch is a pivotal moment for their startup. If you get it right, you “hook” investors to provide funding for your budding company. If  not, then you’ve lost important investors for your startup. In short,  you either win or lose.

There are dozens of tips online, with several key steps that should be noted when crafting the perfect elevator pitch. I’m sure those steps will definitely help in organizing your ideas, but more often than not, more steps means more analysis – which means possible analysis by paralysis. By then, you’re stuck.

Here’s a quote from the great physicist Albert Einstein. Though this probably applies to his theories, I think that this quote is applicable for elevator pitches too.


Posted in Startup Lessons on October 11, 2013   0


Most startups fail not because of product development, but rather due to the lack of customers. Think about it. It doesn’t matter how cool or  technology driven your product is, if it can’t solve a problem, if it does not fill a need, then it has failed miserably.

Before you get started in setting up a business plan or hiring your CTO to create a product,  the first thing a startup founder should do is to get out of the building and connect with their customers.  Immerse yourself in the market you’re trying to tap into – find out what they need, find out how your startup’s product can really solve a problem.

To succeed, founders need to verify that their cool and awesome idea is correct. And quite frankly, it’s much easier to correct the direction of the company at the beginning, rather than during the later stages, when you’re about to launch.

In essence, this is the first of customer development. Just get out of the building and verify all your guesses and facts by directly asking the customers.  Remember that facts exist outside the building, and no matter how your ideas and metrics may dictate otherwise, firsthand customer knowledge is essential.

In the next couple of blog posts, we’ll discuss more on Customer Discovery, Customer Validation, Customer Creation and eventually Customer Building.

If you have any experiences or stories to share, we’d love to hear about it. Please post your comments below.

Posted in Startup Lessons on September 27, 2013   0


For most startup founders, creating a startup is exciting, and more like a roller coaster ride as compared to other ventures. And being optimistic from the start, helps a lot. In fact, it is only in Startup communities like Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley will you find people that are overly optimistic when it comes to starting their own company.

The cold, hard truth is  that 90% of startups fail.

Here’s a simple infographic that explains the success of startups such as ShopKick, LevelUp and Zynga – and  some of the reasons of their counterpart’s failures.

So, after viewing this infographic, you get to see some of the main reasons why these startups failed. And in most cases, each company’s struggles was unique to itself.

In your opinion, why do you think startups fail? Share your stories and comments below.

(infographic –


Posted in Startups on September 27, 2013   0


Most early stage startups waste endless amounts of time.   They spend time looking for developers, off-shore partners and finally CTOs to fix engineering flaws that off-shore developers created.   Co-shoring is a new model where product development is split between off-shore and on-shore engineering partners.  Software development is then paired between developers who are remote and those who are locally based with the business team.

It’s often a difficult process to turn a business idea into a viable product. First, entrepreneurs search services such ODesk/Elancer to find developers, designers, and others to build their MVP/product.  If they have a sizable initial investment in their idea, they may be able to find local Dev-Shops.  Finally, they need to find a local CTO or tech-savy friend who has both the time and the desire to work full-time for equity and reduced income.

But there are problems with this process.  Offshore firms don’t always have an incentive for your startup to succeed.  They are looking for their next contract payment and the quality of their code may be questionable.  Your IP is literally handed offshore, where a different country’s laws make it challenging to control risk to your business. And CTOs often have their own technical interests or work that is competing for your own business’s time, making those all-equity/full-time commitments questionable.

That’s why ab Dev Labs focuses on co-shoring as a service to local startups.   By enabling a local developer to help manage the development process, that person understands what goes into your code base.  They can also grow with your company over the long term.   You might only need a small project now, but later, you may be faced with large technical problems.  Also your development team can now work 24 hours day in some respects, so the development process marches forward even after you go to sleep.

Traditionally, large corporations such as Microsoft, Google, and other software companies maintain offshore development teams that partner with their teams split between various development centers.  They have long recognized that you can’t build everything in one place.   Software lends itself to collaboration.  By sharing ideas between people based around the world, better software gets built faster and cheaper.

Posted in co-shoring, Cofounding, Startups on September 2, 2013   0