With this post I’m opening a new space in this blog that I will call Bringing the “B” (as in “Business”) back to “SABF”. This first series will be all about going from “I’d like to start a business” to having a small start-up running, and beyond that. I invite you to follow it, leave your comments and ask questions.
I will start by telling a bit about myself. In 2008 I began the BA in Business Economics at UTDT. A year later, I embarked on my first entrepreneurial project: I built, with two friends, a social network for our university’s students (ditellianos.com.ar, we shut it down a year and a half ago). Also that year I participated for the first time in SABF, an experience that had a great impact on me in many aspects.
The year after that (2010) got even more interesting. In February I travelled with two friends from college to London, where we took part in the Entrepreneurs International Challenge’s finals at LSE (the week-long event combined team competitions with talks and workshops). When we came back to Buenos Aires, the three of us started planning the creation of Cena Plus, a web-based restaurant reservations system (an OpenTable.com clon for Latin America). As if that was not enough, in the second half of that year I did an ERASMUS Semester at Prague’s University of Economics, another lifechanging experience. We closed 2010 by launching CenaPlus.com the second week of December.
During 2011, we focused on growing Cena Plus, afiliating more than 90 restaurants in Buenos Aires and processing hundreds of reservations. But of course we faced tough competition. Last December, Cena Plus was acquired by Restorando.com, this industry’s leader. By the end of last year I graduated from college and, as it was agreed in the acquisition deal, I joined Restorando’s team. Today I work with them full-time. (Oh, and in 2011 I participated in SABF once again)
In all these years I learned a lot: if I began a new start-up today, I would have a great advantage and I would do things somehow different from how I did in the past. That “advantage” and those lessons are what I will try to pass on with the series.
I’d like to be clear about something: little of what I’m going to write is completely new. You can find most of these ideas spread through other blogs, books and talks. In fact, the lessons I learned come from a mix of experiences and an insaciable hunger for learning about these topics from any resource I can put my hands on. The value I intend to create lies in bringing all these ideas, ways and methods closer to the SABF community, in a didactic and entertaining format, and mixing them with personal experiences and lessons (and possibly those of other SABFers as well).
I will focus on web-based business (that includes offline-online hybrids). The decision is based mainly on two reasons: 1) my richest experience comes from that industry and 2) it’s very likely that if you are reading this and thinking of starting up a business, it will be web-based. As a matter of fact, in order to avoid making the series too abstract, with each post we will be following the creation of an imaginary start-up of this kind.
I’ll finish by leaving a roadmap for the weeks to come, with the titles of the post’s of the series and, below, some resources you might want to take advantage of if you didn’t know them.
(You will get access to these articles by clicking on their names every time we upload a new one)
- On Motivation, Opportunity Cost and Ideas
- Validating your Idea
- Minimum Business Plan
- MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
- I already have a working and tuned MVP… Now what?
- Co-founders, Culture & Team Dynamics