TechStars Days: Amazon Day
This is part two of my TechStars Days series of posts.
Mike did a great job presenting all of the various AWS offerings. The TechStars teams asked a ton of questions. It seemed after the presentation at least 4 of the teams were thinking about using some part of AWS. We found this whole session interesting as we had just made the decision to build Devver on top of some of the AWS offerings. Devver is currently working with EC2 and SQS, but we are strongly considering Amazon’s SimpleDB as well. Most of the topics our group discussed about AWS are publicly available. It was still worth hearing a talk and seeing demos which explore the possibilities as it helped sell us on the AWS solution.
Josh Hug (Shelfari)
Amazon Day continued with Shelfari, which Amazon ended up investing in. Josh gave a candid talk about the growth of his startup. Josh had a different beginning than the average startup. He wanted to start a company, but didn’t know what he should work on. He started looking at industry trends he could take advantage of, which eventually led him to Shelfari. He shared many tips about the early stages of a startup. Since my notes were just a list of bullet points I will share a few of the best.
- Focus on getting first version done
- Early focus in a startup has the largest impact
- Use A/B testing to really see what your users prefer
- Outsource a payroll service
- Do your own bookkeeping and have it checked once a month
- Actively engage in your own PR
- Keep initial costs really low
- A final great quote, “The grass is always greener on the other side of the technology fence.”