School Notes

CSC454 Lecture 2

Today's lecture is all about team-building.

Having a poor team can ruin a great plan. It affects your workflow and definitely affects how willing investors are to put money into your company.

If you have a good team, pitch it early. A good team chemistry gets investors' attentions early and can make up for weaker points of your pitch.


  • Leader
  • Guru
  • Industry veteran
  • Sales personality
  • Financial mind

When building, it's useful to think in threes: Dev, Design, and Expert. The Expert of the team doubles not only as a knowledge base, but also as a potential customer of the software, so the app should be tailored to them.

When you've developed something that is viable and could make a lot of money, it's okay as a technical founder to take a backseat and let someone else with a knack for business scale the company up. As the money gets larger, you're dealing with more danger, more competitors, so you've either got to adjust or sell out.

The tech adoption curve describes a trend of how the product market changes at various stages of the products' lifespan. The early money comes from innovators, then early adopters, and only makes for approximately 15% of the total revenue. Then there's an adoption gap, where you're trying to penetrate into the early majority of consumers, which make up more than twice the amount of the initial stages.

(Aside: Don't get stuck eight months in development with no proven customers and then ship.)

Founding Story

When you pitch your startup, frame it in terms of a well-honed founding story to help you connect with investors, employees and customers. Helps with immediate engagement. People want to be part of something bigger.

  • Who are you?

  • Where did you come from?

  • What makes you unique?

Core Message

What is your company all about? Why are you doing this? Separate yourself from your competitors, explaining the unique benefit of your solution and how it will positively benefit your life.

Vision & Mission

Vision & mission outlines what the company wants to be. The philosophy that guides how the company executes thngs.

Core Competencies

The skills that put you at a competitive advantage, that put you a step ahead of everything else. e.g. Coca-Cola's competitive advantage was distribution.

The Business Model Canvas

Gives you a roadmap that allows you to describe every aspect of how your company fixes a problem and is set up to succeed.