Lean ‘pre-party’ at the next StartupQ8 meetup

(This post is for registering to attend the broadcast of recorded highlights of The Lean Startup Conference on December 15th. If you are interested in watching the event LIVE, please contact us).


On December 3, the biggest names in the Lean Startup world and a slew of entrepreneurs will gather at The Lean Startup Conference in San Francisco. StartupQ8 was named the official simulcast partner for Kuwait City and will broadcast selected highlights of the event at the next StartupQ8 meetup, free of charge, on December 15th. Join us to watch, learn and discuss how to be more innovative, use people’s time better, and be more successful.


Attendance is free of charge. If you’d like to attend, please visit  http://www.eventbrite.com/event/4755404543 to register.


Whether you’re new to Lean Startup methods or have been putting these practices to use in your organization, this event promises to educate and inform. The Lean Startup Conference brings together innovators from startups, Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and non-profit organizations to share lessons for building profitable lean organizations. More than 30 entrepreneurs will speak about their first-hand experiences, with keynotes including:

–  Marc Andreessen, co-founder and general partner at Andreessen Horowitz

–  Steve Blank, serial entrepreneur, author, lecturer at Stanford

–  Beth Comstock, chief marketing officer at GE

–  Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup


The complete speaker list can be found on http://leanstartup.co/speakers-mentors


While knowledge about the new science of entrepreneurship has gone global, startup ecosystems are always local. Come to the next StartupQ8 meetup at Global Tower at 4 pm on December 15th to meet fellow Kuwait-based entrepreneurs interested in creating and managing successful startups. We will be showing the best speeches from the conference until 7 pm, when the StartupQ8 meetup commences. A detailed blog post about the next meetup will be coming soon.


If you have any questions or comments, please contact us on twitter (@StartupQ8) or via the comments.


“Lean Startup isn’t about being cheap [but is about] being less wasteful and still doing things that are big.”

                                                                   – Eric Ries


Attendance is free of charge. If you’d like to attend, please visit http://www.eventbrite.com/event/4755404543 to register.


To learn more about the conference and its speakers, visit The Lean Startup Conference at http://leanstartup.co/. Read about the Lean Startup movement and principles at http://theleanstartup.com/ or on our earlier blog post at https://startupq8.com/2012/11/07/guest-post-what-is-a-lean-startup-by-mijbel-alqattan/


Steve Blank Will Teach Us for Free!!

If you are thinking to start your business or already have a startup then you shouldn’t miss this opportunity. Steve Blank is offering a free online class on how to build and manage your startup. I believe that your chances to succeed in your venture will increase by 80% if you did this class. Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating, but believe me it will be worth it. The class will start on the 14th of Sep.

Click here to learn more about the course. Hope to see you all in class 🙂

Entrepreneurship is an Art

During the next 10 holy days of Ramadan I’ll mostly share some of the stuff that stuck in my head from reading and watching different blogs and videos about entrepreneurship and startups. I’ll start with this short video of Steve Blank explaining how Entrepreneurship is more like an Art than Science. Enjoy!

Also find the whole post about this in Steve Blank blog here.

Must Read List for Entrepreneurs

These 4 books are the books that you must read before you start your Startup:

1- The Startup Owner’s Manual (Steven Blank)

This book is a full updated version of Steve Blank previous book “The Four Step to the Epiphany”. The Startups Owners Manual is a step by step book for co-founders to start a business. It shows in details how to get feedback from your customers until you arrive at your Product Market Fit (or Perfect product). Steve Blank is famous for developing the Customer Development methodology, which explained in details in the book.

2- Lean Startup (Eric Ries)

Lean Startup is a new concept that made a revolution in the startup world. If you ask any startup these days, they’ll tell you that they’re going lean. That implies they are always trying to minimize waste (waste here means less wasted time, effort and money). Lean Startup cycle is built in three steps: Build, Measure and Learn. Every person or organization trying to build something innovative or new, they must read this book.

3- Business Model Generation (Alex Osterwalder)

Business Model Generation or Business Model Canvas is replacing business plans (I talked about this a bit in a previous post Burn Your Business Plan).

4- Crossing the Chasm (Geoffrey A. Moore)

This is the most important book in marketing and sales for startups. You will realize that all of the previous books will use terms and methodologies from this book. Crossing the Chasm will teach you how to identify your market segments and how to target them.

Of course there are other books that should be in your reading list, but these are the books that you must read before starting anything.

Burn Your Business Plan

Last year my team and I won the best written business plan in Asia during the Asia Venture Challenge in Thailand.

Still I’m telling you that you should Burn Your Business. Why?? Because it’s the biggest waste of time. It takes you at least 1 month to finalize a business plan. Instead, you can build a prototype of your product and get feedback from real customers. Some startups even manage to build their whole product in one month, and start making money!!! A business plan is an execution plan that is static, hard to modify and full of assumptions. While a Startup should be dynamic, easy to change and based on validated assumptions.

In a business plan you are assuming you know everything. You know your market, customer need, how many people you need to hire and how much money you are going to make within the next five years!!!! So based on your magical business plan you start hiring, building and investing tons of money all based on assumptions. I have a bad news buddy, “No Business Plan survives first contact with customers”, Steve Blank. That’s soooooooo true.

But, you’ll say business plan makes me understand my business and prepare me for different scenarios. That’s true, but we need to understand that in a startup you are searching for a business model not executing a business model. Business Plans are execution plans and they are originally built for large companies with pre-known customer needs, customer segments and market. In a startup we are still not sure about our customer needs, our market, our revenue model and our cost structure.

So what should we do, no planning at all?? No you still need some guidance and here comes the Business Model Canvas to save us. Business model canvas is a dynamic and agile tool that help startups to understand their business model and guide them to validate all of their assumptions. It is easy to understand, easy to use and makes it easy to do major changes in your startup . It also pushes you to go out of the building and talk to your customers, your suppliers and your partners.

Trust me, Burn Your Business Plan and start using the Business Model Canvas instead.

Who are you!!!

Who are you!! This was the question my friend asked me yesterday when I told him about my new blog. Of course he knows who am I, we are friends for more than 15 years now, but he meant who are you in terms of work experience. When did you become an expert in entrepreneurship? How many companies you started before?That’s so true, who am I!!!

I hate it when people pretend they are experts and give training courses about subjects they have no personal work experience with. They give you lectures in marketing and social media just because they read a couple of books and a bunch of blogs!! I used to make jokes on these people, and now I feel I’m one of them, writing about entrepreneurship and my experience as an entrepreneur is less than one year!!! How did I became one of them!! I have no idea!!

Don’t freak out, I’ll not stop writing in this blog. But, I want to make it clear to everyone that most of the posts I’m writing are not based in my personal experience. The things I’ll write are just my own opinion and they are open for discussion, sometimes I’ll be right and other times I’ll probably be wrong. Many of my thoughts are based on books, blogs and articles I read from great thinkers in the startup world, for example:

1- Steve Blank   2- Eric Ries   3- Fred Wilson       4- Brad Feld      5-Vinod Khosla

I also had some good experience as a co-founder of a startup that successfully raised a seed funding round and was part of an incubator in Spain (the incubator is called Wayra). I also experienced the up and downs of starting a company with an international team before ending up back in Kuwait with a new startup I called fishfishme.com 🙂

OK, I’m glad we made everything clear. So in short, it’s true that I’m passionate about entrepreneurship and I read a lot about it, but this doesn’t make me an expert. I’ll write things that I think will be useful for people, but please leave a comment if you disagree or if I’m just talking non-sense. That was the purpose of the blog in the first place, for all of us to learn from each other.
At the end, I want to remind everyone that anyone can post in this blog, just contact me at StartupQ8@gmail.com.

All best,

Best Blogs on Hi-tech, Startups and Entrepreneurship – Part 2

Continuing the list of the top 10 blogs below:

5- NirandFar: Nir and Far is a blog about Business, Behavior, and the Brain. This blog is broadly about  “Behavior Engineering”, a topic at the intersection of psychology, technology, and business. I like this blog and the writer (Nir Eyal) because everything this guy says just make complete sense!!! He made me realize how Facebook and Twitter were manipulating with my brain and how other games and stupid apps became successful in short period of time. He also explains some interesting methodologies on how to create successful products by creating habits and behaviors.

4- GigaOm:  GigaOm is one of the most analytical blogs in the Hi-tech field. This blog is mostly focused on Cloud technology and other infrastructure and IT innovations. However, they also have many high quality articles on many interesting topics related to the hot startup scene. OM is refered to the initials of Omar Malik, the name of the founder of the blog.

3- Steve Blank: If you don’t know Steve Blank then you know nothing about entrepreneurship. This guy is considered the guru of entrepreneurship. He is a professor in Stanford, Colombia and Berkeley. He wrote one of the greatest books in the startup field “The Four Steps to the Epiphany” and lately “The Startup Owner’s Manual”. This guy is amazing, he posts everything in his blog, even his class lecture in Stanford, he doesn’t care about anything. I’ll use many of his thoughts in this blog, so you’ll get used to see his name a lot.

2- AVC.com: This is the blog of Fred Wilson, and he is without any doubt best VC investor in the world. He invested in Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare and zynga. He started writing in his blog for more than 10 years now and he writes a post ever day since then. His blog is a mine of information specially from the discussions happening after each post. On average he gets a 100 comments for each post. He is considered  one of the most influential and respected people in the Startup ecosystem.

1- TechCrunch: This is the best blog ever. Everything related to Startups can be found here in TechCrunch. All funding activities, acquisitions and all startups news are first published here. I never miss a news in this blog even if I’m traveling. If you read techcrunch then you are at least aware of 80% of things happening in the Startup scene.

And finally of course StartupQ8: Simply the best blog in the world, MOOOHAAAHAAAHAAA

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