A quick summary of Day One of Echelon Ignite: Thailand 2012.
Day One of Echelon Ignite: Thailand 2012 saw a good mix of Thai and foreign entrepreneurs, investor and community leaders share their thoughts on building startups in Thailand and beyond. The day’s sharing started off with startup founders like Patai Padungtin, Jakob Lykkegaard and Bjorn Lee sharing their stories and how they hustled to bring their startup to what it is today.
Jakob revealed interesting insights into how two non-”geeks” built and sold their Facebook fan page builder service, Pagemodo. Jakob and his cofounder Thomas launched Pagemodo, then called Fan Builders, without having a fully functioning product. His idea was to launch fast and test the market to see if there was a market for it. Jakob shared the key lessons that building and exiting Pagemodo taught him:
- Fake it until you make it
- Think only of the 80 percent
- Launch fast, be embarrassed
- Sell products, not time
- Avoid long lockdowns
- Sell to people that can teach (in terms of acquisition)
Pagemodo was acquired by Webs in 2011. They had about 80,000 users at the time of acquisition.
Bjorn shared about the benefits of being part of an incubator and why a larger group of startups helps especially in the early days of a startup. The social currency within a family of startups helps in getting connected to the right people, something Bjorn has used for his startup Stickery.
Mobile veteran Adrian Stewart has been based in Thailand for about nine years. Adrian has done seven startups including learning from his failure of Edgematrix, which managed to raise a total of US$22 million in two rounds only to be sold for a dollar. Now, he is building a cloud loyalty service, Loyalty In Motion, and shares what he thinks mobile developer should look out for:
- “Locked” app stores – How Google Maps is having difficulty getting approved on iOS
- Service integrated into OS
- Default apps getting better
- “Valley politics” – Twitter blocking integration features
- API “shut down” – Google Weather API shut down
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