#4 Romain Kidd on Getting Started with 3D Printing, and 3D Printing in the Future

”They will be everywhere. They will be as common as microwave in your kitchen, and some people have microwaves and others don’t, but this is the type of mainstream adoption we are talking about.” – Romain Kidd

Romain is the CEO of MyMiniFactory. I met Romain towards the end of 2015, and since then MyMiniFactory has expanded their team, moved offices and raised over 700 thousand pounds on Seedrs. In this podcast we cover how to get started 3D printing, where Romain sees 3D printing in 5 years time, and much much more.

Enjoy!

listennowgraphics


Selected Links:

MyMiniFactory

MyMiniFactory – Twitter

Wedesign

Romain on Twitter

BBC Micro:bit


Startup Profile:

Employees: 15

Fund Raised: £700k +


Music Credit: Stingray by The Nude Party

#3 Bryn Jones – GrowSumo

“This is always going to be tough, and no-one knows what the right answer is, but you just have to be willing to work through it and accept that it is going to be hard. There is no right way to do it, but you better do it.” – Bryn Jones

This week I chat with Bryn Jones, a good friend from the time I spent at Y Combinator. Bryn is one of four cofounders of Growsumo, a startup that helps companies set up affiliate programs. It was great to catch up with Bryn, to find out how Growsumo had progressed, and to learn a bit more about the story behind the company.


Listen now on iTunes

listennowgraphics


Selected Links

The Orenda (Affiliate Link)

Startup Stats

Cofounders: 4
Employees: 2
Founded: April 2015

 

 

 

 

 

#2: Mark Robinson, the Founder of Rocksteady Music School

“When you first start a company, it is about constantly improvising, and to be happy with a huge amount of uncertainty until you find something that works…” – Mark Robinson

In this episode I sit down with Mark Robinson, founder of Rocksteady Music School. We discussed a wide range of topics including surviving the early stages of a startup, growing a company and music education. The call dropped at one point, which I cut out, so I hope it transitioned relatively well!

Listen now on iTunes

Show notes

Music Credit: Stingray by The Nude Party

#1: Elliott Perry, the CEO and Founder of Flex

So two weeks ago I decided to do a podcast, and I am happy to be releasing the first two episodes today!

This is an experiment, so I am certainly going to be learning along the way. For example, the audio on my side was pretty bad. I thought I could get away with a headset mic, but I was wrong. The next day I ordered a better mic so the audio on my side improved a lot for the second episode.

Also between the first and second episodes I changed the name, from Startup Voices to Startups Today, so there’s that.

Let me know what you liked in the commends, and what you would like to see more of.

This first episode is with my friend Elliott Perry, the founder and CEO of Flex. Flex is a live video workout platform. Prior to founding Flex Elliott founded Event Sneaker which he sold to .

It takes us a little bit of time to get into the swing of it, but in the second half especially, there are a lot of gems.

Listen now on iTunes

Selected Show Links

Music Credit: Stingray by The Nude Party

Startups: simple, but not easy!

Last week was the Demo Day for the latest Y Combinator batch, S15, which included my startup Livecoding.tv.

Having been through the program I wanted to reflect on what is so special about Y Combinator that allows it to be so successful.

The outcome of Livecoding.tv is a story that remains to be told, but regardless of the eventual score, Y Combinator has had an hugely positive impact on the company and me personally.

What is emphasised, throughout Y Combinator is a relentless focus on growth. The logic goes like this:

Are you growing?

Yes —-> Keep that growth going/do more of whatever is causing you to grow.

No —-> Do whatever you have to do to start growing. If you don’t know what to do, remember the YC motto “Make something people want”.

Do this, and your startup will be successful. Now this might seem overly simplified, as there are many, many steps you will have to do for your startup to be successful, but this is the key. As Sam Altman recently outlined in an article called The Post-YC Slump, it is this loss of focus on growth that will lead to mediocrity or death.

The problem with startups, as in life, is that there are always a million other things you could be doing. If you are like me, your todo list only gets longer, and your inbox only gets fuller. If you are not careful you can waste days and weeks in tackling work that seems important, but actually has no bearing on growth. Activities that feel important, but have no bearing on growth and therefore success, include: fundraising, hiring, cleaning up ‘technical debt’, going to conferences and talking to lawyers.

So remember, do what you need to do to grow, everything else is noise.

Oh and in case its not clear, its not like this is a new or original idea, rather this blog post is my way of trying to reinforce the ideas that the YC partners have told us again and again over the last couple of months, so that when I am working on a startup in a year or ten, and I am mindlessly ‘working’, I can look back and remind myself what I should really be doing.

The Road Less Travelled

Emerging from the education machine after so many years can be a disorientating experience for many recent graduates. Many are at a loss what to do next and simply do what they think is the next rung on the ladder – getting a job. How to decide what you want to do with your life, is not a topic that is covered in any of your lectures or seminars. The careers department may occasionally offer “workshops” on how to write a CV or how to get through test centres. Other than that, you are by enlarge left to decide your own path. If you have liberal parents the choice is even wider as they  ‘want to support you in whatever you choose’. Right.

This freedom, unimaginable for most previous generations, is both a blessing and a curse. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying freedom is bad, I am very grateful to have this problem, but the level of choice available to us can leave us wondering what we ‘should do’ with our lives. A first world problem if ever there was one!  The level of choice causes us to freeze and we struggle with indecision, this is the Paradox of Choice that Barry Schwartz describes in this TED talk.

It is all too easy to see our options narrowed and feel like we must get the best paying job with the most prestigious firm we can, in some ‘safe’ profession. Others common paths include travelling in order to ‘find myself’ or plunging desperately back into the safety of academia by taking a masters/PDH.

Anyway, I recently stumbled across a letter written by Hunter S Thompson who was asked for advice by a friend When he wrote the letter in 1958, he was 22.  For those of you who, like me, are struggling to find your way in the world, it is definitely worth a read in it’s entirety, which you can do here. I leave you with this quote taken from the letter;

“I’m not trying to send you out “on the road” in search of Valhalla, but merely pointing out that it is not necessary to accept the choices handed down to you by life as you know it. There is more to it than that — no one HAS to do something he doesn’t want to do for the rest of his life.”