"As you build your startup, you are digging a hole. If it doesn’t get easier to get new users, take the time to get back to the surface and dig a brand new hole instead of simply trying to correct course. The right path might not be far. Once you find it, the entire universe will conspire in helping you to succeed and you will feel it."
Get out of the rabbit hole by Xavier Damman
"[A MVP] Should validate or invalidate key hypothesis: Rarely is the most critical hypothesis - can we build X. Remember, most startups fail because no one wants what they built not because they couldn’t build it."
"They did not want to hear that, but it made things clear: we had to build a better product. There was no other way out. No window, no hole, no escape hatch, no backdoor."

When you understand what each UI element in your product means to your customer’s life, you’ll understand how to sell it better. What your product is and the way it is sold are completely symbiotic. And both depend on detailed understanding.

This realization is both simple and beautiful.

"There is one final trick to getting the most from relationships with mentors. It’s not enough to find great mentors, ask a few questions, and move on. You have to engage them. By definition, they’re not a mentor until they’re actively engaged."

Find and engage great mentors by David Cohen

I usually talk about how finding good mentors is hard, specially in a place without a big startup background. We’re already have some important companies created in Coimbra, but I haven’t seen their founders giving back to the community and making a difference. Probably, is still too soon for that, but it’s an important step on building a startup ecossystem.

Me and couple of friends are bringing the Beta Talks to Coimbra. They’re informal conversations with two guests and a moderator, happening on the 16th of each month, on several cities across the country. Each time, we’ll pair someone who started their own company with an investor.

The first one is already this Tuesday. Know more about it and join us

Before, in Portugal, everybody complained no one wanted to startup their own company. Now everybody complains entrepreneurship is being oversold.

I agree that there are people taking advantage of the recent wave to make a quick buck. But that happens all the time with any sort of hype. And everywhere, not just in Portugal.

I do believe that in order to have a couple of great startups, we will need to have a lot of startups. And the same goes for mentors, investors incubators, accelerator programs…

What I do notice is a subtle but important difference. I regularly speak with graduate students about my experience of starting Bundlr. Before, they wouldn’t even consider opening a company as a possibility after finishing their degree. It would just be research or working for a bigger company.

Now, they consider turning an idea into a company a possible career path. They’re not all running to start their own companies, like some overstate. Just a small percentage, but bigger than before.

So, the next time you feel like bashing another entrepreneurship event, try helping the ones you believe are doing a good job at helping improve the ecosystem. Help them rise above the noise. I know I will.

If you follow this blog, you probably know that I organize a monthly meetup for the Coimbra Startup Scene. It’s been almost two years since I started doing it (since February 2010) and I finally made a website for it:

We’re also going to try out a new format that will include:

  • A briefing, where everybody shares what interesting stuff they’ve been working on;
  • One hour conversion around a pre-selected topic, with an host and guests.

The next meetup is already on January 4th, at Connect Coimbra. Fred Oliveira will discuss the intersection between code and design together with Paulo Pereira, Levi Figueira and everyone else who shows up. Join us

Really great presentation about Growth Hacking, specially for someone working on their first company.
"You’re running a company, not trying to publish in an academic journal."