Validasi: Bagaimana Hendak Menguji Idea Startup dan Kurangkan Risiko Rugi

Kerugian dalam bisnes itu adalah suatu perkara yang biasa. Anggaplah itu sebagai “yuran tuisyen” yang kita perlu bayar dalam perjalanan kita menjadi jutawan.

Tetapi apa yang kita tidak mahu adalah kerugian ratusan ribu ringgit untuk idea yang unproven atau tidak diketahui sama sekali peluang kejayaannya.

Ngeri.

Namun begitu, risiko ini dapat dikurangkan sekiranya kita menjalankan proses validasi idea bisnes itu terlebih dahulu sebelum bermula.

Validasi?

Validasi apa ni Nadhir? Kita nak buat eksperimen sains ke?

Tepat sekali.

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Making TheLorry.com: A year of growth and learning

It has been close to a year since I wrote Making TheLorry.com: A journey from idea validation to being VC-funded.

As 2016 comes to a close, this article will highlight our hits, misses and key learnings for upcoming entrepreneurs.

The Chilli’s Summit
chillis

Fresh from receiving our Series A funds (USD1.5 million), Chee and I had dinner at Chilli’s early January 2016 to discuss top-level strategy and our plans for the year.

Quite simply, the goal was to grow x% by December 2016 in terms of revenue, number of bookings and gross profit.

We also discussed division of labour – I was to handle our bread-and-butter B2C business while Chee took on the fast-growing B2B department.

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11 Movies & Shows Entrepreneurs Should Watch For Inspiration

Being an entrepreneur is not easy. There’s so much going on during the week you just need a “release” during the weekend.

Personally, I watch a lot of movies & shows just to do that. Here are some of my favourites that will leave you feeling inspired!

#1 Wall Street (1987)

My all-time favourite. Watch Gordon Gekko’s wheeling and dealing and the persistence of Bud Fox in getting a meeting with Gordon.

Favourite scene: The BlueStar Airline scene when they pumped the share price up, brought it back down and the commotion that followed.

#2 Narcos (2015)

Yes, this show is about drugs and crime. But Narcos is also an amazing depiction of entrepreneurship – how to build a network, formulating profitable strategies and thinking big.

Favourite scene: When Escobar told “Cockroach” that he hasn’t got vision. Cockroach was looking to sell product locally while Escobar wanted to export to the USA. “If it costs ten dollars a gram here… imagine how much it will sell for in Miami.”

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Making TheLorry.com — A journey from idea validation to being VC-funded

On 19th January 2016, we announced our USD1.5 million Series A funding round. This is what happened behind the scenes.

Scaling up

When I wrote this post about TheLorry’s story on idea validation on Nov 2014, we were still basically a two-man team (two-man and a half if you count a freelance developer). I was doing mostly customer service & operations work whereas my partner and co-founder Chee Hau was in charge of marketing & sales.

(Btw, if you were our customer and noticed a certain “Adam” replying – that was me. “Adam” was my customer service alter-ego.)

“Adam” in action — replying customers’ text messages at an event. Photo credit: Sam
“Adam” in action — replying customers’ text messages at an event. Photo credit: Sam

As we started to get traction, we were convinced that our idea is sufficiently validated and it was time to put in more resource to take it to the next level.

Since tech is our core competency, we felt we should get a developer on board full-time. Freelance won’t work. Our credit cards were already maxed out so we needed to look for outside money in order to start hiring.

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Starting a Startup: 3 Reasons Founders Get It Wrong

How to build a product on the right foot

Ok, so you’re driving back home after a mamak session with your friends. As you’re about to turn into the Kota Damansara exit of NKVE you suddenly get a moment of epiphany — you have an idea for a really cool website that hasn’t been done before, one of a kind.

You speculate that this website will go really, really far. It will make you billions of dollars after you exit and get acquired by Google. You can imagine yourself swimming in a pool with your future wife Ayda Jebat full of RM50 notes already.

After telling few of your friends about it (and always by starting the conversation with — “Eh, this is a secret ah, don’t tell anybody. I don’t want people to know about this and copy.”) you find yourself a co-founder who believe in your vision.

The both of you then start building wireframes on how the website would look like. You identify your target market and have a marketing plan in place. Since you worked in a management consulting firm before, your business plan slides exceed 30 pages.

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A Malaysian Startup Conversation

It’s lunch time and two coworkers (both running their own exciting startups), Chris and Rizal are trying to figure out where to eat (a common Malaysian problem).

The conversation went a little something like this:

Chris: Who’s gonna Kaodim lunch today?

Rizal: You hutang iMoney bro. Of course you gonna buy today.

Chris: WTF, where got? Why all of a sudden like MaGIC I owe you money?

Rizal: Please bro. How come you forget such things. Up to today, you owe me1337 Ringgit Plus man. Remember you used my credit card to buy AWS Credits.

Chris: Oh ya hor I totally forgot about that. Oklah today’s lunch on me. Can you Recomn a place to makan?

Rizal: Now Offpeak hours, should be no jam lah. Ara Damansara there can?

Chris: Cool, I got a Baucar for a restaurant there. Got good reviews on Hungry Go Where also.

A bus passes.

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Teknik Pengiklanan Google Adwords Menggunakan “Long Tail”

Google AdWords adalah antara strategi pemasaran kegemaran saya. Sekarang ini, apa sahaja perkara yang perlukan jawapan atau pencerahan kita akan “Google”. Sebagai contoh:

“Eh bro, apa nama player yang botak, dulu main kat MU, posisi midfield tu?”

“Jap bro. Aku Google”

*Google search: “bald, midfield, man united player”*

“Juan Sebastian Veron, bro.”

Daripada segi pemasaran pula, Google AdWords membolehkan kita untuk mengiklankan produk bagi kata kunci (keyword) tertentu. Sebagai contoh, sekiranya kita buat bisnes servis aircon, kita mungkin akan mengiklankan servis kita apabila pelanggan menaip “aircon service” di google.

Iklan untuk “aircon service” dalam kotak merah
Iklan untuk “aircon service” dalam kotak merah

Masalahnya, sekarang ini sudah terlalu ramai orang mengiklankan produk mereka di Google AdWords, terutamanya untuk kata kunci umum. Kita perlu bersaing dengan orang lain untuk memastikan iklan kita berada di atas ataupun sekurang-kurangnya muka surat 1.

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Making TheLorry.com – How We Started

TheLorry.Com officially went live on the 7th of September 2014. Our internal customer validation target for this MVP was to achieve 10 paying customers within one month. We achieved 10 paying customers within 10 days.

The Beginning

It all started when I was tasked to create and head a new courier unit, focusing on international parcel logistics at my previous job. Over the course of few weeks doing research, I quickly learned that this market was intensely competitive and we were going against mammoths such as PosLaju, DHL and TNT.

I soon began to experiment with the lorry rental market — just to test what sort of response I’d get with a simple advertisement on majalah.com.

Advertisement posted on 12th March 2013. Btw, there’s no such thing as an 8-tonner. LOL.
Advertisement posted on 12th March 2013.

From March 2013 when I posted the ad until January 2014 when I left this job, I received calls almost everyday enquiring about “lori sewa”. I did a few transactions just based on this ad and made some money brokering deals.

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