September 21, 2011

Bringing Nothing to the Party by Paul Carr

Photograph of Paul Carr by Richard Moross

In the book Bringing Nothing to the Party: True Confessions Of A New Media Whore, we follow Paul Carr on his dream to make a lot of money by becoming an Internet entrepreneur. Paul Carr is sort of famous for his contribution to the web site TechCrunch.
In the book we follow him from his first encounter with a computer, through networking events where he meets entrepreneurs like Jason Calacanis, getting drunk, getting arrested, and the various ups and downs he experience while creating different companies. This is not a fact book, but more of a history book where the stories of companies like Google and Facebook are incorporated in the main history itself. The history mostly takes place in London and we get a good insight into the English startup world - most other books on the same subject are describing the startup world in Silicon Valley.

One thing we learn is how to make a PowerPoint presentation:
The essence of such a presentation is: KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid. The following slides is to be included:
  1. Press quote. Quote laundering is your friend
  2. An introduction of who you are and what you have done before
  3. Outline what the site is and who is going to use it. The answer to this question is however always 20-35 year old young professionals. They are members of the "ABC1" socio-economic group. Everyone is part of this group - or aspires to be part of this group
  4. Your revenue and your investment requirements. Here you can say whatever you like about your company - no one will know the truth anyway
    • You have to be able to justify it through maths and you have to believe in it as well
    • Try to reinvent your business model so the users somehow will get sex as a result of using your business. But do not say that you are helping your users to get laid in the presentation - your investors will understand that anyway
    • You are going to attract 800 000 users the first 18 months  
    • Make sure to use USD - the web is international
    • Say how much money you want - not how much money you need