So you want to build your businesses? What Tribe are you leading?

The great part of our work at Conception Fund is we get to sit down and talk with small business owners about what they are building.  One of the first question we ask them is why?  The reason we ask why is to discover what is driving the business owner to put in the long hours, put up with heighten level of stress, and discover their passion.  It’s that simple question “why?”  which often leads to a longer conversation about how their business fills a community need and provides beneficial economic activity.  It’s that story which will lead their crowdfunding campaign.

This past week alone we talked to a new smoothie shop whose owner is trying make her town a little less obese one patron at a time by switching her customer from unhealthy sodas to nutritious smoothies.  Next we spoke with the owner of a new Arts venue who has seen one art venue after another start and fail in the community.  He is determined to make his have staying power by making sure it’s financially sound and in tune with the local arts community.  Lastly, we spoke with the newly minted farmer who after working for other farmers for two decades has struck out on his own.  He is excited about this upcoming growing season and discovering how much he can yield from his modest plot.  Each one of these business owners has a story.  They can articulate the “why?” which will help them discover ‘the who.”

In the words of Seth Gordin these owners should answer, “what tribe are [they] leading?”  That is to say, in order to have the impact they are looking to make on their small communities, they need to discover what it is they are trying to change about the status quo.  Answering this question will help them discover who else is thinking similar to them and lead to customer acquisition.  Seth gives a number of great examples in his TED talk.  It’s worth a listen.

For those looking to start a new businesses or rethink their approach to their existing business, Seth’s discussion gives insight how to lead and gain traction by understanding what Tribe you belong to. Keep updated on our weekly insight into crowdfunding by signing up for our email list and follow us on twitter

If You Build It [They] Will Come…[Hopefully…]

Lessons From the Lean Startup Method

Here, at Conception Fund, we have been doing a lot of talking, writing, and planning.  We are excited about being able to offer equity crowdfunding in the near future.  However, before we launch our full platform we will be conducting a number of tests, to see what works and what doesn’t.  In the startup world this method is called the “lean” method.

Unlike Kevin Costner in the movie Field of Dreams, we will not be building our baseball field in the middle of the cornfield and hoping that the White Sox team of 1919 comes and plays.  Rather we will preview our full product launch, one piece at a time.  During this process we will be listening to you and developing our platform from your feedback.

The philosophy is to: 1)Build a minimum viable product (“mvp”); 2) Deliver it to our customers; 3) And measure their reaction.   There is a lot more to this method, and anyone currently working on a startup might want to check out Lean Startup by Eric Rise.  In the coming weeks our website will transform into a platform where you, our loyal followers can see what we have been planning for months now.

We are excited to unveil our first MVP (hopefully before July) and test how it performs.  In the meantime please subscribe to our blog, like us on facebook, and follow us on twitter so we can keep you updated on our progress.

Thanks from the Conception Fund Team.