Tiny Startup Camp

A tiny camp for making tiny startups.

November 10-11, 2012
Portland, Oregon

  1. Tiny Start Camp reduces prices, offers partial refunds, and tells a story.

    Today we’re announcing that we’re lowering our ticket price to $50; we’re also refunding on a pro-rated basis to make all previously purchased tickets $50.

    The short story:

    Ticket prices were high for a first time conference, and we weren’t going to sell out the event, which is a shame… So, we’re changing that and being transparent in the process.

    The long story:

    (note: I’m a big fan of W+K’s philosophy to Fail Harder. I’m about to, so get ready :)

    I’ve tried to be honest that this Tiny Startup Camp is an experiment. I’ve never run a conference or event of any kind before, and I had some ideas that I wanted to try.… Read the rest

  2. Free Ticket to TSC for your Best Boss Story

    So, part of the allure of creating and running your own company/startup, is being your own boss. I’ve been my own boss on and off again for over 5 years, and non-stop for over a year and a half. It’s great. But whether you are your own boss now, hoping to be someday, or are starting next week at Tiny Startup Camp, we all have fantastic boss stories.

    We want to hear them. And in our eternal gratitude, we’ll be offering up a free ticket to TSC for the best story. Hell, maybe even two tickets if the stories are good enough.… Read the rest

  3. Andy Baio – on Portland and DIY Startup Culture

    Andy Baio, one of Portland’s greatest tech assets–and founder of Upcoming, XOXO Festival, he helped build Kickstarter, and more–was interviewed recently for a film series called Early Stage. In it, he discusses the different parts of Portland that make it unique, and how DIY culture permeates everything from music, food, to startups.

    Listen as he describes the food cart scene as the ultimate in Tiny Startups… It’s pretty much spot on in terms of arguments against always needing VC funding and only pushing for the biggest new thing.

    Sometimes, small is the perfect size.

    Early Stage Interviews: Andy Baio from KS12 on Vimeo.… Read the rest

  4. The Slow Play

    In Poker, there’s a term called the Slow Play. Basically, you have a great or unbeatable hand, but rather than scare people out of the pot by aggressive raises, you play slow–and allow others to bet–allowing you to appear to have a weak hand (while secretly you plot to CRUSH them). Once the final cards are drawn, suddenly the player can become very aggressive, and the other players stay in (at this point committed to playing through the hand because of the money they’ve already bet).

    The problems with the Slow Play are many, but one of the strengths is that if you truly have the best hand, you can make a lot more money by being passive and patient.… Read the rest

  5. Who Needs a Big Idea?

    Our culture is all about the big idea. Bigger can only equal better. And while I don’t understand the drive for intergalactic travel, I still imagine Elon Musk is going to change the world by sending civilians into space with SpaceX. It’s a huge idea. Breaking into outer space with rich people, not astronauts.

    But, that’s not for me. My big idea is to hang out with my family, ride my bike a ton, be healthy and happy and spend a lot of time on a patio with a drink in my hand and a friend at my side. That’s my big idea.… Read the rest

  6. Be Scalable, not Passive

    I hate the phrase “lifestyle business” mainly because there seem to be a ton of people who’ve jumped on the “lifestyle” bandwagon and are all looking to get rich selling shit. Or worse, get rich telling you how to get rich following their advice on lifestyle businesses (even if they’d never done it before).

    Obviously, I’m way into helping people start small online businesses (this is the Tiny Startup Camp blog after all), but there seems to be something a little douchey about the lifestyle business niche, and in general, I’ve grown against using the term.

    Another term people throw around is “passive income.”¬†And for a while, I’d used that to describe Paleo Plan’s business model, as I’m passively making money while I sleep.… Read the rest

  7. Filtering for Tiny

    If you’re going to have a Tiny Startup, you have to be ready to filter through hundreds of ideas. You want ideas coming to you at all times. You want to wake up at night with an idea so strong you can’t fall asleep. You want to have to talk through ideas when you’re driving to your in-laws with your wife. You want ideas dripping off of you and leaving a puddle everywhere you go.

    But remember to not be an idea guy (I’ll cover this in an upcoming post).

    So once you have all these ideas, how do you decide which ones to work on?… Read the rest

  8. Tiny Startups are Different

    One of the great things about Tiny Startup Camp is that we get to pull back and re-examine the idea of what a startup is. In general, startups are considered an online, fast-scaling business. But people often tack on some mandate that it has to be part of an incubator, and either be funded, or working towards funding.

    Often times, people in the startup world are more interested in raising money than raising a great product, and people are more excited to tell you about their traction and plan, along with who their VCs are, than actually about their revenue and potential to be a long-term sustainable business.… Read the rest